Hypothetical

Australia
August 17, 2012 8:57pm CST
You are a middle level public employee, and you stumble across a series of secret memos which clearly indicate that your state governor has been dealing with organised crime. You voted for him, and you think many of his policies are good, but here is proof that he is also a criminal. If this information becomes public several very nasty things are going to happen: the governor will fall and quite possibly the fallout will damage his party's chances at the upcoming elections and may even carry over to the federal sphere; other people are also implicated, some of them in prominent positions, and they will be brought down; if you blow the whistle many of your friends will shun you and the powers that be in the party you support will be searching your background for anything that might either discredit you or punish you. What do you do? And how difficult would your decision be if the culprit was from the other side of politics? Lash
4 people like this
5 responses
@crossbones27 (34714)
• Redlands, California
18 Aug 12
I would have to blow the whistle in both cases, whether I voted and respected the politician or not. Its not to say that I would not feel really feel disappointed and way the ramifications of the situation. I would want to talk to the politician to see what happened.
1 person likes this
• Australia
18 Aug 12
I agree, I would have no difficulty blowing the whistle either way although, as you say, I would be disappointed if he was on my side of the divide. But let's follow through on the hypothetical. What if, not having found anything they can use to discredit or punish you legitimately, they cobble together false criminal charges against you, and when you flee these charges, say move to Canada, they apply to extradite you not because you are an escaped felon but merely to answer allegations of wrongdoing? And if you then fled to, say, the Ecuadorian embassy and applied for political asylum, and it was granted, and the country which you have fled to threatens to break all tradition and remove you from political asylum by raiding the embassy, how then would you feel? I understand you are on the side of the angels in this disussion, but since you're the only response at this date, I'm using your reply to expand the topic into the direction I wish to take it. Lash
1 person likes this
• Redlands, California
18 Aug 12
I guess if all that happened. I would use the internet to my advantage and throw my story online. Hopefully their would be enough good Samaritans left in the world that would believe in my cause. If that did not work maybe I would just return home and sit in prison and read all the Nelson Mandela books I could fine to see how he handled his situation. Granted it would be different circumstances but kind of similar in a way.
1 person likes this
• Redlands, California
18 Aug 12
Correct me if I am wrong, this is the guy that leaked classified US info? He leaked it from his own website Wikileaks I have heard of this story but have not been following closely. As I have not heard our news bring it up in a long time. Now they are using these two women to try to get him extradited to the US? So we can put him on trial? Is that what you think is going on?
1 person likes this
@JenInTN (27545)
• United States
19 Aug 12
I think that it would be difficult for most anyone. Not so much the moral part, but how to go about doing it. Most people see this kind of situation as life threatening. If it was your candidate or not...it would be tough. I think that people who do take the chance are the ones that have the potential to change the world, but the thing is..keeping them around after they do. Gaining pre-whistle blowing support may be a huge help. There is always something that can be found to discredit someone if they look hard enough. If they can't find it, they can make it up.
1 person likes this
@vandana7 (76074)
• India
18 Aug 12
Lash, I dont have a family to lose..so I would go ahead and do the right. But yes, if I had loved ones..who could face the music, I would NOT. Instead, I would blackmail the guy into doing right..continuously..and when the elections are declared..send the copies anonymously to all the newspapers, and media, so that I dont have to do any more blackmailing.
1 person likes this
@vandana7 (76074)
• India
18 Aug 12
Same rule both ways..:)
1 person likes this
@celticeagle (124394)
• Boise, Idaho
18 Aug 12
I would do what i feel is right. I have very little respect for most in politics now so blowing the whistle isn't going hurt me any. I think I would first go and talk to someone I respect and trust and tell them what I have found. I would also make copies of all these papers and put them in a safe deposit box just incase I need them at a later date. I would go to the authorities and show them what I have found. I would also be with my lawyer and the trusted friend. My family whould need to hear of this first and what I expect to do. And from there we would have to see how everything falls out. It's not easy doing the right thing but atleast I could sleep at night.
• United States
25 Aug 12
This is not difficult at all. First you need to know that I admire the wiseguys of old And I am cynical about politics in general. So if I found this evidence I wouldn't be surprised And I wouldn't rat him out. now the next move all depends. If I like my job and my bosses and I am in the position I want to be , I would just shred the evidence and that would be that. But... if I wanted a better position because I hated my boss and job I would meet with the dear governor and explain how I fell across this and how lucky for them I got it and see if a deal could be made.
• Australia
26 Aug 12
And that makes you more ethical than they how exactly? Lash
1 person likes this
• Australia
26 Aug 12
Ethics is the only issue for me. Whistle blowers like Julian Assange and his ilk could just possibly be the saviours of the world, were it not for the fact that so many people see it in the emotive "ratting out" terms, and/or are driven entirely by self-interest or conformity, or are simply apathetic. Being cynical about politics is irrelevant, you wouldn't find anyone more cynical in that respect than I am. I agree one has to choose one's battle. I was working on a report on the results of a local government program for running youth centres in the local region and came across the fact that a pool table purchased for a youth centre had ended up in a local councillor's entertainment room, a clear case of unethical behaviour by an elected official, but I came to the conclusion that it was a fight I would likely lose and it simply wasn't a big enough issue to put up with sh*tstorm it would have caused. But had it been a serious breach of political honesty I would have burnt every bridge in sight to bring him down. Lash
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Aug 12
I disagree. That pool table is a big enough deal. It could have been just the tip of the iceberg. If you are going to be ethical then you really can't pick and choose. I don't believe in any governor and I know about the wiseguys. Try to rat on the mob and your family finds you body dumped somewhere Or... they Never find your body. A governor can never be a saint.He needed to lie and " borrow" to get in office! so what. That is why I said what I said. Unethical ? Perhaps. I hope we can agree to disagree.