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El Norte de Castilla, El Diario Montañés
Professor at the School of Education and Psychology at the University of Navarra.
"A politician without prudence may be hasty in making a decision; a politician without equanimity may err by acting under emotion".
What is the problem that worries you most in your country? Most polls show that one of them is widespread corruption.
that one of them is widespread corruption. One should not be overly surprised by this, since corruption in some form has always occurred, especially in non-democratic countries. As Lord Acton said, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Citizens are concerned because they know that corruption hinders the exercise of human rights, which widens social inequalities. It is a fact that legal measures are not enough to fight corruption. It is also necessary to prevent it by means of a Education that promotes ethical values in the family and at school from an early age.
"In order to prevent corruption, it is essential to understand the main factors that make it possible".
In order to prevent corruption, it is essential to understand the main factors that make it possible. The following are usually highlighted, among others: social tolerance towards a 'culture' of illegality; the feeling of impunity derived from legal systems that do not severely punish corrupt conduct; the lack of transparency laws; the absence of ethical values. The Education in this subject of values encourages a staff stance against corruption.
Another preventive measure is based on knowledge of the process that often leads to corruption. Moral transgressions begin with small offences that grow over time. As they are repeated, ethical standards become looser. Those who do not act as they think, end up thinking as they live, thus silencing their moral conscience.
Aristotle did not conceive of politics as separate from ethics. He asserted that those who aspire to political office must be persons of moral merit, which means being in possession of certain virtues. A politician without prudence may be hasty in making a decision; a politician without equanimity may err by acting under emotion. Unethical politics breeds corruption. When people lack ethical values they are potentially prone to corrupt public power by misusing it. The separation of ethics and politics has led humanity to situations of injustice and corruption.
In 2012, several professors from different universities, grouped together by the Chair Ethos of the Ramon Llull University, drew up the first code of ethics for Politicians. This code is inspired by the spirit and the letter of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (10. XII. 1948).
of Human Rights (10. XII. 1948). They stated that with the code they wanted to recover the union between ethics and politics. The preamble states that the democratic health of a nation depends to a large extent on the ethical quality of its citizens and its political representatives.
The strengthening of political institutions and their credibility depends on many factors, but, substantially, on the trust they are able to generate among citizens. This trust is earned through good practices, through the exercise of civic virtues. It identifies here a set of principles that should regulate political activity and also a set of values that, beyond ideological choices, permeate it and should be common to all those who exercise politics. The code proposes principles
ethical principles for politicians, including those mentioned below.
Justice: to give to each his due and to seek at all times to uphold equity; respect: to treat all persons and institutions with consideration, without prejudice or discrimination; service: to have an attitude of openness towards citizens and also an overview of the needs of society; responsibility: to assume the legal and moral consequences of past and present actions and omissions; professionalism: to develop the profession with dedication and efficiency; transparency: to facilitate access by citizens, without barriers, to information of their interest.
"There are measures to prevent and combat corruption, such as those proposed by Transparency International Spain".
There are measures to prevent and combat corruption, such as those proposed by Transparency International Spain. I mention some of them below.
romoting the depoliticisation of constitutional bodies; reducing the issue number of "aforados"; legally prohibiting the possibility of granting pardons for corruption; reducing political patronage by reducing the number of freely appointed positions; or preventing corruption through the Education of citizens, promoting measures to introduce concepts and subjects related to ethics, values, transparency and integrity at different educational levels.