The more one reads about Paul Martin’s business affairs, the more troubling they appear. In Paul Martin & Companies, Alain Deneault offers a piercing look at what it means when a Canadian prime minister puts his private interests outside the laws he has been elected to apply. Using Martin’s business dealings as an example, Deneault sheds light on the shadowy world of tax havens, offering insight into the functioning of these government-free fiscal zones and their relation to the growing world problems of capital flight, foreign debt, accountability for political power, endemic conflicts of interest in the public realm, media concentration, massacres, misery and even war.
These sixty short theses lay bare the contradictions embodied in Paul Martin, the businessman and the politician, and those inherent in the emerging forms of economic globalization and the Canadian political system and its laws. Deneault delves beyond the superficial, albeit alarming, aspects of the Martin case to get at the heart of what political and economic power really mean in the age of globalization. He presents the Martin case as a symptom of a worldwide crisis of public ethics that goes far beyond the simple question of Martin’s assets, and demonstrates that it is part of a lawless global culture that increasingly allows the world’s largest financial transactions to escape all forms of control, regulation and contribution to our national economies.
It has often been said that the appalling human misery endemic to third world countries is due not to their lack of natural resources, but to the self-interest and corruption of their leadership. Alain Deneault argues that this diversion of capital from the wealth of nations into the private bank accounts of their leaders is not particular to third world countries, and spells out what this means for all of us.
Rhonda Mullins is a writer and translator. She received the 2015 Governor General's Literary Award for Twenty-One Cardinals, her translation of Jocelyne Saucier's Les héritiers de la mine. And the Birds Rained Down, her translation of Jocelyne Saucier’s Il pleuvait des oiseaux, was a CBC Canada Reads Selection. It was also shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award, as were her translations of Élise Turcotte’s Guyana and Hervé Fischer’s The Decline of the Hollywood Empire. Rhonda currently lives in Montréal.
?Stands as an example and a rebuke to the watery discourse that passes for ?political commentary’ in the anglophone press ? ?
“Stands as an example and a rebuke to the watery discourse that passes for ‘political commentary’ in the anglophone press … ”