Draft Integrity Pledge Offer
Note: Modify to local circumstances if necessary.
Canada Federal Campaign 2015
I pledge that I, my team and my party will act with integrity at all times during the coming election campaign and in office. Integrity means that at all times I will act on behalf of the best interests of all Canadians.
This signed pledge is not "legally" binding on anyone at any time.
Name of candidate or party official:___________________________
Federal Riding or Party Position:_____________________________
Note: This pledge is an "offer", which can be voluntarily signed, or not. The offer was not "presented by way of demand or claim" on the signatory therefore is not in contravention of Canada Elections Act - S.C.. c. 9 (Section 550).
Offering the Pledge To Candidates or Officials
The pledge is offered to the candidates. Signing is not demanded of them.
The pledge is an opportunity for candidates and officials to state clearly and publicly that they understand the importance of integrity in public office and that they and their teams will act with integrity. They will find that signing provides them with a visible and public advantage over their non-signing competitors and also frees them up to make the correct decision when confronted by complex opportunities and factors. The pledge gives them a very strong reason of principle.
Offered Pledge Legal Under the Canada Elections Act
Elections Canada Marginal note:Signed pledges by candidates (that are) prohibited
550. No candidate shall sign a written document presented by way of demand or claim made on him or her by any person or association of persons, between the issue of the writ and polling day, if the document requires the candidate to follow a course of action that will prevent him or her from exercising freedom of action in Parliament, if elected, or to resign as a member if called on to do so by any person or association of persons.
Signed Copies Use and Distribution
These pledges are local initiatives and therefore local circumstances will suggest what is best to do with the signed copies of the pledges for maximum benefit of citizens and the candidates who have signed. Therefore, signing candidates and citizens can use any or all of the following options to inform the local electorate.
By What Right?
In the federal election Canadians are hiring people to run the business owned by Canadians.
Candidates are applying to for a job and therefore must prove that they are fit to fill the job, that they have experience, expertise, judgment, maturity, the integrity and moral ability to act on behalf of Canadians.
Canadians, the employers, have the right and obligation to ask candidates to prove their credentials and abilities and trust worthiness to act on our behalf.
Putting the same integrity pledge offer to all candidates either insults none or insults all candidates. Any candidate offended by aspects of the hiring process should seek another line of work.
Morally But Not Legally Binding
It is important to note that the pledge is an offer and that, when signed, it is morally but not legally binding. In no way does it modify candidate's "legal" status on any matter.
It is important for the public to note that circumstances change necessitating parliamentarians to make with integrity the best decision under the new circumstances. It is imperative that citizens act with integrity too and enable our parliamentarians, the stewards of our collective best interests, to make the best decisions and to explain them to us.
The circumstances under which governments operate is complex and that is why that we must attract to parliament the best possible candidates, and then to elect the best candidates who will act with integrity on our collective behalf.
Integrity - What Is It?
Many assume that integrity is synonymous with ethics or moralilty. In a social context it is more.
Oxford English Dictionary
Definition of integrity in English:
1 The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles:
a gentleman of complete integrity
2 The state of being whole and undivided:
upholding territorial integrity and national sovereignty
2.1 The condition of being unified or sound in construction:
the structural integrity of the novel
2.2 Internal consistency or lack of corruption in electronic data:
[AS MODIFIER]: integrity checking
Will candidates with no integrity sign the pledge? Probably not, based on 2014 electoral experience with 52 candidates at the federal and municipal levels.
Everyone wants to be thought to have integrity, whether they have it or not. The positive thoughts of others helps us advance and reaffirms our self-esteem.
Surprisingly, people with integrity will resist signing for fear of being held accountable! Imagine that. Go figrue.
Offered the integrity pledge, some people may become angry, real or faked, that anyone would "dare to suggest that I don't have integrity!" Sorry. You are applying for a job, to work for me and the rest of these people. We are not challenging you per se. We are interviewing all candidates with the same questions about thir creenetials..
A Letter to the Editor For Local Media
Which of our federal candidates and party leaders have integrity?
Recent political polls confirm voters’ uncertainty about who to vote for, which politicians are committed to work for us, all of us — not for just “them”.
After all, integrity is not just about telling the truth. We need to know — who can we trust to be a team player on behalf of ALL of us?
Why don’t we — local media and citizens — ask candidates about integrity?
The Liberal newspaper published an editorial Sept. 25, 2014, applauding such a citizen initiative in the Richmond Hill municipal campaign, when the apparently naive question was put to 52 Richmond Hill federal and municipal candidates with surprising results.
The same initiative was used in the Richmond Hill Liberal Party riding nomination process: two signed an integrity pledge; two did not.
Interestingly, nearly all municipal candidates last year strongly suspected of not having integrity refused to sign the offered integrity pledge. Some were offended at being asked.
But candidates are applying to us, the voters, for jobs. Therefore, we are entitled to ask questions about such critical qualities as integrity.
The wording of a national pledge could be as simple as “I pledge that I, my team and my party will act with integrity at all times during the coming election campaign and in office. Integrity means that at all times I will act on behalf of the best interests of all Canadians.”
Clearly, those who signed such a pledge would have an advantage over those who do not. Some candidates may be offended, thinking that their integrity, which they take for granted, is being doubted.
Not necessarily. As their potential employers, we have the right to ask all applicant candidates to declare and prove their credentials. Behaving with integrity is critical to their ability to use their other expertise and credentials to create and work to beneficially implement policies and programs and then to supervise and administer them.
Before we vote, we must know that our representatives will perform with integrity. Citizens at party or public meetings should ask candidates if they have signed such a pledge, and if not, why not.
Copies of signed pledges for both Richmond Hill ridings could be sent to this media outlet, which could keep a simple record throughout the federal campaign, then identifying those who have signed and those who have not.