Should officials running for public offices have to legally disclose to the major media and public at large:
- Overseas bank accounts
- All business connection, be they personal or by affiliation.
- Personal taxes
- Any personal legal trouble, even expunged items (reason being that a sufficiently rich/influential
person could buy and/or push their way out of trouble)
- Anything else you may think up which may bring light to conflicts of interest?
If politicians fail to disclose these details, they could face serious legal trouble.
There would be no excuse ("I forgot..."), because the list of necessary details would be formalized and require methodical filing and submission.
I believe there should be a balance, i.e. if you want to test as heavily as suggested, then you'll only be able to get an Obama, i.e. Mr. Public Officer "light". Twinkle toes with very little effect. You'll get mostly public figures bowing seriously backwards to please Mr. John Public. Pretty much what you are getting now. How many powerful public figures have refused to stand for public office as they don't want to subject their families and friends to the kind of scrutiny power officials are getting these days?
If stricter standards were held though, don't you think less of the wrong politicians would make it through? Even if weaker politicians got through, wouldn't they be less likely to be corrupt, meaning that it would be easier for them to deal with scrutiny which is no longer an assault from corrupt officials, but rather just a concerned public? Also, a partial reason for the cut-throat attitude being at the level it currently holds, is the corrupt officials are making it that way. Get rid of more of them and suddenly the good (yet little guys) have more power and can hopefully nail the balls of any incoming corruption to the wall before it gets anywhere near the legislation cutting floor.
Why not? Of course they should. Things being kept in the dark only serve as a means to corruption and deceit. The people should know who are the people who are governing them and what their intentions are. And how else to discover this but through laws requiring full disclosure of everything that needs to be known.