By: Chris O'Shea
Good news, cops of the world, you're not viewed as the most corrupt institution! According to the "Crisis Perceptions Index," the government is now seen as the worst collective, meaning that basically no one trusts them. On a global scale. The CPI represents data gathered from over 100,000 respondents in 107 different countries. The survey asks people to gauge corruption in their countries, and explain which agencies they see as the worst of the worst. Governments everywhere took quite a hit.
The CPI found that political parties — no matter what they are — are fraught with corruption. Government scored a 3.8 on a scale from 1 (not at all corrupt) to 5 (extremely corrupt). Not only that, but people believed that the government isn't doing anything to stop being so terrible and untrustworthy. In 2008, the last time this survey was conducted, 32 percent of people said they considered the government's efforts to combat corruption effective.
The survey comes via Transparency International, a non-profit with a lofty goal of ending global dirty work. "Through more than 100 national chapters worldwide and an international secretariat in Berlin, we work with partners in government, business and civil society to put effective measures in place to tackle corruption," the group explains in its mission statement.
Since government won this year's top spot, it's going to be tough sledding. It's sort of ironic, isn't it? The government is supposed to be the voice of the people, not the one stabbing the people behind the back. But this is the world we live in. No one really trusts politicians, because they haven't given us many reasons to. And we're just talking about stupid scandals — like Anthony Weiner's weiner — not hardcore problems, like the horrible situation in Egypt.
"Politicians themselves have much to do to regain trust," Transparency International explained in a press release announcing the study's findings. "This shows a crisis of trust in politics and real concern about the capacity of those institutions responsible for bringing criminals to justice."
As we mentioned, there was plenty of blame to go around. People hate politicians, but the CPI showed that they hate plenty of other institutions as well. Police — who, let's face it, aren't exactly beloved — came in second place, scoring a 3.7 on the corruption scale. They were followed by a three way tie of 3.6 from public officials/civil servants, parliament/legislature and judiciary. The media was next, scoring a 3.1. Not bad! People must have forgotten about Fox News.
[Image via Flickr - Tara Suik]