Ottawa

Idea alert

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.