That is today's poll question on the Telegram website. Here's a prediction: most people will say no. The topic is hot out of the oven as the latest MHA, Jim Walsh, got sentenced to 22 months in prison. Just over a week ago, MHA Wally Anderson made a statement saying that the past was behind him, and that he was not saying no to another run at his old job. Apparently he has supporters on Facebook who encourage him to do just that.
There may not be a big wave of support for this opinion but this bloggist think they should be allowed to run again for public office. We live in a democracy, where you decide what you want to do with your life. If, after, much public humiliation, mistrust from the public, and scorn, you decide to try and win them back, then that is your free choice. Similarly, if most people would not think twice about voting again for the person, that would be reflected in opinion polls, social comments, and ultimately at the ballot box.
If a person who just went through years of embarrassment and family upheaval, wants to risk further public doubt and anger, then he or she better have a thicker skin. Unless they have redeemed themselves enough, it is hard to imagine the same electorate re-electing that person.
It's also hard to imagine that the convicted person would not be sorry for defrauding the government, and for wanting to do positive things in their remaining years. No matter what the crime, we all hope that people will change after a negative experience like that, and can carry in with their lives in a positive way. Politicians want to feel good post-prison too, and so people eventually can give the benefit of the doubt. If they oppose the suggestion of an MHA running for office again, well the lines of communication are more wide open than ever, and people voice their opinion frequently. It's a choice for all concerned. After so much negative public sentiment, that choice would be clear to politicians, one would think.
One final word for MHAs in this position, there are many many ways to make a positive contribution, and running for office again, is one, but won't get a great deal of support.