Full disclosure for all

The storm in a tiny teacup being manufactured over at Limey in Bermuda continues, over my post calling for disclosure, specifically that of the Royal Gazette's pollster who is a close relative of the Premier.

What's so odd to me is the implication that asking someone to disclose their potential conflicts means you're suggesting dishonesty or impugning their integrity.

Which is, if I may be blunt, a bizarre assertion that essentially kills any progress on disclosure.

Disclosure and integrity are not binary, quite the opposite in fact. Calling for disclosure does not imply dishonesty on the other party, but that's both the spin and the excuse.

Of course, if you accept that then any call for disclosure could always be countered with the claim that you're suggesting the other person is dishonest. But that twisted logic means we'll never get anywhere.

The fact of the matter is that modern societies and modern political systems mandate extensive disclosure for their elected and aspiring candidates, and parties who wish to trade with the Government. The US Senate just approved a bipartisan (imagine that) bill creating an online database for all Government contracts so that the public can see who gets what and from who and what there connections are.

Check out opensecrets.org if you're interested in campaign finance disclosure.

In Bermuda we have secret arbitrations, Public Accounts Committees held in private, MPs who require athletes representing Bermuda to be drug tested but not politicians representing Bermuda and political fundraising that is completely off the radar screen and is about to exploited to its fullest with massive foreign corporate influence over our Premier.

All this because we're engaged in some sort of 'they did it' politics of retribution. I'll defer to the ever reliable Smoking Gun at Limey in Bermuda:

The problem lies in the fact that most PLP supporters cannot accept that the members of today's opposition might have very little to do with what was going on 30 years ago...

So let's start anew. Full disclosure for all. No more inside deals...

Most importantly - just because someone points out that it might be in the best interest of all to know that someone is related doesn't mean they are suggesting corruption. But if there is a desire to hide the facts that friends & relatives are participating or benefitting from decisions made and contracts offered then yes corruption would be a possible conclusion. Or at the very least, flagrant nepotism.

As I said before, the spin is that "integrity trumps disclosure" while I maintain that integrity mandates disclosure.

| More