China's National People's Congress meet in Beijing Wednesday, with the country's crippling smog, which now looms as a threat to the leadership, high on the agenda. China's air isn't polluted because the technologies to keep it clean are unavailable but because the country lacks a credible regulatory regime that makes polluters pay and rewards investors to innovate. Why does the government target BBQs and individuals instead of the major polluters? Because it knows how to deprive ordinary citizens of their property and their lives. It doesn't know how to regulate an incoherent economy bereft of market discipline.
Iran ranked 144th out of 175 on Transparency International's 2013 Corruption Perception Index. This is not a joke: Iran shared the position with Cameroon, Central African Republic, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea and Ukraine. It is no wonder why Rouhani is trying to expose the corruption of his predecessor.
For most South Africans, that long walk to freedom Mandela wrote about is on a much longer, stonier and more dangerous road than they ever expected. And it's taking far more time than their well wishers around the world ever predicted. Considering what's happening to his dream of a new, democratic and rainbow nation, maybe it's best that Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela has gone.
One critical difference between a well-functioning city-state on the periphery of East Asia -- or a country like Canada -- and China, is the degree to which rules are predictable and enforced. Obvious or not, those tempted to bend or break the rules should recall such distinctions, as should the rest of us.
Every year, political corruption kills as many as 140,000 children worldwide, by depriving them of medical care, food, and water. Yet, far too often, the perpetrators of the most outrageous acts of corruption are able to use their illicit wealth and power to pervert the very laws and institutions that should call them to account.
Saskatchewan is one of the richest jurisdictions in Canada, second only to Alberta, and has once more lit a firestorm that may sweep the west and profoundly change Canada's politics. Like the launch of public health care and refusal to let foreigners buy Potash Corporation, Saskatchewan led the nation with its initiative to abolish the Canadian Senate.
Many people in Myanmar commemorated the 25th anniversary this September of one of the bloodiest crackdowns in the country's history. Western business should be encouraged to bring more socially responsible practices to Myanmar but should take critical measures to ensure that they not become part of the democracy-hindering problem rather than the solution.
After weeks of maneuvering by the Canadian government to secure a lucrative contract in Trinidad and Tobago for graft-tainted engineering giant SNC-Lavalin, the government of that Caribbean nation has announced that it isn't interested in dealing with a company that has "difficulty in passing the test of confidence." T&T can see that the company cannot be trusted, so why can't the Canadian government?
One of the first orders of business for new political party leaders is the branding of their party. What will their party stand for? What will they do if elected? How will their policies help Canadian families? The Liberals and the media together have been closely watching Justin Trudeau since he became leader. They want to see what Trudeau's brand will be. So far, his biggest alignment has been with illegal activity. Not a great start.
The Canadian government is doing what it can to help corruption-plagued SNC-Lavalin get a lucrative contract to build a $163-million hospital complex in the Caribbean country of Trinidad and Tobago. The injudiciousness of the decision by one Canadian federal government agency to arrange an untendered, closed-door deal for SNC-Lavalin while another, the federal police force, investigates the company for wrongdoing seems lost on government officials. Canadians would be right to charge that our government is failing to maintain proper standards in the handling of public projects.
I believe the time has come for the National Assembly of Quebec to legislate a limit on a mayor's tenure in the province's cities. As in many other jurisdictions, two terms are more than sufficient, whereas clinging to power for extended periods of time leads to cronyism and conspiracy as has been well demonstrated by the Montreal and Laval experience!
A tax haven (or "fiscal paradise" in french) seems like a benign, if rampant, breach of the law. It's just a matter of shifting money around, right? Except when a secret company/tax haven is used to shield the activities of a notorious African dictator. Suddenly, the mysterious offshore world no longer seems so harmless.
You wouldn't ever want to answer your front door to find Wendy Mesley holding a microphone there -- right next to a CBC camera flashing its little red light. Last Sunday, some of the old pre-perky Mesley came back. The following is the last part of of Mesley's interview with Jacques Duchesneau, the former Montreal police chief.
On Monday, Montreal's hapless, shaky, angry, and white-haired mayor, Gérald Tremblay, resigned in disgrace. It's no big surprise, really. Gérald had been fighting corruption allegations for years, always claiming that he knew nothing about any corruption seeping into Montreal's municipal politics. Even the most casual city observer would call utter bullshit on that. The mayor's position really became untenable last week when a former top aide, Martin Dumont, dished the goods in front of the Charbonneau Commission, which has been overturning dirty rocks to uncover the filthy world of Montreal's construction contracts.