Is government corruption the biggest problem in Canadian politics today?
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Given recent revelations of corruption, particularly a series of scandals involving members of that country's Senate, it is not hard to conclude that corruption is the largest problem currently affecting Canadian politics. Between allegations of illegal drug use on the part of Toronto's mayor, the scandal involving financial improprieties by members of the Parliament, and bribery allegations surrounding prominent municipal and provincial officials in Quebec, it is not surprising that the Canadian public has grown weary of reports of corruption. Canada's CTV news network reported on September 5, 2013, regarding the latter scandal, in which the public is being treated to allegations about "illegal political financing, bid-rigging, collusion and Mafia ties in the province's construction industry . . ." [www.ctvnews.ca/politics/corruption-suspects-gave-2-million-to-federal-parties-cp-investigation-1.1441151]
The latest series of revelations has badly eroded public confidence in the institutions of government in Canada, a country perpetually riven by deep-seated divisions regarding its heritage of English- and French-speaking colonialism. As anti-corruption expert Michael Hershman, who was brought in by the government to investigate some of the allegations, put it, "Corruptin has an enormous psychological impact. When you are dealing with things like this continually, its cumulative. It gives people pause for thought." ["Cleaning Up a Culture of Corruption," Maclean's, July 31, 2013] In support of that assessment was a July survey of Canadians in which the majority of those polled stated that corruption is increasing and that political power in their country is being concentrated in fewer and fewer vested interests. ["Canadians Believe Corruption is on the Rise According to New Survey," Yahoo News, July 10, 2013]
Corruption in Canada remains low by global standards, but there is no question that the past year's allegations have instilled in the public a sense of pessimism with regard to public accountability. In that sense, it could certainly be concluded that corruption is the biggest current problem in Canadian politics.
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