Ethics demands of leaders to maintain virtues such as respect, integrity, honesty, fairness, accountability, professionalism, responsibility, competence, and accountability. When unethical practices enters into politics the leaders involved may get into problems such as abuse of power, conflicts of interests, corruptions, favoritism, obstruction of justice, cronyism, and nepotism. Human rights abuse, policy corruption, insider business deals, and restricted press freedom are also almost inevitable as leaders try to please their allies. This paper addresses the ethical issues and problems that corporate contributions lead to and how the classical theory of virtue ethics can be used to address this problem. The paper will further contrast this method of resolution with perspective of relativism. I will also offer my opinion on the best way to resolve the problem. Introduction: Identifying the problem Campaigns have been over the past few years been demanding of leaders to prove their credibility by having a large finance base to fund their campaigns. The cost of campaigns especially in federal elections have been soaring way to high and campaigners are increasingly finding it hard to finance their campaigns. Often candidates, both congress and presidential, have turned to ask source for funds from public corporations usually through lobbyists. Once candidates who used cooperate funding attains leadership position, a question of how to repay their debts arises. Meredith (2012) warns that anyone that help a candidate get elected inspires “a debt of gratitude” .The “debt of gratitude” is also addressed by Thurber (2010) who identifies it to lead to ethical problems and scandals. He says this debt of gratitude has created a “culture of reciprocity” in Washington. The culture of reciprocity is the practice of helping or pledging to help those people that assisted you achieves something. Fear that these lobbyists may acquire an unfair advantage in the policymaking process due to their financial contributions. The ethical problems and issues raised by such actions often stem from after-election lobbying where the public corporations that funded the campaigns pressure candidate they assisted on specific kind of legislation that are favorable to them. Since the leaders will also be acknowledging the debt to these corporations then fairness is likely to be undermined. Favorism results and often integrity lacks bullying” to refer to the act of public cooperation through lobby groups having their way in the law making process. He says that congress members feel pressed in all sides by the demands of the public corporations and likely to give preferred treatment to the campaign contributors. Bretram (2009) also says that though campaign contributions may not directly determine legislative success, they can dictate which group or individuals gain access. This kind of preferred treatment is the primary cause of ethical problem created by cooperates funding of campaigns. Corruption further results due to the close proximity that some of the corporations will remain with their “leaders” whom they feel should give them undeniable support as a payback to their funding. These kinds of quid pro quo arrangement are form of corruption, in essence bribery. An ethical solution of this problem lies in defining and directing the actions of
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CORPORATE CONTRIBUTIONS TO POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS and number Date submitted Abstract Everyone has an image of how a better-of person when one act ethically in situation that we find ourselves in everyday life. Ethics refers to the kind of behavior or practices which is not only good to oneself but also to everyone…
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