In an age of increasing political polarization, The Public Office Project (POP) comprises people from across the political spectrum dedicated to improving governance. POP is an independent non-partisan research and education initiative based in Vancouver, British Columbia that seeks excellence in elected public governance, especially at the local level.
POP believes that society must constantly cultivate and support new leadership to ensure good governance by elected officials regardless of their political allegiances.
POP believes that good governance is one of the most important elements of a successful society and there is too much at stake to leave this to informal and casual processes. All of us benefit when those committed to elected public office gain insights and wisdom from those who have already lived these experiences.
The Public Office Project operates under the guidance of the Global Civic Policy Society and supports better public governance through the following activities:
- Recruitment and preparation of future leaders without regard to partisan loyalties through the Public Office Seminars which provide a weekly flexible mechanism to achieve these goals.
- An Advisory Council of former elected officials from across the political spectrum to advise on practices consistent with good governance
- Public education about the Canadian form of government and issues related to good governance and elected office.
The Public Office Seminars originated from two political opponents Bradley Shende of the BC Green Party and Sam Sullivan of the BC Liberal Party who fought each other in a political campaign.
Afterwards they got together and decided that encouraging people to run for elected office and educating the public about government was not a partisan activity. They recruited people from all parts of the political spectrum and hosted their first exploratory meeting.
After receiving encouragement from former politicians, aspiring candidates and academics the concept of the Public Office Project developed.