Mistakes? Sure. But how do they handle them?

Burnaby Now
May 1, 2013 01:00 AM

Adrian Dix doesn't pay for his SkyTrain fare, Christy Clark ran a red light, Jane Shin may have changed her resume, Wayne Marklund was once charged with impaired driving and had the charges dropped, but he did plead guilty to driving without due care and attention - is any of this information relevant to making an informed decision at the ballot box? Or do all of these details of human failure, or misjudgment, or imperfection merely muddy the water in an already muddy campaign? Some folks will say that the media should spend more time on issues, and less time on the frailties of human beings who end up in the political spotlight. After all, many of these folks have unwittingly walked into a battle that they have little experience waging. They didn't think, several years ago, that their personal lives, their tweets, their letters to the editor, their driving tickets, their ugly divorces, dropped criminal charges, etc., would resurface when they decided to do their civic duty and venture into politics.

Well, we're sorry to say, but some of this stuff does matter. And, perhaps, more importantly how candidates respond to it resurfacing during political campaigns, matters greatly.

Candidates who try to dodge questions on former potentially questionable behaviour, in our opinion, don't have what it takes to weather future political storms. Voters deserve human beings-cum-politicians who admit their mistakes, learn from their mistakes - and don't try to rewrite history. There is no shortage of examples in B.C. politics where elected officials have screwed up, and voters have forgiven them if they fess up and promise not to do it again (Gordon Campbell's drunk driving comes to mind).

But potential political leaders who seem unaware, or in denial, of their own dishonesty or flaws are doomed to repeat them - often at the expense of good government.

We're not expecting only paragons of virtue to represent us - but we rightly hope for an honest conversation with a lot less hide-and-seek.

© Burnaby Now

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