Transparency International Poll: The World Is Getting More Corrupt

December 9, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol 

As if it wasn’t bad enough that a souring world economy has people all over the world already abuzz, a new poll finds that most people believe the world is more corrupt than it was three years ago:

Some 56% of people interviewed by Transparency International said their country had become more corrupt.

And there’s finally a bit of good news for the United States: it is not ranked in the very top category:

The organisation put Afghanistan, Nigeria, Iraq and India in the most corrupt category, followed by China, Russia and much of the Middle East.

Meanwhile, a BBC poll suggests that corruption is the world’s most talked about problem.

About one in five of those polled by the BBC said they had discussed issues relating to corruption with others in the last month, making it the most talked about concern ahead of climate change, poverty, unemployment and rising food and energy costs.

And what do people consider the most corrupt institution? American independent voters will appreciate this finding (although the modus operendi may be a bit different depending on the country):

In the Transparency International survey, political parties were regarded as the most corrupt institutions, and 50% of people believed their government was ineffective at tackling the problem.

One in four of those polled said they had paid a bribe in the past year – the police being the most common recipient.

Some 29% of bribes went to the police, 20% to registry and permit officials, and 14% to members of the judiciary.

Political parties have long been regarded as the most corrupt institutions – they topped the list in Transparency’s 2004 barometer with 71%. In this year’s report, 80% regarded them as corrupt.

And religious institutions? They may wish to do some prayers about their images, too:

Religious bodies experienced a sharp rise in people regarding them as corrupt – 28% in 2004 increased to 53% by 2010.

According to the BBC, the people who reported the most corruption in their daily lives are from Afghanistan, Nigeria, Iraq and India. Roughly half of those reported having to pay a bribe the past year.

While people from Cambodia (84%) and Liberia (89%) were the most likely to have to pay a bribe, the Danish reported 0% bribery.

Robin Hodess, Transparency’s policy and research director, expressed particular concern at the figures on bribery.

“Unfortunately people’s experience with bribery most often involves the police, and this is really worrying,” he said.

Reuters frames the poll this way:

The public’s faith in political parties has been sharply eroded during the financial crisis, with four out of five people saying they are corrupt or very corrupt, a survey showed Thursday.

The 2010 Global Corruption Barometer by Berlin-based watchdog Transparency International (TI) showed that 79 percent of respondents in a global study believed parties were “corrupt or extremely corrupt,” up from 69 percent in 2009.

TI said the sample of countries used was slightly larger in 2010, and that if a comparison was made between 65 nations polled in both years, the increase was more pronounced — 82 percent saw parties as corrupt in 2010, up from 68 percent last year.

“The fall-out of the financial crises continues to affect people’s opinions of corruption, particularly in Europe and North America,” TI chairwoman Huguette Labelle said.

“Institutions everywhere must be resolute in their efforts to restore good governance and trust,” she added.

Israel’s Jerusalem Post says this:

Transparency International – Israel released a poll on Thursday, which showed that Israelis think that political parties are the most corrupt institution in the country.

Nearly 90 percent of Israelis said that parties were corrupt, giving them a score of 4.5 out of five possible corruption points. The Knesset was ranked as the second-most corrupt institution, with a score of four. The IDF was in last place, with 2.6 out of five points.

The Kenyan Broadcasting Corporation offers this:

At least 92% of Kenyans perceive the police force as the most corrupt institution.

This is according to the 2010 Global Corruption Barometer Report, a worldwide public opinion survey on corruption, released Thursday by Transparency International on the International Anti Corruption Day.

In 2010 the Global Corruption Barometer covered 86 countries and territories polling 91,781 individuals between 1st June and 30th September 2010 with a margin of error of between 2.18% and 4.40% per country.

The survey had a nationwide sample of 1,000 people in Kenya and was conducted between 1st and 10th July 2010.

The Barometer explores the general public’s views about corruption levels in their country and their government efforts to fight corruption.

The 2010 Barometer also probes the frequency of bribery, reasons for paying a bribe in the past year, and attitudes towards reporting incidents of corruption.

The Irish Times:

IRISH PEOPLE’S trust in politicians is among the lowest of any country worldwide, according to a survey.

Transparency International’s Irish branch surveyed 1,000 Irish residents between June and September this year. The survey, released today to coincide with International Anti-Corruption Day, found people felt corruption to be on the rise in most public institutions. The perception of corruption in politics and the church was among the highest of the 86 countries surveyed.

In a barometer measuring between 1 and 5, at which 5 is the most corrupt, participants scored Irish political parties at 4.4. Only Greece, Israel, Nigeria and Romania rated their political parties as being more corrupt.

Six out of 10 Irish people felt levels of corruption had risen in the past three years. The public’s trust in the church and the Oireachtas deteriorated most dramatically since the last study was carried out in 2007. However, the perception of corruption in business, the media, NGOs, the education system, the Garda and the military also deteriorated. The only improvement was in relation to the legal system.

More than eight out of 10 people believed the Government was ineffective in tackling the abuse of power while 4 per cent claimed they had paid a bribe in the last year.

Chief executive of Transparency Ireland John Devitt said the findings were not surprising. “If anything, it’s surprising the Irish figures are not worse,” he said.

Radio Free Europe:

The report also found that corruption takes a huge toll on poor people. TI chairwoman Huguette Labelle called it “a regressive tax” and an “injustice [that] must be addressed.”

When it comes to their own government’s efforts against corruption, most citizens reported not being impressed.

The exceptions were in the United States and most NIS countries, where citizens said they believed the government was having an effect against corruption.

Marschall said the group was surprised to learn that political parties are the least-trusted groups in many countries. Some 80 percent of respondents said they believed such organizations are “deeply corrupt.”

Amidst the report’s bad news there is some good news. The survey found a healthy level of outrage over corruption and more people than ever said they would be willing to stand up and report incidents of corruption to authorities.

“More people are now ready to fight against corruption. More people believe that, actually, he or she can make a difference,” Marschall said. “Seventy percent of all our respondents told us that they are ready now to report on corruption if they come across such a case, so that is definitely good news.”

However, that number drops in half if the person is a victim of corruption.

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The Moderate Voice


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