Virtuous and Pure-Hearted Need Not Apply: Can Politians Succeed without Underhanded techniques?

Essay by NorthieUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, October 2006

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The political state in Western nation governments is in turmoil. Watergate, illegal wars, sex scandals, wire-tapping, missing money, and the now infamous Sponsorship Scandal here in Canada, are just some of the most popular reasons that citizens trust their leaders less and less. There is a general political apathy in Canada these days. The common feeling is that one crook being elected is more-or-less the same as some other crook being elected. Even voter turnout never goes much higher than 60%. In an era where it seems that all of those who are elected are eventually implicated in some sort of wrong-doing, the question begs: Can a truly virtuous person succeed in public life?

Many up-and-coming politicians enter into public life with the intention of changing things for the better. Many of them are not self-interested, and have hopes of improving the lives of the people they represent. But somewhere along the line, almost all of them seem to lose their values of leadership and equality in exchange for those of greed and power.

In this the recipe for political success? The answer seems to be a resounding yes.

"I prefer that the politicians I vote for hold higher and

more evolved moral and ethical values than I do."

Alex Kochkin of the Fund for Global Awakening did a study that found that 64% of all respondents disagreed with the above statement. This is an astonishing fact. One would assume that voters would hold politicians to a higher moral standard than they do themselves, since they are in charge of the country and all the tax dollars that the voters pay. And yet, the voters do NOT expect more. They are, if not content, at least indifferent to the stereotypical standard of the corrupt public official. Politicians not playing by...