From politician to professor, former Windsor-Tecumseh MP Joe Comartin is re-entering the world of teaching.
Comartin, 67, was asked in late winter 2015 by the University of Windsor to teach Ethics and Reform in Canadian Parliament for the university starting in January.
The former MP, who served Windsor-Tecumseh since 2000, announced in June 2014 he would not seek re-election. His position was later filled by Cheryl Hardcastle in the Oct. 19 federal election.
A long-time resident of the Windsor-Essex region, Comartin said as a professor he hopes students learn more about the positives and negatives of the political system from a practical standpoint.
“Whether it’s the electoral system, the difficulty if you’re in the House of Commons of having to deal with the Senate, so the reforms that are necessary there,” said Comartin.
“And again the practical experience I had as house leader, deputy house leader as well as deputy speaker of the house and the procedural problems we’ve got in the House of Commons itself.”
But this is not Comartin’s first steps into teaching. In addition to graduating from the university with degrees in political science and law, he also taught as a sessional teacher at Windsor’s faculty of law before his political career.
What differs this time is how Comartin will teach the course because he is designing it himself. This means he will not be restricted by certain requirements by other schools in Ontario, something he had to keep in mind when teaching law.
Comartin said he wants students to walk away from his course with a better understanding of politics and to stay engaged in the process.
“I’m trying to imbue a sense in them a sense of responsibility to continue to be engaged,” said Comartin.
“The message I’m saying to them is if we don’t keep working at improving our democracy, it becomes stagnant and always at the risk that we lose some of our democratic processes and our democracy overall.”
Comartin’s class is currently set to begin Jan. 13, 2016.