Monday, February 3, 2014


The spades of reports involving corruption and cronyism in government, the private sector and even in the not-for-profit world is startling.

News today that the level of corruption in Europe is “Breathtaking” in scope to the tune of $120 Billion a year resonated with me. Check out this link to the Christian Science Monitor

The new year has brought with it a month of stories about corruption and nepotism in Russia and China, continued stories of financial abuse in the Canadian Senate on the heels of convictions against politicians in Newfoundland and Lanrador and Nova Scotia for fraud. There is the on-going saga of corruption in Quebec’s Construction industry that threatens to pull down federal and provincial politicians. The list goes on and on.

From the small town clerk in a small town to the titans of power and the captains of industry, the abuse of entrusted power for private gain appears to be a fact of life. Even in a great democracy like Canada it appears we can only keep corruption down but never eradicate it.

The United Nations promotes awareness of corruption every year. International Anti-Corruption Day occurs on Dec 9th. On the UN Website it states:

“Corruption is a complex social, political and economic phenomenon that affects all countries…[it] undermines democratic institutions, slows economic development and contributes to governmental instability…[it] attacks the foundation of democratic institutions.”

There are more than 50 shades of corruption. Up until the last decade we might have thought that white collar fraud was one of the more trivial forms. The fact that many of us react to news reports about crooked politicians, bribed officials, greedy business leaders with a sense of weary acceptance just goes to illustrate how low our expectations are.

At what point does the public’s passive acceptance turn into anger and disgust?

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