Since Justin Trudeau's formal confirmation that his pledge of a reformed electoral system will not occur, he has been on the receiving end of a great deal of criticism, most of it characterizing him as a liar and a cynic. This is all fair game in politics, but it should be noted that his opponents are just as guilty of promoting their self interest.
Opposition MPs are cheerfully beating up the Prime Minister over his family’s post-Christmas vacation.
They contend he violated conflict-of-interest rules by, first, accepting the invitation of the Aga Khan to be his guests on his private island in the Bahamas, and, second, by travelling on their host’s private helicopter between Nassau and Bell Island, 120 kilometres away, without obtaining approval in advance from the Commons conflict of interest and ethics commissioner.
As academics, we spend long hours coming up with research questions, developing theoretical frameworks, collecting and analyzing data, and then publishing our results in academic journals or books. The process can take a long time, depending on the project and choice of publication. Once our results are published, however, it seems like they rarely have an effect. Very few people can access the journal articles unless they are a student or faculty member at university. There is so much research being pumped out these days that's it's hard to be noticed.
One of the trickiest questions in politics concerns where to draw the line between the public’s right to know and the politicians’ right to privacy.
The question is not a new one. It is an active concern in Washington where President-elect Donald Trump’s many private business activities – not to mention the involvement of his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, a big-time real estate investor, with mysterious Chinese financiers – reek of conflict-of-interest.
Imagine, if you can, gentle reader, that you are a card-carrying member of the Conservative Party of Canada. You are looking anxiously for a permanent replacement for Stephen Harper in the CPC leadership election this coming May. You have studied the swollen field – no fewer than 13 candidates at last count. Regretfully, all seem to lack at least one crucial ingredient.