Idea alert

by Aaron Wherry

Former Liberal MP Omar Alghabra proposes an association of politicians dedicated to accountability.

An independent, non-partisan, non-governmental association — let’s call it the Canadian Association of Accountable Politicians (CAAP) — is established for all politicians to join. The association would require members to sign on to a code of conduct that includes commitments to always tell the truth, avoid inappropriate language, reject personal insults, pledge honest public service and to always behave according to highest ethical standards. The association would also have an independent Ombudsman where alleged violation of the code of conduct and other complaints would be investigated. CAAP could also offer its members professional development courses on campaigning, policy development, human resources management, communication, public speaking, campaign financing and provide legal advice.

Politicians, which include political candidates and workers, would be eligible to join CAAP. The only membership requirements would be to sign the pledge and to accept the Ombudsman jurisdiction. If a member is found to have contravened the pledge, they can be censured, suspended or have their membership revoked. A political candidate will not be required to join the association in order to run for office. Membership is optional. The public, however, will have the right to ask why a candidate is refusing to join the association and take up the pledge.




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Idea alert

  1. John Baird is already on record calling this organization Taliban sympathizers and mainstream media stooges.

  2. Looks to me like Omar, a PEng registered in Ontario, has been reviewing APEO’s code of conduct/disciplinary documents.

  3. What a lovely pipe dream.

    First complaint that got registered would see accusations flying that the Ombudsman isn’t truly independent (no matter which way the ombudsman ruled) and the entire organization would simply be seen as evidence that the other side is corrupt and/or intent on corrupting the process.

    If people aren’t willing to pay attention to the facts in the first place, what on earth would make them willing to pay attention to an organization that will be seen as “interpreting” the facts?

    • I do think its a lovely dream, and why are so many people’s first reactions to lovely dreams how to quash them rather than seeing the challenges and how to minimize them? After all, people aren’t “willing to pay attention to the facts in the first place” because they are ALREADY “interpreted” by media who spin one way or the other with almost every “objective reporting” of said “facts”. And you know this to be true, so why not someone who can point to a member’s concrete lapse in their own self-subscribed rules?

      • Maybe have badges you get for doing things, and at meetings, when you arrive, you drop a fin into the collection plate and howl: “Ahooo! Five bones.”

      • Because we have limited time and effort in the world, and chasing crap that simply isn’t going to work is a waste of it.

        As for someone who can point to a member’s concrete lapse in their own self-subscribed rules, there’s this new technology you should take a look at.

        It’s called the internet.

  4. I have long believed this should be called Bad Idea Alert, Wherry, for accuracy’s sake.

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