Ethics in politics: the missing road?

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Transformed in a machinery of marketing, the political system leaves no doubt about their lack of a trustful behaviour and a transparent message from their candidates.
A factor that negatively conditions their performance and image, in addition to a hidden financial agenda that rules many of the initiatives presented in each campaign with a extraordinary impact on public policy decisions.

After giving this negative diagnosis is important to see the positive aspect of this dramatic situation that is a universal tend to be more transparent and accountable. More and more citizen engagement´s process takes an important role in the societies. Global financial crisis has been one of the main reasons for this influence; mobilising people around the world on demands for governments to fulfil constitutional rights and refocus policies around principles of transparency and accountability. A truly exercise of direct democracy rights and individual freedom.

Financial crisis is one of many examples that shows clearly that only when the system is not transparent the chaos is installed and the natural reaction of the citizens is to go to their “comfort area” of individualism, hence isolation.

Is in this sense that ethics is becoming part of the political agenda by the introduction of more pressure and demands to governments by creating the need to legislate on transparency, e.g. in control over income statements of political leaders.

Civil society is more prepared now than 20 years ago because of the power of social media. Easily a whole campaign could be mobilized by thousand of people from the civil society in a very fast way and with almost no financial resources; making the process of follow up of governmental decisions more accessible and with much more impact. In addition, globalization has brought the possibility to have more access to technology even in regions which technological development could be considered a challenge, like in Africa.

Ethical governments are likely to have higher averages of Internet users. Its clear that the most corrupt countries in the world have less Internet users. Is it so, the more information is handled by citizens, the more possibilities are to work better as controllers in transparency and accountability process. Nordic countries are a clear example.

Libertarian philosophy comes as a response of this lack of ethics from governments. If the State were transparent and accountable there would not be any interest in making substantial changes or pushing for an existentialist debate about defense of individual rights. The protection from the State is very much welcome when it´s transparent and their impact of its decisions is not even noticed by the citizens.

Once the system collapsed, citizens are not able to get enough accountability and public funds are invested and diverted in an irresponsible way, therefore there is a lost in trust on political decisions with the intimidating feeling of loosing control of their personal income.

Indeed, lack of ethics pushes societies towards reassuring individual’s values and a need of leaving aside the structure of the State. Hence,it results in a going back in time and left behind all it has been gained by ages of globalization and integration process. This is the real negative impact of corruption: not just current misbalances but the stagnation of a hard historical process of changing minds and systems.

That is the core of any attempt to reshape a successful globalization model: ethical performance form political parties and public institutions. A powerful tool that lead the system to be based in transparency and accountability, giving citizens trust in its government. This is precisely what modern societies are currently needed: confidence in the system. Be part of the system and not just be submitted to a “political machinery” of political parties and public institutions that with biased decisions lead countries into a whirlpool of budget mismanagement and political decisions that threaten constitutional rights and the own individual freedom of their citizens.

Is fundamental to insert idealism in practical terms by re-educating political parties patron´s behavior and legislative framework and left behind the idea that ethics in politics is just an ambition with not a real political grip.

Individual freedom should be based in guarantees not just in individual wishes in a public framework that assures guarantees of safety in vulnerable situations and in the context of being inserted in a global world.

The compass of our individual political vision must be focused in the correct direction, reaching that point of balance in which public sector and individuals walk towards the same horizon of ethical behaviour.

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