Like many voters, Hana Callaghan, director of the Government Ethics Program at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, is frequently frustrated with her options when it comes to the ballot box. Could a push for ethical campaigns change that?
“Public officials work for us. A campaign is their job interview,” Callaghan says. “If we want candidates to engage in ethical campaigns, we need to take charge of the process and demand it.”
The center recently launched a free massive open online course (MOOC)—accessible to all—that gives voters the tools to identify ethical campaigns. The gist: Campaign claims need to be true, fair, relevant, and substantive. The course won’t tell you who to vote for, Callaghan emphasizes. “Process, in my book, is nonpartisan,” she says.