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March 28, 2011

After Dale Saip and Kerry-Lynne Findlay stories, will bankruptcy shaming become commonplace?

"This week, media outlets have been focusing on past financial troubles of Conservative candidates.  Former Delta-Richmond East nominee Dale Saip was forced to step aside after it was revealed that he declared bankruptcy in 1993. This left creditors on the hook for $340,000.

The replacement candidate, lawyer Kerry-Lynne Findlay, also declared bankruptcy. According to a CBC report, she listed $175,000 in assets and debts of nearly $558,000 in 2001. She attributed it to a long legal fight over real estate with the Musqueam band.  In 2008, the Vancouver Sun also highlighted the past bankruptcies of three federal candidates—Conservative Lorne Mayencourt, Liberal Don Olson, and Green Doug Perry.

Those who've never filed for bankruptcy might be quick to judge these politicians. Some will see it as a moral failing, notwithstanding any reasons behind these candidates' financial troubles.  But before we rush to any conclusions, consider this: the man who is often judged the greatest American president in history was also a former bankrupt.

Abraham Lincoln filed for bankruptcy in 1833 after his business partner died. He spent the following 17 years repaying his debts."

Read more here.

March 28, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink

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