A corrupt government is one in which laws and rules are broken in favor of the ruling individuals or parties. (In StMaarten maintaining of families and friends in power). Political corruption has on the one hand been understood very broadly as "unethical behaviour which violates the norms of the system of political order". This includes almost anything and may embrace all sorts of moral and political judgments. On the other hand, it has been understood as "the breaking of the formal rules that regulate a position of political authority. Political leaders may use their power to capture and accumulate resources in an illegal and immoral way through bribes, embezzlement, and fraud. Fraud is an act of deception (to fool) intended for personal gain. Embezzlement (stealing) is is the act of dishonestly attaining assets by one or more individuals to whom such assets have been entrusted. The same purpose of accumulation can be achieved also in processes of privatization, land allocation, public contracting, lending, and through preferences that benefit the business interests of office holders, even when they are legal or made relatively legal. Direct extraction from the private sector includes bribes, "commissions", and fees demanded from private businesses. It includes the classic (demand side) forms of corruption: payments taken for the granting and delivering of government services, licenses, guarantees and loans, public projects and contracts. Bribes can also be taken to "protect" companies, and for the political creation of market protection, preferences, and monopoly rights. It includes payments taken for giving exemptions and relief from, for instance, tax regulations, environmental protection, and labour laws. The ruling elite can extract by giving preferences and favours to businesses in which they have a direct ownership. It is political corruption when through such means power-holders build up their private businesses and enterprises, while in power. It includes many of the same mechanisms as above, like the political granting of services, contracts, and licenses, politically created market protection and monopolies, and regulatory exemptions. The ruling elite can also extract through theft and embezzlement (stealing) of public resources. These practices include off-budget transfers and manipulated privatisation processes, and they include extraction from (and sometimes the depletion of) the country's natural resources, such as oil and gas, fish. This is how incumbents maintain power preservation. Incumbents (people who are present in government) can use many techniques to maintain power, of which many are perfectly legal while others are illegal and corrupt. The corrupt use of political power for power preservation and extension may take the form of buying political support through favoritism, clientelism, co-optation, patronage politics and vote buying. Patronage is the financial support or business provided to a store, hotel, or the like, by customers, clients, or paying guests. The means include the distribution of financial and material benefits (money, gifts and rents), but also symbolic values like status and "inclusion". The corrupt use of political power for power preservation and extension also includes the manipulation of various oversight and control institutions, creating various "impunity syndromes". Impunity means exemption from punishment, penalty, or harm. When our justice system cannot punish these corrupt politicians, it is up to the people to use the power of the ballot to change things. Unfortunately the electorate of StMaarten is becoming poorer and allows the Politian's to by their votes. The conclusion is as long as we do not have the character and the personal responsibility along with freewill to change then hope for StMaarten is lost. Use your hearts and mind to find out if you have a good or bad character to change StMaarten for the better.
The Patriot Miguel Arrindell