” The year old-fashioned honour in politics went missing ” ~ CBC headline, 2013.

After many long, arduous weeks reading the election headlines day in and day out, it was a statement by a CTV reporter online today that pushed me over the edge:

Classy.  Must have been a buddy of  Earl Cowan, the man who freaked out on a reporter at a Conservative rally and become the unwanted poster child for Stephen Harper all throughout this campaign. Even spoken tongue in cheek, it’s not the kind of statement any political party would want a supporter to say to the press.

I thought to myself, ‘ What happened to honour and integrity in politics?’  And then I laughed because really honour and integrity doesn’t even seem to be a factor anymore. We assume the worst and are happily surprised when a politician or candidate does the right thing when a hint of scandal or wrong-doing arises. A persons name,reputation and character used to mean more than anything-deals made on a handshake counted on it- but now? I wonder how some politicians sleep at night.

I wondered if anyone had written about honour and politics and a quick Google search showed – not surprisingly – very little other than the CBC headline posted above. Used in a story covering how neither three Conservative senators facing allegations of spending scandals, Toronto mayor Rob Ford and his crack smoking, or the mayor of London Ontario would step down even in the face of very dishonourable allegations, the point was clear.

There seems to be no honour left in politics, but more an arrogance of being entitled to the position they were elected to. Honour disappeared a lot earlier than 2013, although it was a notable year for Conservative scandal. It used to be the honourable thing to do to step down in the face of scandal, to show you have the integrity left to at least not taint your office, party or the voters who respected you enough to elect you.

Now? One would need to get a winch around the ankle of said politician facing scandal to get them out of office, and pry their fingers off the desk leg in order to pull them out.

The lack of honour in politics now seems to be an inherent part of the culture, so used to scandal and lies that we now take it for granted it’s going to happen at some point. But what does that say about us and who we are as a society? We keep electing the same politicians over and over again until they finally outrage us so much that change does happen. In other words, we are enabling the same behavior we find so reprehensible.

While it is accurate to say every political party has tricks up its sleeves when it comes to campaigns, the actions of the Tories in this election have been particularly distasteful and frankly, lowbrow. Fear has always been a powerful campaign motivator used since the beginning of politics,yet the Tories drove that point home using graphic mailouts depicting the threat of ISIS in the bedrooms in Surrey, which didn’t go over well with many residents more concerned with the more than 40 dial a dope drug turf shootings this year – some of which have pierced homes and schools.

The niqab issue completely engulfed Canadians and divided them- and we let them do it.  Ironically while the Tories all claimed the niqab issue was about womens equality among other justification, there has been zero mention of the Harper governments own internal report that states Canada is falling behind the developed world in womens equality.

According to the report, this country is in the bottom ranks in terms of the pay gap between men and women; support for child care and parental leave is well below average; the country registers 57th for gender equality in Parliament’s elected members; and it lacks a national strategy to halt violence against women.

“Canada has no comprehensive national strategy to address violence against women, lagging behind several comparable countries, including the U.K., Ireland, Australia and New Zealand,” says the draft document marked “secret.”

The internal report says Canada lacks a national strategy on violence against women.

The candid assessment, never intended for public release, is dated Feb. 10 this year and was ordered by the Privy Council Office to alert deputy ministers across many departments about issues facing women and girls in Canada.

A copy of the 35-page presentation — with five pages of “policy implications” blacked out entirely as “advice” — was obtained by CBC News under the Access to Information Act.

You can read that report here: statusofwomen Seems odd that a government so concerned with women’s equality and freedom wouldn’t talk about their own record on it. And why the focus is on the niqab when many single senior women are living in poverty.

There has been very little real focus on the issues impacting people here in BC. There was no chat about the closure of Coast guard offices,  a huge issue for those of us living along the BC coast, nor was there chat about the closure of nine veterans offices or the other cuts  and challenges our veterans have faced.  There is a staunch refusal to address the legalization of marijuana, when clearly what we are currently doing isn’t working,particularly in BC.

Candidates have been failing to show up for all candidates meetings all over the provinces, showing a complete lack of respect for the voters in their ridings. No questions, no answers leaves voters guessing. And this weeks post-Thanksgiving weeks distractions include appearances by none other than Rob and Doug Ford at a Harper event in Etobicoke – which is nearly as funny as Conrad Black, convicted felon, endorsing Trudeau.

Meanwhile here in BC the Conservatives were caught running ads in ethnic media claiming a Trudeau government would mean your kids would all have easy access to pot and we’ll have brothels in every neighbourhood… yeehaw! Seriously, if this doesn’t take the cake, I don’t know what does… but it’s definately the year good old honour and decency went missing

The only question now is, what are you going to do about it? Research your candidates,ask questions,check their voting records and see how accessible they are. Are they honourable people with good character and integrity?

The future of this country is in your hands…use your vote wisely.

29 Comments on “” The year old-fashioned honour in politics went missing ” ~ CBC headline, 2013.




  2. I really think this fall from honour started right here in BC, when Gordon Campbell was convicted of drunk driving in a foreign country and squeezed out a few crocodile tears while resisting calls to step down. The media gave him a pass and we did nothing. We could have been rid of him right there. Since then there have been many. Minister of Health, firing scientists from the Therapeutic Initiative, Minister of Finance and Justice on the BC Rail payout. Minister of Children and Families…All of these people should have been held to account, but we let them pass. Now, the culture has spread to Ottawa. We have only ourselves to blame. And maybe the media, for allowing these corruptions to be buried. But mostly, I think, those Ministers who should be accountable. How do they sleep at night?

  3. Were it only politics, the lack of integrity might not be quite so depressing, but the whole way of transacting affairs in society as a whole seems fraught with this same willingness to put self and short-term gain ahead of general well-being. The fact that there are such tight connections between certain business concerns and the elected representatives already speaks volumes about how people of little personal integrity have corrupted the public sphere as well as the private, and reading about the scope and depth of the deception in cases such as the recent revelations about Volkswagen et al and their circumvention of emissions standards only makes one wonder how much of this is really the norm rather than some monstrous aberration. The collusion between public and private scallawags is compounded by a cone of silence around such matters, as you will well know from your early and frequent posts about BC Rail, IPPs and certain construction projects where misdeeds of the highest order might have remained under their designated rocks were it not for the tireless and mostly (monetarily) unrewarded work of citizen journalists. Do we need to ponder long and hard on the disconnect that people feel when it comes time to participate in the business of government? Or when it comes time to make decisions regarding large financial decisions when we suspect, with good reason, that our choices are really Hobson’s choices?

    The recently-signed TPP is a perfect example of this phenomenon, an “agreement” between a small number of parties for their own benefit at the expense of the population at large, signed without real mandate, likely to be ratified without benefit of popular approval and, in particular, an agreement that effectively stifles the possibility of collective action to protect social, political and environmental structures that aim to maintain some chance of a decent life for all.

    We have sunken to abysmal depths, partly because we didn’t know how badly our affairs had been corrupted before the current neoliberal wave, partly because we weren’t willing enough, persistent enough and patient enough to work for the greater good.

    I thought I had seen this in a post from a (gasp!) conservative blog I follow somewhat, but I couldn’t find the source where I originally saw it.

    “I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.”
    ― Friedrich Nietzsche

  4. Changing the government will be pretty thin gruel if we don’t also restore power and dignity to all MPs. Outrageous though it is that Harper, far more than any PM in my long memory, abused the Commons, thus the people, even more outrageous is the fact that not one government MP has raised a whisper in protest; to do so not only ends chances of promotion, it risks expulsion from Caucus and the end of a political career. No MP needs to be reminded of that. Mulcair has maintained the same iron discipline over his Caucus.

    If that isn’t changed, we will only change dictators and I, an elderly 6th generation Canadian going back to expelled Highland crofters in the 1700s, will remain a 2nd Class Canadian, subject to deportation to a country I’ve never lived in, because my Dad made the mistake, 110 years ago, of being born in Auckland, New Zealand!

  5. I’ve the feeling that the Harper campaign directed candidates not to appear at all candidate meetings – has anybody noticed the number of reports of Conservative candidates not attending their riding’s all candidates meeting? It would be a smart move, given the government’s record (thus the candidate doesn’t have to defend it) and the lack of intelligence and foot in mouth tendencies of Conservatives.

  6. I agree with Kim Poirier’s comment above. “All of these people should have been held to account, but we let them pass.”

    If Michael de Jong and Graham Whitmarsh had been held to account for their respective roles in the intricate illegalities in the Basi/Virk payoff, would the same two players have been around to conduct an encore in the health ministry firings? Would a man who isn’t be alive today if they had been properly sanctioned? Maybe. We can’t know for certain. But it serves to illustrate that giving free passes to political miscreants, whether by the woeful press or the citizens it is supposed to inform can have consequences far beyond tarnished honour.

  7. Here is the problem; we no longer elect MP’s, people who are our representatives, rather we vote “party” and the party candidate that big money support. MP’s no longer reflect the wishes of their constituents, rather they support the wishes of those who have bought their election.

    The result, civic, provincial and federal is that we have rather stupid Councillors, MLA’s and MP’s, who only do what they are told, so they can receive money to be reelected.

    Democracy has been dumbed down to such a degree, that Canadian elections now resemble old soviet style elections, where the people vote for candidates they know little of,except they support the “party”.

    Politics in Canada resemble shell game where democracy only takes place for one day, every four years.

  8. And right on cue, today we have Trudeau’s co-campaign chair stepping down for advising a pipeline company on who to lobby in a new government.

  9. A little off topic but a recent survey showed ethnic groups in B.C. would elect a Liberal government. How thoroughly do they check the voters list when all that’s needed to vote is a hydro bill. The first thing on eligibility for voting is Canadian Citizenship. Not landed immigrant or foreign investors. Something to ponder as second class citizens

  10. Not surprising. There is no honour among thieves. The only way it will change is not to participate in their fake elections of the selected few of which the people as a whole had no choice in.

    • Really Rick? You think not voting is going to fix this? Somehow, I don’t think so….

      • I will not condone or fund a government that commits war crimes and crimes against humanity. Everyone needs to make a choice. Our system is broken and participating in it will not fix it. No matter how good intentioned an aspiring politician is they soon find out unless they are crooks they will have no say. The country was sold out to the IMF. Did you watch that video? Did you check out the court case against the Bank of Canada and the Government? Now ask yourself why is Canada supposedly in the glue for $600Billion+. I respect your integrity and devotion. Slogging a dead horse, put your effort to educating people about how they’ve been duped into giving taxes to pay debt that could have been created interest free, practically.

        • NOT Voting is exactly the way to maintain the status quo. I just don’t understand where people think this is a form of ‘protest’. Your vote can bring change. The people I have met who take this stand usually know nothing about current affairs or the politics of the day. I find most of them have used this form of so-called ‘protest’ as a way to avoid the responsibility of educating themselves. I am not aiming this comment at you, If you follow @Laila you ae educating yourself and not in that category.

        • So YOUR “solution” is to complain about the current govt and then not vote…….

          In the imortal words of Dr. Evil, “riiiiiiiiiiight”.

    • Don’t you love this? Government whining about people not coming or paying attention, yet where was this advertise? How? And why is it being held at a time when most people are in school or at work? Why not on an evening or weekend?

      Gee, one would think the BC government really didn’t want anyone to come and give input!!!

  11. A little truth for the people. This should be the topic at all debates but not a peep as it would upset the controllers.

  12. Does Canada have a Constitution? If so what is its name? If so who wrote it? If so where is it held? If so has anyone ever seen it?
    Find the answers to these questions if you dare. A hint, look to England.

  13. Honour? Truth? Integrity? Impossible from silent obedient opportunists too cowardly to even show up for candidates meetings. Has your MP ever spoken up for your riding against the party he/she ran with? If the Libs + NDP get in and do NOT reform govt to proportional representation, then it’s official …they are ALL crooks.

  14. What about Sukh? the link ends up saying “page doesn’t exist”.
    Seems the only time the politicians have honour is when the least honourable ones hound the more honourable ones out of politics. Still look at Gordon Campbell sticking around here in BC after drunk driving.

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