With leadership comes not just power and authority, but also responsibility and accountability. No person, no matter how powerful, is above the law.
Of course we know that, in practical terms, this isn’t really true. People break the law without consequence all the time. Even governments break the law – and we let them get away with it. For every Riadh Ben Aissa that gets caught, there are countless more that don’t.
Having said that – no withdrawal from the public trust is ever really forgotten. If we’re busy and flush enough, we might overlook an unpaid debt for a time. Particularly when political and financial capital are harder to come by, though, the time always comes to collect.
Taylor is one example. Gadhafi is another. So is SNC. We have political examples right here in Canada where promises made are now being called in and withdrawals from the public trust are starting to be felt.
There’s a better way. Instead of acting on a narrow wedge of interests and putting off consequences, we can proactively consider potential outcomes and plan broadly. Rather than take withdrawals from the public trust and hope nobody comes to collect, we can make investments.
Either way, one thing is certain – we reap what we sow.
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