Corruption isn’t just envelopes

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By Anthony Reddin

Corruption isn’t just envelopes. A system can become corrupted or broken without anyone passing envelopes to anyone else. I think that has happened to our politics, our government. Parts of it are simply broken. They’re corrupted.
I think there are different types of corruption evident in the Irish system. There is a sort of systematic corruption in which the system of government and administration and those who operate it ensure the preservation of that system and of the part they – and people like them – play in it. This doesn’t feel like corruption but it is a characteristic of a system which is corrupted or broken, or unable to adequately perform its ostensible task because it is devoted to its own processes rather than the goals of the greater public good.


The second type of “non-envelope” corruption that I submit characterises the Irish system is a hyper-electoralism in which democratic choices are reduced to a transaction between politician and voter – in which votes are delivered to the politician in return for either personal or community-wide favours. I’ve pointed out here before that voters are just as much to blame – and in fact maybe more so – than politicians for this. But it still amounts to the same corrupted system.


The need to serve the constituency distorts the operation of the political and legislative system. The greatest perk of a minister is not the car or the use of the government jet – it’s the office staffed with civil servants to look after his constituency. We should be clear: politicians do all this because voters demand it of them. And I don’t mean that the politicians who practise this – and they all do – are corrupt. No, it’s worse than that. Our system of democratic representation has become corrupted.


Sooner the Irish people know about Direct Democracy ,we become richer in a society for everyone and not a selected few…would you agree?