The Human Truth Foundation

Corruption - The Abuse of Power by Politicians

By Vexen Crabtree 2017


Comments:
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#corruption #democracy #denmark #finland #new_zealand #norway #politics #sweden

Corruption (2012-2016)1
Pos.Higher is better
Avg Score1
1Denmark90.8
2New Zealand90.6
3Finland89.4
4Sweden88.2
5Norway86.0
6Switzerland85.8
7Singapore85.2
8Netherlands83.4
9Canada82.2
10Luxembourg81.6
World Avg43.05
q=176.

Corruption is the abuse of public office for private gain2. There are many forms of corruption. Politicians can sometimes (1) steal money (theft or embezzlement), (2) accept bribes (such as backhanders for awarding government contracts to companies), (3) give bribes (i.e., for electoral support or support in the mass media), (4) improperly coerce others (extortion), (5) give positions of power to friends and family without fairly seeking other applicants for those jobs (cronyism), or (6) grant favours to friends and family (nepotism) such as buying services from them at inflated prices (graft). The least corrupt countries between 2012-2016 were Denmark, New Zealand, Finland, Sweden and Norway.


1. Corruption and the Social And Moral Development Index

The chart on the right shows the best countries. The data comes from Transparency International, who publish annual statistics on corruption. The values given show the average over the latest 5 years for which data is published (2012-2016), in accordance with the Social and Moral Index's long-term approach. The Social and Moral Development Index concentrates on moral issues and human rights, violence, public health, equality, tolerance, freedom and effectiveness in climate change mitigation and environmentalism, and on some technological issues. A country scores higher for achieving well in those areas, and for sustaining that achievement in the long term. Those countries towards the top of this index can truly said to be setting good examples and leading humankind onwards into a bright, humane, and free future. See: What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life..

2. The Undermining of Democracy

#corruption #democracy #politics

In 1997 the new Labour prime minister, Tony Blair, swiftly got into hot water over whether there were connections between a £1 million donation his party had received from the boss of the Formula One motor-racing business, Bernie Ecclestone, and the subsequent exemption of Formula One from a ban on tobacco advertising which was being introduced at that time by the EU. [...] More than a decade later, by which time Blair had stood down as prime minister, official documents were released showing that he had in fact instructed his ministers to seek a permanent exemption for Formula One.

"The Fate of the West" by Bill Emmott (2017)3

Democracy should not mean "the best politics and policy that a billionaire, a banker or a technology monopolist can buy" and such a phenomenon soon undermines democracy4. Despite this, corruption is rife in some countries, and sometimes local practices encourage it, such as paying minor officials below a wage on which they can live5.

Corruption undermines democracy in a number of ways. It distorts public priorities, by channelling investment into projects where the rewards of corruption are largest and easiest to conceal. It breaches the trust between the people and their elected politicians. And it undermines confidence that the electoral process can be used to change people's lives for the better, rather than feather the nests of those elected. Corruption is much more prevalent in developing than developed countries, partly because of limited economic opportunities [...] and inadequate salaries, and partly because of the absence of a strong culture of public service and public interest. However, it is also colluded in by businesses in the developed world, in their eagerness to secure lucrative contracts abroad.

"Democracy: A Beginner's Guide" by Beetham, David (2005)6

3. Full Results (2012-2016 Average)

#corruption #politics

Corruption (2012-2016)1
Pos.Higher is better
Avg Score1
1Denmark90.8
2New Zealand90.6
3Finland89.4
4Sweden88.2
5Norway86.0
6Switzerland85.8
7Singapore85.2
8Netherlands83.4
9Canada82.2
10Luxembourg81.6
11Australia80.8
12Germany79.6
13Iceland79.2
14UK78.0
15Belgium76.0
16Hong Kong75.6
17Japan74.2
18USA74.0
19Ireland72.6
20Uruguay72.6
21Austria72.2
22Barbados71.5
23Chile70.4
24France70.0
25Bahamas69.8
26UAE68.6
27St Lucia68.3
28Estonia68.2
29Qatar67.4
30Bhutan64.2
q=176.
Corruption (2012-2016)1
Pos.Higher is better
Avg Score1
31Botswana63.0
32Portugal62.8
33Cyprus61.6
34St Vincent & Grenadines61.5
35Israel61.2
36Taiwan61.2
37Poland60.8
38Spain60.0
39Slovenia59.4
40Dominica58.3
41Cape Verde57.8
42Brunei57.7
43Lithuania57.4
44Malta56.6
45Grenada56.0
46Costa Rica54.8
47Korea, S.54.6
48Latvia54.0
49Mauritius54.0
50Rwanda52.6
51Hungary52.4
52Georgia52.4
53Czechia51.8
54Malaysia50.0
55Namibia50.0
56Slovakia49.0
57Jordan48.6
58Bahrain48.4
59Croatia48.4
60Saudi Arabia47.4
q=176.
Corruption (2012-2016)1
Pos.Higher is better
Avg Score1
61Cuba46.8
62Oman45.8
63Ghana45.8
64Turkey45.4
65Lesotho45.2
66Romania44.8
67Kuwait44.2
68Italy43.8
69S. Africa43.6
70Montenegro43.2
71Sao Tome & Principe42.8
72Macedonia42.2
73Solomon Islands42.0
74Greece41.8
75Senegal41.8
76Bulgaria41.4
77Brazil41.2
78Serbia40.8
79Tunisia40.2
80Bosnia & Herzegovina40.0
81Jamaica38.8
82Burkina Faso38.8
83China38.4
84El Salvador38.0
85Suriname38.0
86Mongolia38.0
87Liberia38.0
88Trinidad & Tobago37.8
89Zambia37.8
90India37.6
q=176.
Corruption (2012-2016)1
Pos.Higher is better
Avg Score1
91Sri Lanka37.6
92Panama37.4
93Morocco37.2
94Peru37.0
95Benin36.8
96Colombia36.6
97Thailand36.6
98Maldives36.0
99Philippines35.6
100Algeria35.2
101Armenia35.0
102Gabon35.0
103Albania34.4
104Egypt34.2
105Argentina34.2
106Niger34.2
107Indonesia34.2
108Djibouti34.0
109Bolivia34.0
110Malawi33.8
111Kosovo33.8
112Moldova33.8
113Ethiopia33.2
114Mexico32.8
115Ecuador32.6
116Belarus32.6
117Mali32.2
118Tanzania32.2
119Vietnam31.4
120Dominican Rep.31.4
q=176.
Corruption (2012-2016)1
Pos.Higher is better
Avg Score1
121Ivory Coast30.8
122Timor-Leste (E. Timor)30.8
123Togo30.4
124Sierra Leone30.2
125Mozambique30.0
126Guatemala30.0
127Mauritania29.8
128Guyana29.6
129Pakistan29.2
130Gambia29.0
131Honduras28.8
132Nepal28.6
133Azerbaijan28.6
134Madagascar28.4
135Lebanon28.2
136Russia28.2
137Kazakhstan28.0
138Nicaragua27.6
139Iran27.2
140Nigeria26.6
141Ukraine26.6
142Comoros26.4
143Cameroon26.2
144Uganda26.2
145Kyrgyzstan26.2
146Paraguay26.0
147Kenya26.0
148Bangladesh25.8
149Papua New Guinea25.6
150Laos25.4
q=176.
Corruption (2012-2016)1
Pos.Higher is better
Avg Score1
151Guinea25.0
152Central African Rep.23.8
153Tajikistan23.6
154Congo, (Brazzaville)22.8
155Congo, DR21.6
156Myanmar (Burma)21.4
157Zimbabwe21.0
158Cambodia21.0
159Chad20.4
160Burundi20.2
161Eritrea19.8
162Angola19.4
163Guinea-Bissau19.2
164Syria18.8
165Haiti18.8
166Yemen18.4
167Venezuela18.4
168Uzbekistan18.4
169Turkmenistan18.2
170Libya16.8
171Iraq16.6
172S. Sudan13.8
173Sudan12.2
174Afghanistan10.8
175Korea, N.08.8
176Somalia08.4
q=176.

4. Other Challenges That Democracies Face

#commercialism #democracy #government #politics

Corruption is just one challenge facing democracies:

Democracy faces challenges from every level of society. These must be continually resisted on every front.

  1. Large corporations and multinationals can defend their own interests and use their effects on the economy to sway governments in an undemocratic manner7,8. Powerful industries spend huge amounts of money on producing fake science, fake news reports and manipulative "lobby groups" to influence policy-makers: oil9,10,11 and tobacco11,12,13 lobbies are infamous for this. Newspaper companies have far too much power14,15, sometimes running campaigns as part of political deals with various parties and damaging democracy in the process.

  2. Voters themselves need to be educated and well-informed in order to vote wisely16,17 but they do not do so, often voting on short-term and shallow issues that are not in their own long-term interests18,19, making some worry if democracy at all can continue to function18. Many democracies witness a continual decline in the numbers of people who bother to pay any interest in politics, let alone to vote20. A constant threat is the 'majority rules' impule, that can lead to the 'tyranny of the majority' or 'mob rule' situations in which outisders and minorities become unfiarly persecuted21,22,23.

  3. There are problems with political parties and governments. Short-term policies such as increasing spending keep governments in power24 whereas wiser, long-term policies are less popular with voters. Highly motivated activists can exert undue pressure on governments25. Dictators, bigots, fascists and separatists can all be voted in along the same lines as anyone else26. Some governments come to abuse power, and, single-issue-parties and ethnic/separatist parties prevent the equality-of-opportunity and balance that should come from government. Finally, politicians themselves are sometimes corrupt.

In short, constant vigilence is required to prevent "democracy´s own weaknesses lead[ing] to disaster"25 , and a system of balances and checks must be maintained, to ensure that the democratic system is not going astray.

Current edition: 2017 Dec 30
http://www.humantruth.info/corruption.html
Parent page: The Internal Challenges Facing Democracy

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#commercialism #corruption #democracy #denmark #finland #government #new_zealand #norway #politics #sweden

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References: (What's this?)

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The Economist. Published by The Economist Group, Ltd. A weekly newspaper in magazine format, famed for its accuracy, wide scope and intelligent content. See vexen.co.uk/references.html#Economist for some commentary on this source. A newspaper.

BBC. The British Broadcasting Corporation.
(2014) Burning Desire: The Seduction of Smoking. A two-part television documentary first shown on 2014 May 29 featuring the veteran journalist and investigator, Peter Taylor. www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b045qf9q.

Beetham, David
(2005) Democracy: A Beginner's Guide. Published by Oneworld Publications, Oxford, UK. A paperback book.

Carroll, Robert Todd. (1945-2016). Taught philosophy at Sacramento City College from 1977 until retirement in 2007. Created The Skeptic's Dictionary in 1994.
(2011) Unnatural Acts: Critical Thinking, Skepticism, and Science Exposed!. Amazon Kindle digital edition. Published by the James Randi Educational Foundation. An e-book.

Chomsky, Naom
(2002) Media Control: The Spectacular Achievement of Propaganda. 2nd edition. Originally published 1991. Current version published by Seven Stories Press, New York USA. A paperback book.

Crabtree, Vexen
(2018) "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" (2018). Accessed 2018 Aug 22.

Davies, Nick
(2008) Flat Earth News. Published by Chatto & Windus, Random House, London, UK. A hardback book.

Emmott, Bill
(2017) The Fate of the West. Subtitled: "The Battle to Save the World´s Most Successful Political Idea". Published by The Economist via Profile Books, London, UK. An e-book.

Furedi, Frank. Professor of sociology at the University of Kent, UK.
(2004) Where Have All the Intellectuals Gone?. A hardback book.

Grim & Finke. Dr Grim is senior researcher in religion and world affairs at the Pew Research Center, Washington, D.C, USA. Finke is Professor of Sociology and Religious Studies at the Pennsylvania State University.
(2011) The Price of Freedom Denied. Subtitled: "Religious Persecution and Conflict in the Twenty-First Century". Amazon Kindle digital edition. Published by Cambridge University Press, UK. An e-book.

Held, David
(2004, Ed.) A Globalizing World? Culture, Economics, Politics. 2nd edition. Originally published 2000. Current version published by Routledge for The Open University. A paperback book.

Heywood, Andrew
(2003) Political Ideologies. 3rd edition. Originally published 1992. Current version published by Palgrave MacMillan. A paperback book.

Loughlin, Martin
(2000) Sword and Scales: An Examination of the Relationship Between Law and Politics. Published by Hart Publishing Ltd, Oxford, UK. Prof. Loughlin is Professor of Law at the University of Manchester, UK, and Professor of Public Law-elect at the London School of Economics & Political Science, UK. A paperback book.

McDougall, Julian
(2012) Media Studies: The Basics. Published by Routledge, New York, USA. A paperback book.

Zakaria, Fareed
(2003) The Future of Freedom. Subtitled: "Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad". Published by W.W. Norton & Company, New York, USA. A hardback book.

Footnotes

  1. Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (2017). Accessed 2017 Dec 30. The scores given are the TI average for the years 2012-2016.^^
  2. Beetham (2005). Chapter 4 "Success and Setback in the New and Emergent Democraces" p85.^
  3. Emmott (2017). Chapter 2 "Inequality and fairness" digital location 728-732.^
  4. Emmott (2017). Chapter 1 "Let battle commence" digital location 458.^
  5. Beetham (2005). Digital location 85.^
  6. Beetham (2005). Chapter "Glossary of Key Terms" p164.^
  7. Heywood (2003). P23,186.^
  8. Held (2004). P7.^
  9. Carroll (2011). P93-95.^
  10. Davies (2008). P186-188.^
  11. Beetham (2005). Chapter 3 "Sources of Disillusion in the 'Old' Democracies" p52.^
  12. BBC (2014) .^
  13. Davies (2008). P168-169.^
  14. McDougall (2012). P9.^
  15. The Economist (2009 May 16). P15,81-83.^
  16. Loughlin (2000). P186-7.^
  17. Loughlin (2000). P124.^
  18. Furedi (2004). P78-79.^
  19. Chomsky (2002). P25.^
  20. Beetham (2005). Chapter 3 "Sources of Disillusion in the 'Old' Democracies" p44-46.^
  21. Grim & Finke (2011). Chapter 2 "Religious Freedom Broken Promises" digital location 1433.^
  22. Heywood (2003). P44.^
  23. "The Tyranny of the Majority: How Democracy Can Be Bad" by Vexen Crabtree (2018)^
  24. Emmott (2017). Chapter 1 "Let battle commence" digital location 539,546.^
  25. Emmott (2017). Chapter 1 "Let battle commence" digital location 376.^
  26. Zakaria (2003). Chapter "Introduction" p17.^

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