By Joe Boulé
Is accountability among elected politicians dead? Recent news headlines would lead many to believe the answer is yes.
Consider the following:
• In 1963, John Profumo, then British war minister, resigned because he had a relationship with a prostitute who also had Russian officials as clients. He then lied about the escapade to the House of Commons.
Today, U.S. President Bill Clinton has decided to remain in office after lying under oath about a sexual affair with a White House intern.
• In 1990, Jean Charest resigned from Brian Mulroney’s cabinet after trying to talk to a Quebec Superior Court judge about an active case.
Today, Solicitor General Andy Scott has made no attempt to quit after allegedly speaking too loudly on a jet plane. Topics overheard on the flight included the Airbus investigation, the APEC inquiry, and the finances of a member of the RCMP Public Complaints Commission.
• In 1873, Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald resigned after accepting election funding from a team of prospective railroad tycoons.