One of the reasons why the United States and Great Britain
may have more political scandals is because they have a more aggressive
press corps. Another reason is that these two nations still partially subscribe
to a Victorian sex code which makes the sex scandal possible.
However, serious students of European politics know that continental
Europe is simply less corrupt than Britain and the U.S. There are many
reasons for this: the corporate special interest system is much less developed;
voter participation and democracy are greater; political awareness of the
public is higher; political processes are more open, and business decisions
are as well. (For example, both management and labor send voting representatives
to each other's board meetings.)
The result is a remarkably scandal-free government. Banker-professor
Ernst van der Beugel says of his native Holland: "The country is so
well run it can do without a government."1
Dutch editor Franz Peeters complains about the lack of scandals to report
in his country: "I would be content with the American political system
where a senator can really show up some scandals."2
European expert Flora Lewis writes: "The [Danish] people are proud
of their country's achievement of social justice, with a decent standard
of living for all and no flagrant preserves of privilege. In fact, the
main problem of the Social Democrats is that they have just about run out
of wrongs to right at home, more or less as in Sweden and Norway."3
Having reformed most of their society's problems, the Scandinavians are
now reforming their reforms!
Sadly, it could be that the U.S. and Great Britain have a more aggressive
press corps for a reason.
Return to Overview
1 Flora Lewis, Europe: Road to Unity
(New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992), p. 266.
2 Ibid., p. 266.
3 Ibid., p. 239.