27 November 2011
65 % believe politicians can be bought
Says an opinion survey in Austria. That does not necessarily mean that this view can be found in all other countries (though in some the percentage may be even higher) but we would venture a guess that the results would not be more flattering in most countries. The regulation of party and campaign financing as well as the end to state subsidies and hidden financing (such as advertising in party-controlled media outlets) is essential to restore faith in elected representatives. The lack of direct democracy is responsible for the fact that the electorate seems to be resigned to this lamentable state of affairs. Only direct control of political decision making would make it possible to enforce adherence to stricter moral standards in political life.