“Power-lust is a weed that grows only
in the vacant lots of an abandoned mind.”
― Ayn Rand
“When buying and selling are controlled by legislation,
the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.”
― P.J. O’Rourke
Importance of Media
Good quality reporting and disclosure of information enhances political accountability by focusing on the transparency within the day-to-day maneuverings and backroom shenanigans that define a government; but, its interpretation and our attitudes to how it is applied (if at all) lies ultimately with our collective will as a citizenry to act on that information. When that collective will is compromised by a community’s indifference to all things crooked, the law and order which defines our democratic society begins to crumple.
Corruption Left Unchecked
Multidimensional in its impact, corruption—if left unchecked—undermines our political, economic, social and environmental initiatives. When local politicians are corrupt, it casts a stench over the whole community because it directly attacks our democratic system and public institutions in a way that neuters the very offices put in place to protect and serve us. When the misappropriation of resources through fraudulent procurement by a public official goes unchecked, it ripples insidiously through the community as destructive cynicism, stripping the community of its will to meaningfully engage in their rights and obligations within the democratic process.
The economic and social effects of corruption can be disastrous for a community because higher costs for goods and services are often incurred along with redirection of funds away from needed projects such as better schools, hospitals, roads, and improved infrastructures.
The extent and frequency of corruption can unglue the essential ingredient that binds our society: working for the common good. Once apathy manifests itself, moral resolve is weakened along with civil society. The result is a society ruled by bribes, jealousy, hatred, insecurity, increased poverty, and diminishing access to basic needs (such as food and pharmaceuticals).
Betrayal of Trust: Putting It All Together
When Premier Matthew Bolsover receives money from the CEO of KemKor Pharmaceuticals, William Rattray, in my novel “Betrayal of Trust,” it goes to the heart of political corruption. It emphasizes his greed for power and money without regard to the larger community and his oath or affirmation of office:
“I swear (or solemnly affirm) that I will faithfully discharge my duties as a public servant and will observe and comply with the laws of Canada and Ontario and, except as I may be legally authorized or required, I will not disclose or give to any person any information or document that comes to my knowledge or possession by reason of my being a public servant.”
Bolsover’s illegal procurement practices benefits friendly firms he has now chosen to serve with insider information on the values of projects and/or the imposition of certain restrictions to limit and/or favor certain bidders for contracts.
Rattray’s use of KemKor Pharmaceuticals to illegally produce oxycontin not only undermines the very fabric of the law but it also contravenes the oath of a Pharmacist:
At this time, I vow to devote my professional life to the service of all humankind through the profession of pharmacy.
I will consider the welfare of humanity and relief of human suffering my primary concerns.
I will apply my knowledge, experience, and skills to the best of my ability to assure optimal drug therapy outcomes for the patients I serve.
I will keep abreast of developments and maintain professional competency in my profession of pharmacy. I will maintain the highest principles of moral, ethical and legal conduct.
I will embrace and advocate change in the profession of pharmacy that improves patient care.
I take these vows voluntarily with the full realization of the responsibility with which I am entrusted by the public.
Some Final Comments
“In Canada, there is no national mechanism in place that monitors and assesses the effectiveness of anti-corruption legislation and policies.”-Corruption in Canada: Reviewing Practices from Abroad to Improve Our Response
According to Marc-Antoine Leger, a 31-year-old geographer, who lives in Montreal, “With corruption, you can’t hide it away just to protect an image. You have to follow it to the end. We have to face the problem; we have to get it out in the open and then fix the problem—maybe not fix it, but reduce it.”