Public service is a privilege, not a burden. It is a noble profession, and for many, a genuine calling. Our country has been blessed with outstanding public servants - both elected and unelected - throughout our history.
Responsible government in Canada is only as good and as effective as the people who serve and the respect they have for our democratic values and institutions. And those can only be as strong and vibrant as the standards and expectations we set for them.
There's an implicit trust bond - a contract - between elected officials and the rest of us. When politicians promise one thing and do another, that trust is compromised. This reality is no different than the one we live in our work, our family life and our relationships.
Today, we are at an historically low ebb in how we citizens perceive both the effectiveness and quality of our government.
We've come to accept that broken promises, lies, character assassination and innuendo are simply the way the people's business is conducted.
When the bar has been lowered to that level, trust is destroyed, and worse, confidence in our system itself disappears. The result is that citizens tune out. And when that happens, the very health of our democracy is ultimately imperiled.
We've descended to a new and very troubling era of cynicism and skepticism. The conduct and behaviour of our parliamentarians and the tone and substance of public discourse is at an all-time low. This has allowed for some reprehensible things to take place.
It debases us all when we resign ourselves to attacks on the integrity of honest and honourable people. Doing so cheapens our system of government.
We need to restore civility in our conversation and respect for each other and our national institutions.
Daniel D. Veniez
Liberal party candidate