Power tends to corrupt. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Lord Acton, British Historian ((1834–1902)
Democracy is our best defense against corrupt power. But it cannot be taken for granted and needs constant maintenance. Corrupt power often tries to undermine democracy through bribery – whether directly through payments of cash, alcohol or drugs, or indirectly through 'pork barreling' projects where national resources are inappropriately directed to local electorates.
Corrupt elections result in poor governance, increased poverty, crime and social instability, which can lead to violence and wars. There is a clear link between corruption and violence. Corrupt power is often maintained by exploiting divisions, stirring up fear and hatred of a minority or external agency. In this way problems can be conveniently blamed on this scapegoat while unscrupulous politicians portray themselves as the best protector against this 'threat'. Under corrupt power, organized crime flourishes and can even take over the political process so that only those approved by the 'crime bosses' stand a chance of being elected.
Clean Elections Campaigns aim to safeguard and nurture democracy through educating voters about issues of corruption and inviting all to pledge to refuse to participate in bribery or violence.