Published On: Tue, Feb 21st, 2017

Code of conduct

The President of Parliament, Sarah Wescot-Williams wants to get the debate about a code of conduct for politicians going again.

When you think about it, it seems rather odd that people who have been elected to lead the country – be it Members of Parliament or ministers – need a code of conduct. After all, they should be leading by example.

But the reality is that politicians – not all of them of course, but too many of them – think that the rules that apply to what they consider ordinary citizens do not apply to them.

If they become the subject of a criminal investigation, they are quick with the term political prosecution, handily overlooking that there is a distinct difference between political prosecution and prosecuting a politician.

When they get sentenced, they are quick to say that the prosecutor’s office is corrupt, or that the court does not understand a thing of what their case is all about. See the Buncamper-trial for details.

Oh, and after a sentence they will maintain that they are actually innocent. The poor sod that robbed a mini market and was stupid enough to get caught should try that one day.

The thing is – we do not have enough politicians that are prepared to do what is right when the proverbial you-know-what hits the fan. They stick to their seat in Parliament (because that’s where their money is coming from) and they point to the letter of the law that protects them far too much. No wonder: they are the legislators and they have created or approved those laws themselves.

How then will a code of conduct get us out of this mess? We have seen the contracts candidates for the United People’s party signed in 2014. When push came to shove they turned out to be worthless.

The bottom line is that power corrupts. Like it or not, that’s the way it is and it takes strong personalities to withstand the temptations that are on offer from time to time.

We don’t need a code of conduct, if only because it won’t solve a thing. It’s window dressing. What we do need is a different mentality among decision makers who are too weak to favor national interest over personal interest. Unfortunately, that mentality is hard to come by, so the only solution seems to be finding other decision makers.