$, £, €, ¥, and Rp. - Where’s the Difference?Hillary has the back-room thing - you give me this, I'll give you that.Kathleen Turner on her friend Hillary Clinton.
SBY's choice of Boediono, currently governor of Bank Indonesia, is a good one. Recognised as a Mr. Clean, he'd probably prefer to return to his former life on campus as an academic. However, he has cleaned up the corruption within BI, and as the previous Co-ordinating Minister of the Economy, a position he took over from the notorious and ministerially incompetent businessman Achmad Bakrie, he began to reform the country's financial infrastructure. This vital mission has been ably continued by Sri Mulyani Indrawati who fired or reassigned officials within the tax and customs departments whilst awarding proper salary scales in the not yet fully realised hope that corruption would be 'unnecessary' if these 'public servants' had a living wage which does not need extra-legal supplementing.
It's virtually a given that SBY will win the presidential election on July 8th by a very wide margin, so the future for Indonesia in continuing reformasi
, especially of the multifarious legislatures and bureaucracies, is potentially bright.
This can only benefit electors and the electorally disenfranchised, of which I am but one, alike.
Of course, the system of 'donations' being given to candidates in return for future favours is not unusual.
Pork barrel politics has long been rife, especially in the USA.
You can download a .pdf file a 'working paper' from the National Bureau of Economic Research entitled Party Discipline and Pork Barrel Politics here
. However, it does seem to be hard going.
This is the abstract:Polities differ in the extent to which political parties can pre-commit to carry out promised policy actions if they take power. Commitment problems may arise due to a divergence between the ex ante incentives facing national parties that seek to capture control of the legislature and the ex post incentives facing individual legislators, whose interests may be more parochial. We study how differences in “party discipline” shape fiscal policy choices. In particular, we examine the determinants of national spending on local public goods in a three-stage game of campaign rhetoric, voting, and legislative decision-making. We find that the rhetoric and reality of pork-barrel spending, and also the efficiency of the spending regime, bear a non-monotonic relationship to the degree of party discipline.
Like me, you'd probably be better off reading this wiki page
What has provoked this post is that parliamentary political parties in my home country, Britain, are now being riven by disclosures of politicians, both senior and junior, soliciting money to amend laws and making dishonest claims for expenses.
As moral righteousness takes hold there, it's worth bearing in mind that political corruption
is endemic in many, if not all, countries and always has been. That two peers, non-elected members of the upper house, the House of Lords, have been suspended
- the first since 1642 - demonstrates how seriously corruption is viewed in the UK.
Several legislators have made false housing claims
and others have claimed for such trivial household expenditure as (pornographic) video rentals and manure.
As this editorial
makes clear, for too long legislators have been abetted by the lax supervision of regulators, bureaucrats in other words.
Such is the public furore that the last time I checked the Guardian had 572 pages about MPs' expenses, which can be accessed here
Indonesia doesn't have a 700 year tradition of parliamentary corruption to overcome, so let's hope that SBY and Boediono fulfil their promise to institutionalise the notion of service that we expect from our 'public servants' who are, or should be, funded by taxation.
Two wrongs don't make it right, so I look forward to local media and the Indonesia Corruption Commission (KPK) continuing to right the wrongs. And perhaps ripped off citizens ought to express their anger