Demokratie, Verantwortung und Ehre

Es vergeht kaum ein Tag, ohne dass wir hören, dass irgendwo ein Minister von seinem Amt zurückgetreten ist. In gewisser Weise ist dies kaum überraschend: Schließlich beschäftigen allein die 25 Staaten der Europäischen Union gemeinsam Hunderte von Ministern - und deutlich mehr, wenn man die Unterminister und Staatssekretäre mitzählt. Warum jedoch treten Minister zurück? Interessanter noch: Warum treten einige nicht zurück, obwohl zwingende Gründe für ihren Rücktritt vorzuliegen scheinen?

In Abwesenheit empirischer Untersuchungen können allgemeine Aussagen hierzu nur auf Vermutungen beruhen. Minister treten oft deshalb zurück, weil sie in einen Skandal verwickelt sind, in letzter Zeit häufig im Zusammenhang mit der Parteienfinanzierung. In Italien begegnen einem derzeit mehrere Gespenster derlei vergangener Missetaten.

Manchmal erklären Minister, dass sie aus „persönlichen Gründen" zurücktreten. Dahinter können zwingendere Faktoren stehen, wie der kürzliche Rücktritt von George Tenet, dem Direktor der amerikanischen CIA, nahe legt. Tony Blair allerdings verlor einen seiner besten und loyalsten Freunde in seinem Kabinett, Alan Milburn, weil dieser tatsächlich mehr Zeit mit seiner Familie verbringen wollte.

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