One problem of funding expensive political activities. If

One
critical relationship between corruption and democracy is thus that corruption
can deeply undermine support for democracy in any fragile democracy. Corruption
of an administration in India is very likely to lead to the election of the
opposing party. The Indian democracy, however, is an old and stable one where
the basic institutions are not still questioned. Where democracy is younger and
more fragile, corruption seems a reason to abandon democracy completely in favor
of some form of other government that, it is hoped, will be free of that vice.

The
great thinkers spread ideas of democracy and freedom with a view to
establishing a global welfare society. But when applied to life by the
politicians, the great ideas gave rise to corruption obstructing to
equalization attempts even by a sincere state. The interconnection between
democracy and corruption is well known and it has historical roots when a few
persons tried, quite successfully, to control and swindle the national economy
by raising the slogan of democracy, while the strong nations greedy of overseas
wealth invaded countries on fictitious pretexts, including lack of democracy.
All possible pretexts for exploitation and invasion continue even to this day
when more people crave for democracy, seeking, at the same time, more wealth
through any means

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Democracy
is also more vulnerable to charges of corruption than other forms of government
for two reasons. First, the freedom of speech, press, and political challenge
that comes with democracy allows opponents of a corrupt administration to make
much of its corruption. A military government or the government of a
totalitarian communist regime simply does not tolerate this. Second,
democracies have the special problem of funding expensive political activities.
If they are not to be funded from tax revenues, they must be funded by private
individuals who will want something from the candidates they support. Campaign
contributions are rarely disinterested. Candidates know from whom they come and
why, and candidates remember that they will need them again. Their discharge of
a trust afforded them by all of the people is inevitably affected by their
personal interest in raising the funds necessary to be elected. This is a form of
bribery, however reluctant we may be to use that term, and it undermines the
support of elected governments in a way that has no application to other
governments.Finally,
there is the question of whether it is harder or easier to attack corruption in
a democracy. I think it should be easier. The people of every country hate
corruption and feel cheated by it. The more a government is responsive to its
citizens’ wishes, the more likely the agents of government will feel a
counterbalance to the temptations of corruption. Moreover, the existence of a
free press provides an important mediator for public opinion. It can discover
and document instances of corruption and reveal them to sizable populations.
That can be a powerful deterrent.Corruption
may take place at a high level or at low levels throughout a system. It may be
widespread and systematic at whatever level it is operating, or it may be
sporadic and occasional. Obviously the threat that corruption will create
cynicism, suspicion, and eventually citizen distrust not only of an
administration but of the very manner by which administrations are chosen,
democratic elections, depends upon which of these areas of corruption is
present. High-level corruption is far more dangerous to democracy than
low-level corruption. If the highest levels are honest, citizens are more
likely to seek a change in administration to demand honesty at lower levels.
Systemic corruption is far more dangerous to democracy than occasional and
sporadic corruption. It may change the entire outlook of a population, leaving
the trustworthy feeling as if they have been foolish and encouraging children
as well as adults to accept cheating as a way of life.Every
nation is unique in its particular forms of corruption and in the institutions and
powers it has available for dealing with them. Every democratic nation is
unique in the support that the fight against corruption enjoys from high
government officials and from the public at large. Still, there is a logic to
the problem of a democracy fighting corruption that is general wherever the
corruption may be.Indian
democracy can at best be funny because it allows corrupt politicians and
bureaucrats to stay on in power by using judiciary. Central government competes
with the states in promoting corruption. No political party is above luster and
no body enters politics if that were not to benefit them foremost. Not even
those in Jammu and Kashmir where people fight for Independence. All parties in
India have enormous wealth, including movable, running into thousands of crores
of rupees and since it is an all-party affair, no one talks about it.To
understand the problem a democracy faces in controlling corruption, it is a
useful exercise to imagine trying to create a setting for corruption so perfect
that even a decently honest person would be tempted severely. Quite simply, we
would want a situation with a large bribe, unlikely to be detected, and an
atmosphere in which one was thought to be foolish, rather than honorable, in
declining such opportunities. To get the large bribe, we need high stakes for
private interests and realizing those stakes must turn on a governmental
decision by a single individual. If the decision is made by the concurrent
decision of a number of people, the rewards will decrease and the risk will
grow. For safety from detection, the decision must either be so discretionary,
so lacking in standards, that the purchased choice will not look suspicious, or
it must be hidden in the obscurity that characterizes some of the lowest level
of governmental choices.Our
task, in fighting corruption, is to eliminate as much as possible. Part of the
difficulty is that they reinforce each other. It may not be possible to change
the mores of an organization or of the government without reducing the
opportunities for corrupt advantage. But it is politically difficult to take
the hard steps necessary to reduce the opportunities for corruption so long as
cynicism smothers social demands for honesty. The job of the corruption fighter
is to deal with both of these conditions simultaneously by making visible the
corruption that will outrage the citizenry in a democracy and, with the support
of that public reaction, bringing cases that show that corruption is not safe. Corruption,
thus, can and should be addressed simultaneously in four different areas. The
first two are major ways of attempting to deal with corruption, but each of
them requires significant changes in what might otherwise be the preferred way
of conducting the business of government. First, market conditions can be
created to reduce the private stakes that turn on the decision of any single
individual. Second, government operations can be changed to reduce the
discretion exercised by officials. The third approach is to change public and
organizational attitudes towards self-dealing when using government
authorities. I am going to focus, however, on a fourth set of alternatives, the
development of management and law enforcement strategies with the object of
making corruption apparent despite the desire of the parties to keep it secret.A
set of institutional and political structures of support are necessary to carry
out either a law enforcement or a management strategy against corruption.
Making use of law enforcement and management strategies based on analysis of
the vulnerability to detection of corruption in different settings depends on
four conditions being satisfied: 1.
The necessary substantive laws defining illegal conduct and the necessary laws
creating preventive measures, such as a rule requiring sealed bids or
forbidding ex parte meetings with judges; 2.
The needed management, auditing, and investigative powers to find out if the
substantive laws are being complied with; 3.
The necessary organizational structures to carry out the enforcement of the
laws; and 4.
Sufficient popular political support for attacking corruption to induce elected
leaders at a high enough level to tackle it i.e., to carry out the previous
steps: a.       General
public outrage over corruption; and b.      Threat
of media or legislative disclosure of whatever corruption is ignored or covered
up.There
is a need for law enforcement powers. The powers of law enforcement officers
must be adequate to become aware of likely corruption, to turn suspicion into
evidence, and to rebut the passionate denials of one of two parties to a
corrupt exchange. How do investigators become aware of a problem of corruption
in a particular area? In India, they will follow media reports and pursue
rumors and suspicions of those who work in an area that, because of tradition
or vulnerability to corruption, is likely to be corrupt, and they will invite
complaints, anonymous or otherwise, by competitors, clients, or fellow
employees. Investigators will also establish formal auditing procedures to
review records that are required to be kept by particular government officials
or by private individuals who may be paying a bribe. To
transform a reasonable suspicion that there is corruption in a particular area
into a criminal prosecution, investigators need the power to review official
records of the actions of suspected officials to detect patterns of favoritism.
They need to be able to subpoena private financial records in the hope of
finding evidence of improper payments or receipts. It helps greatly if
investigators may trade a reduced sentence or immunity from prosecution for
testimony from someone who works in the area of suspected corruption but who
has been caught giving a bribe or in another crime and is anxious to make a
deal. In Italy, as in the United States, some investigators have learned that
allowing bribers to declare themselves the victims of extortion will generate a
great deal of evidence of bribe-taking1. Finally, investigators
may disguise themselves as corrupt individuals and offer to engage in corrupt
transactions.Managers
and law enforcement officers need is the power to create offices that are
motivated, skilled, and independent to enforce the rules I have just described.
Such structures are needed in at least four places. There must be effective
inspection and auditing units within every organization. Some police
investigative units must be specialized in public corruption. Prosecutors have
to have sufficient credibility as well as skills in these cases. Additionally,
courts must be available to try cases of corruption within a reasonable period
of time and with adequate accuracy.Strengthening
citizens demand for anti-corruption and empowering them to hold government
accountable is a sustainable approach that helps to build mutual trust between
citizens and government. For example, community monitoring initiatives have in
some cases contributed to the detection of corruption, reduced leakages of
funds, and improved the quantity and quality of public services.Without
access to the international financial system, corrupt public officials
throughout the world would not be able to launder and hide the proceeds of
looted state assets. Major financial centers urgently need to put in place ways
to stop their banks and cooperating offshore financial centers from absorbing
illicit flows of money.The
laws which protect politicians and bureaucrats from prosecution for misuse of
power should be abolished. An individual citizen should be able to initiate
legal action to prosecute officials for misuse of power, something that exists
in several democracies. The Right to Information (RTI) Act is an important step
forward. For example, the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) used the RTI
to ask the Income Tax Department for the tax returns of political parties, on
the grounds of public interest, and eventually gained access. The idea was to
compare the income tax returns filed by parties with the expenditure returns filed
by the same parties with the Election Commission. The RTI needs to be logically
followed up and strengthened by laws that enable a citizen to file a civil or
criminal complaint against public servants and politicians, for example,
against police officers or tax officers. Strengthening the RTI might be
politically easier than deregulation of the economy and can make economic
decisions such as public sector contracting more transparent.The
role of the media and NGOs in exposing misuse of power is vital and they must
be legally protected as well as enabled when carrying out investigative
journalism or exposing the misuse of power. What is needed is public pressure,
generated from below by grassroots NGOs and the media, first on local
governments at the lowest unit or urban ward level, and then, at least
indirectly, on local ruling party units, no matter which party is in power.
This would help expose and deter corruption and would, at least indirectly,
help democratize parties, by generating pressures from below which will be
transmitted up the hierarchy to party leaderships.

1 See, e.g., Selwyn Raab, New York Officials of Plumbing
Union Charged in Bribery, N.Y. TIMES, Oct. 15, 1993, at I (stating that New
York District Attorney’s office does not indict bribers who are victims of
extorsion); Brunella Giovara & Nino Pietropinto, Torino, interrogato
Romiti; All’uscita dalla procura: 6 andato tutto bene. I legali: ha fornito le
spiegazioni richieste, LA STAMPA, June 16, 1995 (reporting that Fiat employees
accused of bribery were later treated as victims of extortion).

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