With George W. out of the way, and change you can believe in upon us now perhaps it is time to take a step back and have a peek at transparency international’s corruption rankings – particularly as TI
welcomes the strong and critically important signal sent by American President Barack Obama’s declaration on his first day in office that “transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency.
I take it that from his statement Mr Obama intends to distance himself from what is supposed to have been the venal administration of his predecessor – except that the new president seems to have been the beneficiary of a very consistent rating courtesy of the outgoing administration. Hardly Zimbabwe then. So despite the frothings of the weirder side of the political left who would have you believe that the departed Bush presidency operated in near constant abrogation of the law – it turns out not to be true. In actual fact, in the TI ratings from 2001 to 2008, the USA sat between 20th to 16th place out of 180 countries surveyed with a low of 7.2 (2007) and a high of 7.7 (2002) – by comparison, Canada ranged from 9.0 to as low as 8.4 during the same timeframe.
In other words, hardly corrupt, no significant change in the ratings and yet…..