each party is using social-ethical values issues to try to ensure that the other party does not earn the trust of undecided voters—whose numbers have probably substantially increased. In the current political circumstances, where we have been so forcefully reminded that we cannot simply assume that we can trust people in public office, trust will play a much more important and decisive role in the outcome of an election, were one to be called, than in the past. But alleging breaches of trust is not an ethically neutral act, not least because such allegations can seriously harm the broad trust basis on which society rests. So, if they are to act ethically, politicians must not make such accusations cynically, not caring whether or not they are true and just for political gain. In other words, motives matter ethically: to point out serious breaches of trust of which the public has a right to know is not the same, ethically, as alleging breaches of trust simply as a political tactic and a cynical way of trying to earn votes. Second, there are serious dangers for society in general outside the political sphere, in destroying trust within that sphere. That means people who make allegations that risk causing damage to societal trust must be able to justify creating that risk.The Sommerville editorial is relevant to his Peggy Noonan peice as well.
Friday, June 17, 2005
Special Shipping Information: This item is not eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping. Colby Cosh is making me really nostalgic with this post. Why do Catholics blog? A Canadian academic is releasing a new collection of poetry by Thomas Merton. A good editorial by Margaret Sommerville here: