Public office, what is good behaviour vs acceptable?

Just some thoughts and wondering about what others think is acceptable behaviour in public places by those who are public office (ie local, provincial, or federal)?

I agree what someone does in their private life is fine. Does public office mean one does or does not have a private life?  :smile:

A friend is thinking of possibly run in our next city election and I do not know the code of ethics and wondering about what others are thinking.  Some awesome people would run, but they do not want all the crap that goes with it, just to remain private and not under a microscope.  Thanks for your help.

If city councillors are doing their jobs properly they will spend a minimum of 20 hours a week doing so.
Their private lives as well as that of their families is marginalized. They will find that they are constantly open to scrutiny both in private and in public.
It can be very rewarding.
This is from someone who has been there.

Yes and no? If what you do in your private life does not effect your ability or the perception of your ability to do what you’re supposed to be doing in your public life then no it shouldnt affect your public life.

If you’re smoking crack on the weekends and shooting heroin in the secret gardens then it will likely affect your public life.

If your friend wants to run, they can expect a fair bit of scrutiny.  If they have concerns about parts of their private life becoming public, they can expect that if there are people out there who know about these parts of their private life, they can probably expect these parts to become public.  In particular if the secret is known by those who do not like them. 

Acceptable behavior nowadays seems to becoming pretty relative.    What will result in one person not voting for your friend, may well be the reason why someone else does.  The trick is to try and make sure your behaviour correlates with what is seen as being acceptable by the voting public.  This group (voting public) does not necessarily have the same standards as the proverbial average community member.

A good rule of thumb is never do anything that would embarass you or your family if you read it on the internet or local paper.  If you follow this rule, then even if your behaviour loses you the vote of a member of the voting public, you have not lost the more important votes of your family.

Another poster has indicated that public service can be very rewarding.  He or she was right.  Public officials can exert a significant influence on how our society is.  On the other hand, if a person wants to contribute to the community, but doe not want the so much scrutiny, becoming a volunteer who donates their time and expertise  is another good way to go.


Then there’s the whole “councilman at the beer gardens” type of behavior…"Do you know who I am!!!"
spit punch bite bite kick

Apparently the cops escorted hiim out of the Homecoming party due to public drinking…part of the sentencing was supposed to be no boozing in public. 

Absolutely wrong, He is 100% able to enjoy a drink.  They did not escort him out, he happened to leave at the same time, they did talk to him because some media happy moron called the police said he was violating his probation, they police talked to him, discovered he was within his right to be there and left.  Bye chance, he was leaving anyway.
Walking out of a busy establishment at the same time as someone else does not mean your leaving with them.

I was wondering when this stupid rumor would show up here. :stuck_out_tongue:

When they are not working, elected officials should only be held to the same standards as any other civilian.

Yes, but when you are a politician, you are always working.

If the responsibility is too much, don’t run.

did he bite anyone on the way out?

heh heh… he turned as he left the building and said " BITE ME " …lol ( kidding)

Bettyboop have you really considered running for office once more? Did you or have you not seen the mess one gets into , once there?These council members who made these faulty promises and could not and would not deliver.


  1. he is able to enjoy as drink. In public? That’s the question.
  2. the person who called wasn’t “media happy”. The press were not informed.
  3. he wasn’t leaving. He was drinking. He left AFTER the cops talked to him and to the person who made the call.
  4. he didn’t walk out with the cops because they stayed and dealt with other issues for at least another twenty minutes/half hour.
  5. he did perform the original bite, spit, etc.

Where’s the “stupid rumour”? That he left after the cops asked about the conditions of his sentencing? If he is allowed to drink in public, why would the cops respond to the complaint in the first place?

Police were called to enforce a protection order concerning him, he can’t drink in public but he wasn’t doing anything wrong, they just talked to him.  Doesn’t mean he hasn’t been a stupid drunken ass in the past but the other person wasn’t being “media happy” either.

It’s called the public arena for a reason.

While public officials might desire privacy, it is rarely accorded to them.  One should clearly understand these ‘terms of office’ before venturing in.

Tolerance of behavior of politicians can be confusing.  Similar behaviors from some receives a chortle while others receive the wrath.  Go figure.

However to be a public figure does mean scrutiny pretty much 24-7.

JC, no it is not my intent to run, but until one is elected let alone run in an election, many do not know what a candidate goes through.

As for promises, I believe many do go in with the right intentions, just once they get in, they realize the hornets nest and the limitations they find themselves in.

It was not my intent to bring up someone’s past, I just wanted to know if those who are our elected officials, what behaviour in public is acceptable.  Just an open question, that is all.

The stupid rumor is the one you previously stated, that he was escorted out by police.  The police responded to a protection order, he can drink in public, as far as I know, and he wasnt doing anything wrong so the police really shouldnt have been called in the first place.

So tell me, how well do you know him? And how well do you ACTUALLY know what went on? Were you there? And if there wasn’t cause to ask him to leave, then why did the police do it?

If you actually took the time to read the posts you would learn that he wasnt asked to leave. 
I know him, not that it really matters.  I was only trying to quash a stupid rumor, but I have come to realize that no matter what is written/said people will believe what they want to believe, regardless of truth. 

LOL, You’d be suprised what I know.


Some of the last posts have made me want to make one more comment…

There is a wonderful movie called the Last Hangman.  It is the story of the man who was the last hangman in Britian.   There is a great moment in the movie  that speaks to what should be the humanity and compassion in all of us.  

The hangman has just hung about 20 people in Nuremberg who have been executed for war crimes.  He is in the morgue overseeing the preparation of the bodies for internment.   Through a mix up, there is not enough coffins.   The orderly who is assisting him states that it does not really matter because these people don’t deserve proper burials.

The hangman turns to the orderly and replies that these people have paid the ultimate price for their crimes.  And that having paid the price, their bodies are now deserving of all the respect and dignity that they can be afforded.    

As these last posts show.   As an elected official you can make a stupid mistake in a brief moment that you probably will regret for the rest of your life.  Then, because of the mistake you can pay the price of losing your reputation and your public office.   Regardless of paying this price, there will be people out there who will continue to try and punish you forever, by repeatedly bringing it up and rubbing your nose in it. Sadly, these people simply cannot bring themselves to forgive you and and let you move on and try and heal yourself.

Final comment… it is my observation over the years tha has led me to conclude that there is a small segment of our population that delight in kicking people in the  teeth who are already down (have paid the price).  To my mind, this is particularly despicable when they do this, under the guise of being anonymous