Sunday 22 October 2017

Corruption in our politics

GRECO -- the Group of States against Corruption in Europe, an arm of the Council of Europe -- has examined Ireland's anti-corruption laws and found them wanting. That will surprise nobody.

The question is whether we will make the appropriate improvements to our laws and practices. Greco's report, endorsed by Transparency International Ireland, calls for a register of lobbyists, the publication of political parties' annual accounts, and curbs on election spending. In this last case, there have been malpractices on a large and almost comical scale, with some candidates spending the bulk of their money before the declaration of an election.

Donations, real or fake, have been notorious in the past. A close look at how the system operates nowadays could do no harm. Transparency International Ireland wants all donations above €120 to be disclosed.

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