Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Draw the Line, Mr Galipeau

Lobbyist should be asked to stay home

With one Conservative campaign already having fielded a few days of controversy over one of its volunteers, one would expect Ottawa-Orleans MP Royal Galipeau to put his foot down with his campaign.

Walter Robinson, a lobbyist employed by Tactix Government Relations and Public Affairs, should be turned away as a volunteer.

Robinson has already been advised by Lobbyist Commissioner Karen Sheppard that volunteering for Galipeau's campaign would put him in a conflict of interest. Citing his Charter right to freedom of expression, Robinson has rebuked the Commissioner.

Frankly, it should be over Galipeau's dead body; and for the same reason why corporate lobbyists should be barred from contributing money to a political campaign: in campaigning for Galipeau, Robinson is basically campaigning on who he should be lobbying after May 2.

It's the same reason why public sector unions and their members should also be barred from donated to, or participating in, political campaigns. In doing so, these people are basically lobbying on who they think their bosses should be, and the conflict of interest is the same.

It's doubtful that Galipeau's competitors on the campaign trail are turning away volunteers or donations from public sector union members.

That wouldn't make it any more ethical for Galpieau to accept Walter Robinson's help on the campaign trail. Unethical is unethical, regardless if its Royal Galipeau or his opponents. Galpieau should aspire to a higher standard.

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