It is necessary to employ a rigorous system of checks and balances so that these incidents are few and far between.
Let us look at the following two real cases which happened this week in the US. These details have been published in all major national newspapers in the US.
Mitt Romney uses private email accounts to conduct state business
Candidates for US Presidential nominations compete in primary elections by visiting every state and telling people about their views and plans. They do this in order to get more votes so that they may be selected by their own political party for participation in the U.S. Presidential Election.
This competition, which lasts nearly a year, allows people to gain an understanding and analyze a candidate’s point of view, his or her plans, their the personality, ability to fulfill election promises and their approach in resolving the most pressing international, national and local issues. On the other hand, the candidate also benefits from this primary election by acquiring basic knowledge and information needed for successful implementation of their plans. This is because they get to study the people they’ll need to cooperate with after potentially being elected President.
In any case, the primary election serves as an important instrument in developing and improving public governance and providing people with adequate information and knowledge.
The Associated Press found out that Mitt Romney, the leading candidate of the four candidates for the 2012 Republican Party presidential nomination, had been using private email accounts instead of state ones to conduct state business with his assistants, advisors and partners at times when he was Governor of Massachusetts.
It was announced that Romney broke the Massachusetts Public Recording Law, which states that all documentary materials, which are considered to be public records, including documents, computer files and emails of every public official, must be disclosed upon request.
A total of 26 US states have implemented laws that require protocols for all meetings and talks of every high-ranking public official to be disclosed to the public. Some popular politicians such as Karl Rove and Sarah Palin ended their careers because they broke these laws by using their own private email accounts when conducting state business.
Ken Ard – Uses campaign funds to buy an iPad
Ken Ard, Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina, submitted his resignation last Friday.An investigation into Ard's campaign expenditures revealed that he had used campaign funds to purchase an iPad and a video game console for personal use. The state judge sentenced Ard to five years’ probation, a $5,000 fine and 300 hours of community service. Ard, who had been lieutenant governor since November 2010, was fined $48.400 in July, 2011, after it was discovered that he misspent campaign funds on gas, meals, hotel and dresses for his wife and tickets to a football game.
Where are our standards?
If just one tenth of the codes of conduct of public servants in the United States existed in Mongolia, the quality of our governance would significantly improve. The government tenders would become transparent, secret land trades would diminish and the quality of all Mongolians would be better. Furthermore, government officials would at least no longer use state-owned cars in their election campaigns.
The state system of Mongolia is not people-centered, it is political party-centered. Therefore, thieves disguised under the names of “political party member” have been sneaking into the government, promising a better future and they have been stealing from public funds. The only thing they do is fortify the shield that protects them. People’s interests and rights are the last thing they think about.
If we manage to make every public servant in Mongolia follow the codes of conduct which they gave oath to and punish those who break it, we will reduce the future possibility of misconduct. We may indeed open a door to a better life. Instead of trying to improve the law on election day, we need to look at how the politicians are complying with their codes of conducts after being elected.
The biggest obstacle which is hindering Mongolia’s future development and keeps people from improving their lives are the corrupt officials who steal public property and the political system that protects and encourages them.
Mongolia has already got everything it needs for rapid development. We have democracy, freedom, independence, natural resources and finally money. The only thing we lack is a system that uses its resources for the sake of people.
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