Sat | Dec 10, 2016

Corruption shadow dogs politicians

Published:Friday | December 19, 2014 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Your headline on the front page of The Gleaner dated December 17, 2014, screaming 'Prove it!' is a testament that our modern-day politicians do not care about the public's perception indices. It is a pity that they have disregarded the fact that the public's perception is far more damaging than reality.

In our jurisdiction, politicians get away with just about everything, from non-performance to the disregard of the governance process. I have been observing political polls over the years, and at no time did I see where corruption among politicians has ranked higher than a tenth as a cause for concern among voters. It has always ranked well below crime, unemployment, cost of living, health care, infrastructure and utilities.

These politicians have been using this social paradox to lock away their closet of misdemeanours and masquerade as Mr Clean. In the public domain, though, the perception is that they are inherently corrupt and that there is very little that civil society can do about it. They have tried the ballot, but that has not helped to abate the significantly high perception that politicians are corrupt.

The public has now resorted to apathy, as is now seen in the consistently low voter turnout in elections. This cannot be good for democracy and is not a good example for individuals of integrity who want to enter representational politics.

This is quite evident when one looks at the small number of second and third generations who have followed their parents into representational politics. They have been hearing how the public has been lambasting the political leaders on their stewardship of stamping out corruption.

We have a long way to go as a nation.

FERNANDEZ SMITH

fgeorgesmith@yahoo.com

Duanvale PO, Trelawny