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Corruption not Only a Conservative Value


If you read the headlines here in the States, you’d think that political corruption was a conservative value. Between Tom Delay, Jack Abramoff and the political scandals of Washington, D.C., it seems Republicans have forgotten the clean-up Congress mentality that got them elected in 1994. But as Tony Blair’s Labour Party teaches us, corruption is not partisan, it is a side-effect of power.
British police have opened an investigation into whether Prime Minister Tony Blair traded positions in the House of Lords for loans or contributions to the Labour Party’s campaign coffers. Unlike, say, ambassadorships, which in the States are practically auctioned to the highest bidder, peerages confer recipients with voting rights in the House of Lords—which redefines the idea of “pay-to-play” in government.
The row is making Tories in Britain sound a lot like American “progressives” demanding everything from campaign finance reform to public funding of elections. Heh.
Ironically, Blair was swept into power almost a decade ago on calls to clean up the sleaze of the Tory government, just like Republicans came to power in 1994 here in the States and now their political futures both hang in the balance over allegations of pursuing political pay-for-pay. [As an aside, if one of President Bush's closest allies in the Global War on Terror were about to lose his job, don't you think we should be talking about that instead of panda adorableness?]
By now, you think the public would learn that “kicking the bums out” isn’t the solution. Liberal or Conservative, Republican or Democrat, being in charge gives politicians more “goodies” to hand out to contributors and despite the best intentions, over time, most politicians will. Just ask Rob Reiner.

Share  Posted by Scott Olin Schmidt at 7:58 PM | Permalink

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