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Principles and Politics
Principles and Politics
By Tony DeLorger © 2011
Having just read an article by Semj entitled ‘Would You Betray Your Principles for $1,000,000’, it so resonated with me, I have to continue the thinking and write some more. Semj is a brilliant writer and philosopher and his observations, particularly in the political arena, are well researched, always valid and thought-provoking.
This time he brings into consideration we all have a price and are far less principled than we’d like to think. This human nature is then applied to the political corruption that exists globally, and questions why then are the political systems so open to accommodating it: hitting the proverbial nail on the head, Semj.
This question of whether you’d cast your principles aside for monetary gain is not a new one, the film ‘Indecent Proposal’ is one example in popular culture. The question is not whether but at what price? Forget money; if you were told that you would have to watch your children burn to death if you didn’t betray some principle, your decision would be obvious. Human beings are flawed creatures and we’d like to think of ourselves as principled and honest, but there are bounds.
In politics this reality is magnified. The political systems in place globally were designed for the minority of principled stalwarts that as politicians, give all for the good of the nation. In reality these people are chewed up and spat out by the majority. Corruption is rife in this culture and without systems to account for it, how will that ever change?
In Denmark they have a well designed political system that at least tries to overcome the opportunities for corruption. It is a democratic system that works well and even has a ministry whose task it is to oversee other ministers to ensure government remains honest and open. They have high personal tax up to 50%, but for that all healthcare and education is free, ensuring the countries future with high levels of education. Here, crimes statistics are low, religion is downplayed and the Danes are reputedly the happiest and safest people in the world.
For the rest of us, we live under political systems that are based on money, one way or another. Political ascendance in these systems can only occur with the support of power brokers and of course money, all of which is afforded with stipulations and favours that are the essence of corruption. Governments are formed and remain indebted to factions and individuals that have their own agendas and in the end can pull the strings in future policy and decision making.
Until we change the way in which an individual can ascend to political power, the same scenario will endure. I have always believed that politicians should be chosen for their particular expertise rather than how much money they can procure for a political campaign. If the system were to accommodate for qualified experts in politics rather than choosing candidates from marketing campaigns and popularity contests, we would all be better off.