Electoral Issue: Criminal Politicians

Electoral Issue: Criminal Politicians

Good afternoon,

The next issue that will be discussed is fairly straightforward; should a politician, who has been convicted of a crime, be allowed to run for public office.

As far as I can tell from the Elections Canada site and other public office eligibility sites such as in Ontario, being convicted of a crime does not bar someone from running for a position in public office or to become a candidate in a federal election. A human is ineligible if they are currently serving a sentence at a correctional facility but become eligible upon their release. Should we allow them to run for office and be in a position of power when it is clear they are capable of committing possibly horrible crimes?

We must first explore the severity of the crime; in other words, was this human charged with a felony or a misdemeanour. Obviously, traffic violations such as speeding or driving without a license are not comparable to other crimes such as assault with a deadly weapon, money laundering or rape. Therefore, if someone has committed a felony and has been released from prison, they should be ineligible to run for public office. If they were to run and obtain a position, this says a lot about the values and morals that Canadians have, especially having been aware of their prior conviction. I believe that Canadians in general are intelligent enough to realize that someone convicted of grand theft, arson, or kidnapping is likely not the best person to represent them.

Now, there must also be a discussion on whether or not someone who holds public office or is an electoral candidate is under investigation for a crime or is being convicted of a crime should be removed. In my opinion, this doesn’t require too much thought; those humans who elected this person, knowing of their clean record, should be safe to assume that their elected human’s record should remain clean for the entire length of their residency. This translates to  Members of Parliament and city councillours for Canadian citizens and party leaders for those members of a political party.

All politicians should be held accountable for their actions and the Canadian government should be tough when it comes to handling those who commit crimes while holding public office. Those convicted of a felony and perhaps a number of misdemeanours should be removed. While being investigated, such as President Trump in the United States by the FBI at the moment, public officials should be suspended and most, if not all, of their power frozen until a verdict has been reached. Those in a position of power, such as President Trump or Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, can greatly influence the decisions of others and may be able to influence a criminal investigation in their favour.

Public officials are elected to serve the public, therefore, they must assume they are under increased scrutiny by everyone at all times; they must be able and completely willing to represent the public’s interests and values in a government setting.



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