Virtuous And Pure Hearted Need Not Apply: Can Politians Succeed Without Underhanded Techniques?

1479 words - 6 pages

The political state in Western nation governments is in turmoil. Watergate, illegal wars, sex scandals, wire-tapping, missing money, and the now infamous Sponsorship Scandal here in Canada, are just some of the most popular reasons that citizens trust their leaders less and less. There is a general political apathy in Canada these days. The common feeling is that one crook being elected is more-or-less the same as some other crook being elected. Even voter turnout never goes much higher than 60%. In an era where it seems that all of those who are elected are eventually implicated in some sort of wrong-doing, the question begs: Can a truly virtuous person succeed in public life?Many up-and-coming politicians enter into public life with the intention of changing things for the better. Many of them are not self-interested, and have hopes of improving the lives of the people they represent. But somewhere along the line, almost all of them seem to lose their values of leadership and equality in exchange for those of greed and power. In this the recipe for political success? The answer seems to be a resounding yes."I prefer that the politicians I vote for hold higher andmore evolved moral and ethical values than I do."Alex Kochkin of the Fund for Global Awakening did a study that found that 64% of all respondents disagreed with the above statement. This is an astonishing fact. One would assume that voters would hold politicians to a higher moral standard than they do themselves, since they are in charge of the country and all the tax dollars that the voters pay. And yet, the voters do NOT expect more. They are, if not content, at least indifferent to the stereotypical standard of the corrupt public official. Politicians not playing by the rules is pretty much par for the course. Indeed, the difference between real crime and politics seems to me artificial, if there is a significant difference at all. Sometimes the distinction is a matter of scale. If one guy robs you, it's a crime, but when 308 people rob you, it is politics, or Parliament is in session.If one is willing to accept that today's politicians are not of high moral fiber, than perhaps the question should be: Why aren't they? Politics can be a hard and ruthless game, with different parties and even different branches of the government fighting over money and power and rights. A truly virtuous person would not have adequate skills to compete in this world, which is why they fail as politicians.Government budgets are more spread out than they ever have been. There is less money and it is needed in more places. In a nation as diverse as Canada is, more groups have people have more conflicting needs than other before. Unfortunately, this causes politicians to have to make tough decisions on how to spend money and resources. A truly 'nice' politician can't make these decisions, as they will try to please everybody. They will spend more money than they have, creating horrible economical...

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