Mon | Jan 21, 2019

Integrity for sale

Published:Thursday | December 4, 2014 | 12:00 AM


I listened as a caller described his acceptance of money

in exchange for his vote in Monday's by-election in central Westmoreland.

This practice seems to be a permanent feature of our electoral process, and I see in it a number of disturbing elements.

First, to offer money for votes is a criminal offence, yet I know of no prosecutions for the crime. Second, the person accepting the bribe must be complicit, and perhaps should be prosecuted. Third, anyone accepting such money has no self-respect, yet may complain when the very same politician treats them accordingly. Fourth, both people involved in the transactions lack integrity, and I have to wonder to what extent this carries over into affairs of state.

If it is true that we get the government we deserve, then we need to look in the mirror and demand better of ourselves rather than expecting the politicians to give us the respect we have sold on the street to the highest bidder.