Democracy and corruption
13/12/2012, 12:01
Filed under: Culture, Politics, Sociology

In the early days of Quebec’s ongoing anti-corruption commission, a handful of nationwide experts were asked to comment on the breadth and extent of corruption and mafia influence in Canada. In the days that followed, a handful of headlines reiterated their message that dirty dealings might be just as prevalent in Ontario as it is in Quebec.

This morning the CBC reported on a Quebec developer that moved to Alberta some years ago to escape corruption only to be put out business for refusing to pay kickbacks.

Quebec’s anti-corruption commission, and the resultant resignations of a couple of the province’s most high profile mayors, has made Quebec the butt of any discussion of corruption in recent months. But to suggest that Quebec is the most corrupt province in Canada is probably going to far.

In all honesty, we just don’t know.

To the best of my knowledge, none of the other provinces take a systematic approach to documenting corruption within their borders.

For all we know, Quebec has the lowest corruption of all Canadian provinces, and might just be the only one that pursues and prosecutes it.

Quebec is the most equal of the large provinces; it has the lowest levels of social exclusion. Recent political events have demonstrated that citizens all the way down the socio-economic ladder have considerable influence over the direction of the province.

Embarrassing public prosecutions of leading politicians might just be what democracy looks like.

If it’s been awhile since you’ve seen one of your local or provincial level politicians held to a flame, it might be time to ask whether this is the case because you know they aren’t corrupt.

Are you and your neighbour doing enough—are you empowered enough—to ensure they aren’t?

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