Sunday, November 23, 2014

Political Integrity

As one who has run for political office I always tried to campaign as I live: with integrity. I'm certainly not perfect, but I do my best to live with honesty, respect and more.

I know all too well that there are many politicians who will do what it takes to win an election, including lying, making promises they cannot (or will not) keep, and bowing to the wishes of their funders rather than the electorate.

Thus I am most concerned about a well-supported accusation that one of the local councillor candidates for Nanaimo's Council, who barely gained enough votes to be reelected, has been accused of breaking Elections BC rules on voting day (November 15, 2014). There is evidence strongly suggesting that she engaged her supporters through social media -even after being told by Elections BC that day that she was breaking the rules.

I have written Elections BC requesting that they investigate. They are the best body to do so. If the allegations are correct, and that she continued to tweet and F.B. post after being told not to, she could be fined something like $5,000 and/or go to jail. But she would not lose her seat unless she graciously stepped down, creating a by-election.

Her public response thus far has been to say that she is being persecuted. This is not a good sign. Since she appears to have admitted to engaging in this activity, and as a candidate was responsible for knowing the election rules, if she is not willing to be held accountable for her actions then is she but one more example of why so many are turned off from politics? I hope not. If Elections BC determines that she broke the election law I think it only honourable that she resign her seat and run a new campaign, hopefully one that is above reproach.

We need to regain some trust in our elected officials. What is the alternative?


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