Honest Politics Now

What ethical conduct means in Canadian public life

by Ian Greene

edited by David P. Shugarman

This book critically analyzes changes introduced and implemented over the last two decades intended to deal with ethical issues in politics using high-profile political scandals as case studies. With contributions from experts from across the country, this book explores the standards of accountability to which Canadian politicians are being held.

There have been enormous changes in Canadian public life in the past two decades. More and more, politicians and officials are expected to act honestly and in the public interest. Yet, for many, honest politics is still an oxymoron.

Using high-profile political scandals as case studies, this book explores the standards of accountability to which Canadian politicians are now being held. The authors discuss conflict-of-interest and abuse-of-trust cases such as Brian Mulroney's receipt at secret meetings of envelopes stuffed with thousand dollar bills; the gas plant scandal in Ontario; Allison Redford's self-serving authorizations of spending in Alberta; Mike Duffy and the Senate expenses scandal; party financing cases such as the Robocalls affair; "dirty hands" examples such as the sponsorship scandal and the Arrar affair; the "cash for access" controversy surrounding Justin Trudeau's fundraisers; and municipal issues including the sagas of Rob Ford and Hazel McCallion.

Canada is a leader among countries promoting ethical politics in a democratic society. In this book expert authors from across the country discuss the strengths and weaknesses of measures now in place and point to the most important challenges that remain before Canadians can believe that honesty prevails in public life.

About the Authors

Ian Greene
Ian Greene

Ian Greene has taught public policy and administration at York University since 1985. Greene is a University Professor Emeritus and Senior Scholar in the School of Public Policy and Administration, and was Master of McLaughlin College in York University for seven years until 2011. He was the founding Director of York's Masters program in Public Policy, Administration and Law. Greene's most recent book is The Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

David P. Shugarman is a Professor Emeritus and Senior Scholar at York University in Toronto. Born in Edmonton, Alberta, he received his B.A. (Hons) from the University of Alberta, and his M.A. in Political Economy and Ph.D. in Political Philosophy at the University of Toronto. His recent publications include chapters, essays, and articles on the commission of inquiry into into the sponsorship scandal, public inquiries, and democratic accountability.


"If ethical politics are someday to become as much a hallmark of our democratic system as free elections, we must have a critical mass of citizens who understand, practise and promote public integrity. Reading this book might help us get there."
John K. Collins, Winnipeg Free Press

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