In the Canadian parliamentary system, a head of government receives a very real mandate from the people, the authority to effect significant social change. Under this system, however, the power and the authority of the office can be tenuous, especially if the leader and party are elected with a slim majority. Any error of judgment or problematic series of circumstances can quickly erode the leader’s ability to fulfill the mandate if the public trust is lost. The rise and rapid fall of Glen Clark is a case study in the risks and vicissitudes of Canadian political life. It is also an important lesson in public credibility and accountability.