The impetus for this post began when I read about new legislation making it illegal for police officers in Kansas to have sex with people they pull over for traffic violations. “What’s that,” I hear you cry, and I share your amazement. Apparently the legislation was needed because of situations in which those stopped, being questioned, or in custody, were assaulted by police who were not found guilty of any crime because the sex, they claimed, was consensual. If you believe that a woman in that kind of vulnerable situation is not facing pressure to comply whether willing or not, then you might be interested in buying the bridge I have to sell. Could there be anything more ridiculous, I thought to myself, and then I remembered the ancient by-laws lurking in various municipalities, at least until recently.
During my workshops for new councillors decades ago I used to display an imaginary Job Ad for municipal councillors. It read: No education or experience required. The only qualification is the ability to get elected. That generated some chuckles and a lead-in to the importance of the job of councillor and how to handle it effectively.
C. Richard Tindal, Ph.D is a retired Professor of Government. He taught for 30 years at St. Lawrence College, Kingston and was an occasional Visiting Professor at Queen's University. He has also written and consulted extensively about government.