the problem is the office, not the officer

More people are clueing in to just what a bad idea the office of Ethics Commissioner was. As Sharon Sutherland argues here, Chretien had it right the first time:

“There’s no reason that Parliament cannot run its own ethical framework with someone to assist with legal advice,” she said. “If you put something that is so difficult to decide as ethics into a statute, you’re just asking for trouble. And that’s what we’ve got. It’s too bad that it came so soon.”

I explore the misguided appeal of the EC office in one of my few published academic papers, which appeared in a book called Public Ethics and Governance, edited by Denis St-Martin and Fred Thompson. Here’s a link to the abstract. The paper, I should add, bears the influence of Professor Sutherland’s outstanding work on reponsible government.




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