Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

Reader feedback: Blushes not spared

Re: Politicians reveal assets, Volume 11, Number 30, August 8 - 14, 2005

Democracy is best exercised when done transparently. In Canada, the prime minister and cabinet members are required to place all assets in a "blind trust," administered by a third party. They are not allowed to know what is happening to their assets while they hold power.

This prevents them from making decisions that could benefit their own portfolios.

So goes the theory. And good luck with it.

In Prime Minister Paul Martin's case, he simply transferred ownership of his major asset - Canada Steamship Lines - to his three sons before assuming power. CSL ships sail under Panamanian flags (to avoid paying sailors Canadian minimum wages) and its assets are held offshore (to avoid paying Canadian taxes). In politics, it's amazing what a little planning can accomplish.

I wish all Slovaks good luck as they take their first baby steps toward financial transparency in federal politics. Two rules: Smile broadly and try not to laugh out loud.

And remember the words of Mark Twain: "Man is the only animal that blushes - or needs to."

John Belanger,
Toronto, Canada

The processing of personal data is subject to our Privacy Policy and the Cookie Policy. Before submitting your e-mail address, please make sure to acquaint yourself with these documents.

Top stories

Slovakia has extradited Yandiev to Russia

Despite the UN decision, the country sent Ingushetia citizen Aslan Yandiev to Russia where he is wanted for alleged terrorism crimes. It cites the stance of the ECHR.

Illustrative stock photo

More reasons to stay

Excluding people doesn’t just affect those who choose to leave.

Creator of the Krav Maga self-defense system was from Bratislava Photo

The versatile athlete Imi Lichtenfeld finally has a memorial plaque in the Slovak capital.

Unveiling of the commemorative plaque: curator Michal Vaněk, Yaron Lichtenstein, BKIS director Vladimír Grežo and Museum of Jewish Culture's director Pavol Mešťan, from left.

Construction of underground roundabout changes traffic flow on Bratislava’s Mlynské Nivy

Mlynské Nivy Street will be transformed into a modern boulevard by the autumn of 2019.

New construction on Mlynské Nivy Street.