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Political Science
POLS 3440
Geoff Stevens

UNIT 01: DEFINITIONS OF CORRUPTION OBJECTIVES: After completing this unit, you should be able to: • define the primary terms and concepts used in the study of corruption, scandal and political ethics • assess the importance of ethical principles in a democratic society • recognize the differences between corruption and scandal. LECTURE Welcome to the course! In the first week, you should make yourselves familiar through the readings with the definition of terms and the concepts of corruption, scandal and political ethics. Let’s get started by reviewing some of the terms you will encounter as you explore the many forms of corruption. Fraud – the theft of money, goods or services by a person in a position of public trust Bribery – offering or accepting illegal payment of money, goods or services in exchange for favours rendered or promised Influence-peddling – Accepting an advantage or non-monetary benefit in exchange for a favour Lying– deliberately misleading the public, as in the reasons given by U.S. presidents to justify the wars in Vietnam and Iraq Conflict-of-Interest – when elected representatives or public officials put themselves a position where they (or their families) receive a private benefit from decisions they take in their public capacity. A conflict-of-interest may be a real conflict, as in the Sinclair Stevens case, or it may simply be an apparent conflict, as created by Paul Martin’s family ownership of Canada Steamship Lines when he was minister of finance. Both real and apparent conflicts should be avoided. Patronage – using public funds to reward one’s political supporters for services rendered or anticipated (Examples: Senate appointments are patronage appointments when they are given to the party faithful; the Sponsorship affair was essentially a patronage scandal – the Liberal government giving public money to Liberal advertising agencies). Nepotism– a variation of patronage: hiring or giving business to one’s relatives. Cronyism– another variation of patronage: hiring or giving business to one’s personal pals (example: the appointment of Mila Mulroney’s hairdresser Rinaldo to the board of a federal agency). Toll-gating– a practice in which a person or company receiving a government contract is expected to remit a percentage of the proceeds to the party in power. Patronage can be extremely corrupt, even illegal (example: sponsorship scandal). Patronage can be benign (example: giving a job or contract to a person who is so obviously qualified that he or she could have gotten the business even if they were not friends or supporters of the government). Patronage was essential to the building of the country (example: the construction of the CPR). The federal government has b
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