Last update: 08-Dec-2013 8:48 pm
Sunday, December 08, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Political advertising—ethical deficits
The general decline in standards happened gradually, like the transition from sunrise to sunset. However, it is almost as if there is a plan to accelerate the rate of decline. Like water from an overflowing river that floods everything in its path, the political river is coming down, carrying with it all good principles. Some may say it is worse than that because the floodwaters have already taken toll, and there is now a demolition crew knocking down the remaining walls of protection.
The erosion of good standards did not start yesterday, but the promise to adopt higher standards rapidly took a disappointing turn and it appears that no institution or pillar of governance is sacrosanct, not even the Constitution and Parliament. It was not enough to violate Parliament’s code of ethics by allowing a minister of government and a parliamentarian to continue with private interest that was bound to lead to undesirable developments.
Recently, it was the blatant violation of the Parliament channel rules and the unfairness of the state television in carrying simultaneous live parliament telecasts of presentations selectively, and repeating the selected presentations.
Parliament’s code of ethics and rules governing the channel are not legal documents, but parliamentarians agreed to abide by these codes. The channel rules are virtually the same as those governing BBC parliamentary broadcasts and similar channels throughout the Commonwealth. Violating these rules for commercial reasons and self-interest is a continuation of the political hooliganism associated with corruption.
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