Our Readers' Opinions
September 23, 2014
Subjecting our politicians to lie detector testing – across the Caribbean

Tue, Sep 23, 2014



Those of us who live in democracies the world over, should be always striving to refine and improve the practice of democracy. One way of achieving such an objective is by ideally stamping out, or at least keeping to a minimum, corruption at all levels, and especially so at the highest level in government. The polygraph test (aka lie detector test) is one way of achieving such an objective.{{more}}


I sincerely hold the opinion that all politicians, and would-be politicians, should lead by example and subject themselves to lie detector tests. The polygraph has been highly refined over the last 10 years. Polygraph tests have proven to be one of the most useful scientific tools in distilling out the truth in criminal investigations and personnel screening. Very recent research reveals that the accuracy of the new computerized polygraph system is close to 100 per cent. Most errors occur when the polygraph is operated by an inexperienced examiner. It is incumbent on us to be extremely fair to our politicians, and we should make every attempt to provide them with an even handed chance of passing the proposed polygraph test. In order to provide such a just environment, it is important that the following basic fundamentals be adhered to: 1. The latest, most accurate and proven of polygraph technology should be used at all times. 2. An independent polygraph examiner, from only the most reputable of international polygraph service providers, should be in charge of such career sensitive testing.

Who Will Pay For Polygraph Testing?

I anticipate that some will ask, especially those who may have a vested interest in seeing politician polygraph testing NOT become a reality, who is going to pay for such test? The simple answer is: Government. The polygraph testing could be more than easily paid for with a fraction of the savings that will come about by effectively reducing, if not eliminating, corruption at the highest levels of government.

When Should Polygraph Testing Be Done?

1. Before every general election

2. Every two years after being elected

3. Up to six years after demitting office

Who Should Undergo Polygraph Testing?

1. All political candidates who have placed their hat in the political ring

2. All members of the lower house

3. All members of the upper house

4. The speaker and deputy speaker, if not elected members of parliament

Sample of Questions that Should be Asked

1. Would you place the country’s interest ahead of your personal interest, at all times?

2. Would you tell a lie to become elected?

3. Do you often tell lies?

4. Have you ever used illegal drugs, within the last 10 years?

5. Have you ever interacted illegally with anyone from the narcotics trade?

6. Have you ever deliberately withheld relevant information, from the public domain?

7. Have you ever been fired from a job?

8. Since the age of 16, have you ever committed an undetected crime?

9. Have you ever cheated on any school/academic examinations?

10. Have you ever overcharged or cheated a customer?

11. Have you ever accepted a campaign contribution, knowing fully well that you would be indebted to the contributor?

12. Have you ever been promised a reward in return for a favour you have done since you have been elected to office?

13. Have you ever received a reward in return for a favour you have done since you have been elected to office?

14. Have you ever given someone a reward in return for a favour they have done before you have been elected to office?

15. Have you ever given someone a reward in return for a favour they have done since you have been elected to office?

16. Have you ever placed someone in a job knowing that they were not qualified for the job?

17. Have you ever used your position in government in order to bring stress or harm to someone who is opposes you politically?

18. Have you ever turned a blind eye to government cost overruns?

19. Have you ever used your office to help a family or friend receive a government contract?

20. Are you aware of anyone in your political circles/party who is not fit morally to hold office?

Finally, politicians en masse are most likely to agree to significant and politically impactful change, immediately prior to a general election. Hence, in order to get politicians to agree to polygraph testing, the following must be in place:

1. The general public must be sold on the benefits of such

2. The following organizations need to be brought on board: a. Church b. Other religious denominations c. NGOs d. Trade unions e. Professional organizations f. Chamber of Commerce g. Youth organizations h. Service clubs i. The political parties j. Civil service k. (The judiciary) l. (Governor General) m. Other.

These groups will be invited to nominate individuals to an apolitical committee, to determine the best methodology for fairly, expeditiously and accurately implementing the necessary measures to see the successful launch of the polygraph testing of politicians. While such a group will initially have no legislative clout, however, they can cultivate a mood amongst the voting public, that will create a political ground swell that will leave the politicians little choice but to agree to subject themselves to the polygraph test. The alternative for the politician is walking off into the sunset. Either way is a win-win situation awaiting the respective country. Post Script: This article is not directed at any individual politician, a particular group of politicians or a given political party. It was generated because politicians, the world over, seem to be nothing more than a group of individuals who have perfected the art of fooling and deceiving, repeatedly, a required number of their respective constituency, in order to become elected and reelected ad nauseam. I sincerely believe that the controlled and methodical introduction of polygraph testing could drastically change for the better the world’s political landscape, the democratic world over. This should significantly dilute the influence of the big business and special interests that have systematically and calculatedly undermined the democratic process, almost everywhere, for the last 100 years. The general level of cynicism re the democratic process is likely to rapidly and significantly dissipate. With such a revolution, we are very likely to see a new breed of politician who is more likely to uphold the fundamental and original principles of democracy – one man one voice/vote.

Ultimately I am hoping to see the re-democratization of the democratic process.

C. Malcolm Grant


Caribbean Facebook Group Surviving Our Harsh Economic Environment