Confronting corruption is essential for democracy

By Reps. Peter J. Roskam (R-Ill.) and David Price (D-N.C.)

It’s no secret that the U.S. electorate is significantly polarized and that significant bipartisan cooperation will be a major challenge. But as a conservative Republican from the Midwest and a progressive Democrat from the South, we both understand the stake our country has in the effective functioning of democratic institutions around the world. And on the occasion of the United Nations’ International Anti-Corruption Day, we are reminded that corruption is probably the greatest systemic threat faced by democracies and aspiring democracies today.

Together, we lead the House Democracy Partnership (HDP), a bipartisan commission of the House of Representatives that partners with elected legislative bodies around the world to improve their responsiveness and effectiveness. Through peer-to-peer exchanges, trainings, and other assistance for staff and members of parliament, HDP helps strengthen parliaments in 18 partner democracies. Our work has taken us to many of the world’s more fragile democracies – from Burma/Myanmar to Tunisia to Ukraine – and we have seen firsthand that our best defense against tyranny, authoritarianism, and terrorism is the development of transparent, representative, inclusive, and accountable democratic institutions.

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