Wednesday 11 July 2012

Governance Standards to Aim For in Emerging Democracies

July 11, 2012
Governance Standards to Aim For in Emerging Democracies
Mo Chaudhury

It is the natural order of things in our universe that clouds have silver lining, nights lead to days, eclipses fade away, winter gives up to summer and there is light at the end of the tunnel. But then these are physical phenomena governed by the intrinsic laws of physics and/or by the dictation of a Supreme Governor if you are faith inclined.
When it comes to human systems like markets and societies/states, however, are there automated rejuvenations out of near or total collapses? If not, where would the governance come from?
The faith inclined would argue that if human systems are designed after and strictly guided by the divine codes from the Supreme Governor, then salvation and blissful functioning of human systems are guaranteed and permanent. The good thing is that the rules of private and public discourse in most divine codes are generally meant to be honourable, and if accepted and followed universally, have the potential to perpetuate harmonious and joyous life experiences for all of humanity. But the problem here is that there are numerous competing codes, their divine authenticity cannot be proven, blind adherence to any one divine code breeds intolerance, and human adjudication and peaceful resolution of irreconcilable interfaith differences is unlikely to succeed, as has been painfully observed historically. It is thus not a coincidence that human intelligence and rationality have led to gradual evolution of human systems, socio-political and economic, toward non-denominational mechanisms of governance such as states/countries (and global organizations/treaties of states) and markets in the continuum of minimal to maximal state intervention.
A burning issue of our time are the lapses in state governance and corporate governance (self-regulation of markets and businesses) across the globe. In some cases, such as Bangladesh, the breakdown appears alarmingly colossal. Perhaps it is time to learn, by example, from others as to how to recover from the ominous trajectory and chart a new course. For a starter, below is an example, not too far from Bangladesh.

South Korea arrests brother of president

Former lawmaker's arrest and detention on bribery charges are deep embarrassment to ruling party in election year.
Last Modified: 11 Jul 2012 12:44
Lee Sang-Deuk was detained early on July 11 pending trial on corruption charges [AFP]
The brother of South Korea's president's was arrested and taken to a detention centre after a court approved a warrant on bribery allegations.
The arrest on Wednesday was a major embarrassment to the ruling party in a presidential election year, and the first time in South Korean political history that a sitting president's brother has been jailed.
The Seoul Central District Court issued the arrest warrant for Lee Sang-deuk, the elder brother of President Lee Myung-bak, late on Tuesday.
Hours earlier, as the suspect entered the court for questioning, enraged protesters threw eggs at him, grabbed his tie and jostled him.
Lee was taken early on Wednesday from the prosecutors' office to the Seoul Detention Centre, according to an official who declined to provide further details, including his name, citing office rules.
As he left the prosecutors' office, Lee said he was "sorry" when asked by a reporter if he had anything to say to the country's president and the South Korean people.
The former lawmaker is accused of taking half-a-million dollars in bribes over four years from two detained bankers with the intent of using his influence to help the bankers avoid punishment.
The parliament has also voted not to allow an arrest warrant for Chung Doo-un, a current member of parliament accused of introducing Sang-deuk to the chairman of one of the two saving banks that gave him money. 
Both banks were suspended earlier this year.
Lee Myung-bak ends his single, five-year presidential term early next year, and elections for the next president are in December.

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