Corruption breeds where politics affects governance

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Print this page Email A Friend!

Dear Editor,

It is quite natural to think of elections when one thinks of political corruption, especially here in Jamaica, and more so in recent times. People and organisations, with their own agendas, can skew voting by secretly giving parties and candidates huge donations so that the party and candidates can buy votes without actually earning them. In recent times the corrupt practices have taken on a new twist.

Over the past couple of weeks we have seen the raising of red flags over reported questionable happenings across several ministries. Our international partners, civil society watchdog agencies on corruption here in Jamaica, as well as the Opposition People's National Party have all been adding their voice of concern over the moral and ethical conduct of some of those we have entrusted to serve with dignity, accountability and transparency.

Political corruption is not just election rigging. It can, in most cases, lead to politicians in office steering away from good governance processes where their decisions benefit mostly those who fund them or those with whom they share the same 'roost'. As the saying goes, and it is yet to be proven wrong, “Birds of a feather flock together.”

We have seen a typical example of this where the beneficiaries of these corrupt practices are out in their numbers defending the Government at every opportunity that avails itself. They do not see the diverting of scarce resources from the poor and the disadvantaged, which is further exacerbated by varying governments planting their own supporters and political hacks across most government agencies. This serves to undermine our democratic institutions and weaken them in the delivery of service to those who need it most.

All this has given rise to voter apathy; so increasing numbers of electorate do not turn up at the polls or many are influenced by the “money factor”.

To the average Jamaican corruption has besieged every step of the way of governance. It is the widespread belief that the members of both political parties are the same; simply “six of one, half-dozen of the other”.

Voters tend to believe what they believe and this is largely because we are not issues voters. This is quite evident in political parties making fake promises during political campaign without being held accountable if they assume power. We don't talk about the issues and deal with them.

Civil society, from the grass roots to big organisations, the media, and the Church have a great part to play and must add their voice whenever corruption rears its ugly head in any level of government.

One of the main things that fuels the corrupt processes in Government is that of the lack of a clear line of demarcation between what is government and what is politics. What we are seeing in Jamaica today is the political party running the Government, and in any country this happens the corruption perception indices have always been a cause for concern.

Fernandez Smith

Former Jamaica Labour Party councillor




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon