HAT Forum: Can a successful politician be moral?



Date: Jan 10, 2015
Time: 11:00 to 12:30. Note: shortened meeting so all involved can attend Debbie Pond's talk on human trafficking at OISE at 1:00.
Location: 519 Community Centre, 519 Church St. (@ Wellesley), Meeting Room 304
Proposer: Richard Dowsett
Topic: Can a Successful Politician be Moral?
In this instance, "successful" is defined as maintaining power by being re-elected consistently and "moral" is defined as "holding firm to a set of guiding principles that determine what are acceptable behaviours and outcomes".
1. Does the system of government which requires trade-offs and compromise penalize those politicians that will not play the game of "horse-trading" or swapping influence with other politicians?
2. Does the really electorate want a politician who is true to their word on every issue even if that means, in reality, only appealing to certain sectors?
3. Should a politician try to represent all of their constituents in all matters even if this means going against their own moral principles? i.e. voting against their conscience?
4. How is the situation different if the morals employed are derived from religious sources via revelation and tradition versus from social contract or ethical philosophy?