REPORT #513 August 2002

Produced by the Belize Development Trust

The problem with governing systems is not only in the providing of justice, or a level playing field for all citizens; but it is also more about controlling the natural predations of people who seek to get rich, by running for political office. Greed and self enrichment are emotional and pyschological problems, inherent in every political system. The governing systems of the world are plagued by political elites who use the multiple political party system for corruption and self enrichment. Some political systems work better than others. Belize uses one of the worst models of governing!

In Belize, like anywhere else, corrupt political elites unscrupulously work with business people and investors to further their private gain, before the welfare of the citizens and the economic development of the country. Good governance is more of a Constitutional problem for sustainable development in the third world countries. You cannot eliminate corruption in politics and government; but you can contain and reduce it, using checks and balances of proven working governing models.

If we measure the perception of corruption in countries on a scale of 1 to 100%. The worst cases being 100%, then the following survey is somewhat revealing, as to the working ability of a governing political system, to control corruption and develop a country.

Strangely enough, Chile and Uruguay are among the least corrupt countries in the American continent, with scores lower than 50%. The USA is not bad as a governing system, using Federalism as a model, with a high score of 23%. Finland is the least corrupt country of all, with a score of 3%. Denmark and New Zealand are very high in good governing models, with a score of 5%. China has a very poor corruption score at 65%, but better than Belize. Belize has a corruption perception score of 83%, very low. Mexico had a score of 64%; which while bad is better than the perception of corruption in Belize. This part of the survey, I found hard to fathom? Colombia also has a similar corruption score to Mexico at 64%. African countries like Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania come in around 98.4% Paraguay is perceived more corrupt than any African country with a score of 99.7%. Ecuador and Haiti are actually tied for perception of corruption being widespread at 97.4%. Argentina is widely perceived as corrupt by a crooked party group of political elites. The score being 97.3%.

The polls of course are on perceptions by local residents and non-residents. As in most things, they are based on real life experience by citizens and subjective.

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