“Hah!” blurted the young police officer, “No one is honest!”
This was the automatic and Freudian slippish reply to a question I had just posed to a Brandon City Police officer regarding his perception of the average person’s level of integrity.
And while I found his audacious and unabashedly negative world view a little disconcerting, I initially chalked it up to the opinion of a cynical lawman who had wrestled reality out of one too many bandits.
However, after a bit of thinking on the matter, it struck me that Sheriff Six Shooter would be rubbing shoulders not only with representatives from The Underworld but also with professionals in the legal system, prison system, health care system and our political system, just to name a few.
Surely Wyatt Earp didn’t think they were ALL corrupt, did he?
Now I Am The Lone Ranger, You Be Tonto
One heroic organization attempting to measure what my peace officer friend claimed to know is Transparency International and for the past ten years these folks have published an annual report which provides an international corruption index perspective for most countries around the globe.
In their most recent publication from 2009, they rate 180 countries in order of perception of corruption and I am listing the top 20 here. I had to list the top 20 in order to be able to include United States – a fact I find interesting in itself.
Okay, the most Honest Countries in the world awards goes to: (drum roll please)
Corruption Perception Rank – Country – number of citizens
click on country to learn more complete 2009 corruption report here
9.4 – New Zealand – 4.2 million too honest souls
9.3 – Denmark – 5.4 million too honest souls
9.2 – Singapore – 5 million too honest souls
9.2 – Sweden – 9.3 million too honest souls
9.0 – Switzerland – 7.8 million too honest souls
8.9 – Finland – 5.4 million really honest souls
8.9 – Netherlands – 16.6 million really honest souls
8.7 – Australia – 22.4 million really honest souls
8.7 – Canada – 34 million really honest souls
8.7 – Iceland – 300,000 really honest souls
8.6 – Norway – 4.9 million really honest souls
8.2 – Hong Kong – 7 million really honest souls
8.2 – Luxembourg – 500,000 really honest souls
8.0 – Germany – 81.7 million really honest souls
7.9 – Ireland – 6.2 million fairly honest souls
7.9 – Austria – 8.4 million fairly honest souls
7.7 – Japan – 127.4 million fairly honest souls
7.7 – United Kingdom – 62 million fairly honest souls
7.5 – United States – 309.3 million fairly honest souls
7.4 – Barbados – 290,000 fairly honest souls
And almost tied for last place are:
1.3 – Afghanistan – 28.1 million unfortunate souls
1.1 – Somalia – 9.1 million unfortunate souls – ranked last out of 180 countries
Where is your country on this list? Does the order surprise you?
It intrigues me where my home country of Canada is listed and not because we made the ninth spot. What I find interesting is that if Canada is near the top of the heap and we suffer as much corruption as we do, exactly how honest is the world, anyhow?
Canadian Corruption Capers
Malfeasance reaches the highest levels of Canadian society and recently we have witnessed:
Corrupt Politicians – Corruption in government touches all provinces of Canada
Corrupt Royal Canadian Mounted Police – There was no organization called RCMP Watch ten years ago but now they have plenty to write about. Once revered around the world, our proud police force has been decimated by corruption from the top down. Head of RCMP Resigns
Corrupt Religions – The Catholic Church acts no different in Canada than anywhere else.
And this is just a short list of the more than 5 million entries that pop up on a Google search for corrupt Canada!
Monkey See, Monkey Do
Corruption has been around a long time and we may be certain that its not going anywhere anytime soon so I have developed a belief that the best thing a person can do is prepare for it.
Exploitation ebbs and flows, like water with tides or temperature through seasons.
And like an ocean reclaiming its beach or fall ice thinly forming on a pond, we must constantly gauge our local environment to avoid unnecessary aggravation from being improperly prepared for the location or season.
Call it the Law of The Situation or When In Rome, Do As The Romans but however we describe reality we must understand that surviving in an environment and attempting to alter it are two completely different processes that must not be confused.
This way fewer folks drown or die by freezing.
I bet my Police Officer comrade would agree.
Thank you, friend.
Please see the link below the awesome Talking Heads video. Click on it to learn more about Mary Parker Follett who originated the theory of The Law of The Situation as we know it today. Undeniably, this concept has been around forever and all of us know that.
PS. I would be interested in hearing about any corruption or lack of it in your country so together we can shout out to the world that not everybody, everywhere is totally dishonest.