Tuesday, April 04, 2006

DeLay's Resignation

It seems that Republican Congressman Tom DeLay will leave Congress by mid-June, although he says he has done nothing wrong.

According to a CBC article, this is his reasoning:
"In an interview with The Galveston County Daily News in Texas, DeLay said he decided to resign after polls showed him only slightly ahead of his Democratic opponent, former Rep. Nick Lampson, in his suburban Houston riding. Elections are late next fall.

'Even though I thought I could win, it was a little too risky,' DeLay told the Galveston paper."
"only slightly ahead"?? Considering that DeLay was indicted on charges related to laundering campaign funds, and considering that his ties to Jack Abramoff are being investigated, why would he still be ahead at all in the polls?

To be fair, it seems that nothing has been proven as yet. Still, DeLay's former chief of staff did confess to conspiracy, and the fact that DeLay is being investigated at all should set off some warning bells.

At least he resigned (for whatever reason). Ralph Goodale, on the other hand, refused to resign when — as Canadian Minister of Finance in December 2005 — he was accused of leaking income trust information. Later, in January 2006, he was re-elected by his Saskatchewan riding despite being investigated by the RCMP over the income trust affair. I defended him at the time, which is probably hypocritical of me. In my defense, there seems to be less evidence in Goodale's case. Furthermore, the accusations against Goodale appear more obviously politically motivated (coming just a month or so before the election).

Still, to avoid inconsistency, I will (temporarily) take back my earlier reaction to Goodale's re-election, and to his refusal to resign. In my opinion, politicians must have the trust of the people (not just the support of their own constituents). More importantly, they must have respect for the processes that are in place to prevent corruption, even when they feel unjustly attacked by political opponents.


At 5:53 p.m., April 04, 2006, Anonymous peregrin said...

two cents from the high horse -

It's always a challenge to hold people innocent until proven guilty. It's still a good and civil exercise to refrain from falling in step with the fellow public that probably vents frustration when directing disdain against those under investigation.

There should be a thorough and transparent investigation into alleged fraud and corruption. Until the result is published there is no need to rush a judgement of ones own. More important then a conviction is the proper process of clarification and a clear statement of legality or violation.

Thanks for cranking up the mind.

At 7:09 p.m., April 04, 2006, Blogger tvhtoo said...

I see what you mean. I always find it distasteful when people (myself included) condemn or praise politicians due to popular sentiments or their own bias, rather than the facts.

As you say, it is important that allegations are investigated (and, I take it, that truly corrupt politicians are removed from office). However, turning against politicians who have merely been accused of wrongdoing is not right, nor is it helpful.

I think we agree about all that.

What I would like to know is the following: At what point do you think a politician should resign of his own accord? Was DeLay right in resigning? Should Goodale have resigned?


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