In September 2011, subject to review and approval by the Ontario Council on Graduate Studies, Carleton University will admit the first students to a new graduate program in Political Management. The degree is conceived as an innovative and intensive professional undertaking, though grounded in the academic understanding and critique of existing democratic processes. It will seek to equip its graduates with an essential grasp of the professional skills appropriate to work as a political manager and strategist. It will hone, through practice, the judgment and reflection of its students, not simply with a view to short-term partisan advantage but in relation to the public interest. It will insist on ethical comportment as a guiding principle at all times. This article outlines the background to the establishment of this program.
Universities across this country prepare their graduates for careers of consequence and responsibility in a myriad of disciplines, and necessarily so. Imagine if there were no courses of study for nurses, teachers, economists, agronomists, accountants, journalists, veterinarians and all the other essential services. How would we function?