Politicians and Integrity - involves living so people are able to trust in the promises that are made.

opinionandcommentBy Dr. Wendy Hofman

January 10, 2017



Integrity is an integral part of leadership.

In politics, it is becoming non-existent. It is fair to say that there are still politicians who have integrity but the number is decreasing. Integrity is all about being honest in all aspects of one’s life.

In order for a political party to earn the respect of the public each member of its party executive and the MPP’s must have integrity. The interest of the public must come ahead of personal interest and gain. Integrity should be the governing rule of how politicians make decisions and policies. Having integrity is a lifestyle choice and should be life-long.

How can integrity in politics be regenerated when corrupt practices are widespread? It is quintessential that the prerequisite for such an endeavour is absolute political will. The Party and its leaders must be dissatisfied with how they are governing. The decision to change can be internal from those that are uncomfortable governing without integrity or it can come about through public scrutiny and effective political opposition. Party faithfuls that have become disenchanted and disgruntled are signs that positive change must occur in order to retain the membership.

How would it appear if politicians governed with integrity? Integrity is evident in thought, speech, behaviour, and decision-making. It involves living so people are able to trust in the promises that are made. Imagine if deliberately misleading the public would result in a forced resignation of a politician? What about short-changing the public by flip-flopping on decisions? Integrity must be part of how politicians lead.
On the integrity spectrum donations, lobbying, and access to political leaders can be quite murky issues.

Instead of meeting with voters and potential members and debating on issues, politicians are now found in lavish fund raising dinners with donors.

Imagine if most Ontario politicians had integrity? Our province would not be in the state financially or morally that it is in today. There is hope for this province and the whole of Canada if politicians choose to be honest with their constituents regarding policies and promises.

wendy-hofmanDr. Wendy Hofman – a Professor of Counselling and Clinical Counsellor

These are the opinions of the writer who has been actively engaged in the political process in Burlington.


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6 comments to Politicians and Integrity – involves living so people are able to trust in the promises that are made.

  • Peter

    What is exactly is not true about what I have mentioned? I put forward brief cogent arguments in defense of my position. Simply saying “that’s not true” is not an argument. Just because I hold a minority opinion doesn’t mean my position is not true. Since when is murdering an unborn child in the mother’s womb a fundamental women’s right. During the abolitionist movement in England to end slavery, those people fighting against slavery were in a minority as well. This doesn’t mean that their opinion was incorrect. Truth is not determined by a popularity contest of opinions. I never claimed to be the arbiter of right and wrong. There are moral absolutes. Murder is wrong.

    Editor’s note. This comment had to be edited – there was language that is not acceptable. Treat people with dignity and respect please.

  • Peter

    Finding integrity in modern politics is only slightly less difficult than finding integrity in a brothel. Having integrity involves taking the morally “correct position even if it is not popular. It is the difference between being a politician and a leader. There are very few politicians who are leaders. Abortion is one example of a myriad of examples to illustrate this point. Abortion involves taking the life of an unborn human being in the earliest stages of life within the mother’s womb. Since the unborn child is not guilty of any offence deserving death and since the taking of that human life is deliberate, this is first degree murder. Any politician who does not recognize these facts is too intellectually, morally and spiritually blind to hold political office. The fact that there are so few politicians who will clearly and unapologetically stand in opposition to abortion shows the almost complete lack of integrity within Canadian politics. Opposition to abortion is a very good litmus test regarding integrity.

    • Oxy Moron

      Actually, Peter that’s not true. It only proves that you are in the minority when it comes to understanding and respecting women’s rights.
      Who made you the arbiter of right and wrong?

  • Ken

    I think voters should accept their share of responsibility in creating their own cynicism. A politician can’t help anyone unless they get voted in. To get voted in politicians have to say things that resonate with their constituents. Often this requires making promises they can’t reasonably hope to keep or saying things to sound populist.

    Voters don’t send enough time educating themselves, getting involved, or accepting difficult realities.

    Politics is a mirror to the people.

  • Steve

    One of the reasons i so thoroughly distrust career politicians who’ve made it their mission to be a lifelong politician. Give me someone who has a more rounded life experience, and has not just been slopping at the government gravy boat all their life…..and whatever it takes to remain there.

  • Walter Mulkewich

    Agreed that integrity is important in politics and life. To suggest that “corrupt practices are widespread” in Ontario is fear mongering without any substantiating evidence provided – this kind of journalism is more harmful than the practice of our currently active politicians. To imply that Ontario is in a bad state “financially or morally” without substantiating evidence is unfair to Ontarians. I may disagree with some or many of the policies of our Ontario government, but I do not question its integrity or the integrity of the the elected politicians in Ontario.