Transparency International’s Vision: A world in which government, politics, business, civil society, and the daily lives of people are free of corruption.
Representative democracies are performing at an all time low, largely due to the system in which they operate and a decline in accountability.1 Corruption is a primary issue that has a stranglehold on the ability of many governments to serve their people.
The Corruption Perceptions Index results in 2013 serves as a reminder that the abuse of power, secret dealings and bribery continue to ravage societies around the world.
The Index scores 177 countries and territories on a scale from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). No country has a perfect score, and two-thirds of countries score below 50. This indicates that we have a serious, worldwide corruption problem. The world needs to bring the actions of our leaders into the light of accountability.2
This corruption is even more clear in the American political system, in which candidates for office are dependent on the financial backing of a very tiny elite in order to have a chance of being elected. In order to run for public office, you need a large amount of money to have a chance of winning. While America does have a democracy, candidates are indebted to those who fund their campaigns. Candidates for congress spend 30-70% of their time raising money in order to get reelected and get back into power. They are now less dependent on the will of the people and more dependent on private funding than ever before.
Perhaps largely due to the broken system that selects elected leaders, the public has lost all confidence in their ability to effectively govern. While many Americans are critical of the president, their view of Congress remains even more dismal. As of August 6th 2014, just 15 percent approve of the job they are doing, while 78 percent disapprove.3 While many vital programs for education, protecting the poor, and researching science have experienced budget cuts, spending for our militaries and surveillance programs continues to increase year over year.
The bottom line is that we need a new generation of principled leaders to step forward who will act on behalf of the people of Earth, not just for short term gain, but to ensure the prosperity and protection of our world and its people for the long term. Guardians are now being called to step forward into roles as leaders of society.