From Politicians to Statesmen

Manila Bulletin, February 18, 2004 | Go to article overview

From Politicians to Statesmen


Byline: LEONARDA N. CAMACHO

ACCORDING to the dictionary, a statesman is one who is wise and skillful in conducting state affairs and treating public issues or one experienced in the business of government.

This is why in the Greek era and Roman times, only learned men sat in the Senate to discuss public issues.

Corruption and corporations were unheard of.

Corporations did not meddle with politicians, did not influence legislation and did not give money to political parties.

In the United States, before 1886, there were laws that prevented corporations from meddling in politics.

According to records (Ecologist, January, 2003), Wisconsin State had a law that stated no corporations doing business in this state shall pay or contribute or offer consent or agree to pay or contribute, directly or indirectly, any money, property, free service of its officers or employees, or thing of value to any political party, organization, committee, or individual for any political purpose whatsoever, or for the purpose of influencing legislation of any kind, or to promote or defeat the candidacy of any person for nomination, appointment or election to any political office.

The penalty for any corporate official violating that law and getting cozy with politicians on behalf of a corporation was five years in prison and a substantial fine!

Today, however, free speech is a human right and individuals are free to say and do what they want.

Corporations do not only have rights; they also have privileges!

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