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The Watergate Scandal and its Impact on American Politics

Discuss about the Watergate Scandal In Washington.

The Watergate scandal arose when plenty of robbers were being arrested in the office of the Democratic National Committee, that is located in the Watergate building. As a part of the illegal activities, five men broke in to the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee at the complex of Watergate. The White House is a mile away from the Democratic National Committee. The FBI executed investigations and they were able to determine a relation between the robbers and E Howard Hunt, an ex-CIA officer.  Later it was disclosed that he was one of Nixon’s plumbers tasked with fixing leaks and who was linked to the special counsel of the President (Morris, 2017). The scandal of Watergate altered American politics since it led plenty of Americans to doubt their leaders and to think more critically about his presidency.

The controversy of Watergate came into the scenario due to its reforms including the conditions that campaign and the political parties routinely to surrender the lists of their contributors to the Federal Election Commission (White, 2016). The debate of Watergate deals with the abuse of ambiguity formed by the reforms, which included the power of the parties to lift up and spend unlimited amounts of soft money. The reform was created when the House and the Senate adopted codes of conduct in the early 1970s. At that time, it constrained the franking privileges that permitted the members to send mails to constituents at taxpayers’ expenses that diminished the funds and enforced preventions on income earned outside. These rules were also forced limits on lobbying by the former members of the Congress and former staff members.


It is worth mentioning that the members of Nixon’s Committee re-elected the President. It broke into the Democratic National Committee’s Watergate headquarters that wrapped the copies of top-secret documents and bugged the phones used office. The reporters of Washington Post merited a good pact of the credit for disclosing the intricate facts of the scandal of Watergate (Ruderman & Nevitte, 2015).  In this case, the wiretaps, failed to work in a continuous manner and however, a group of five men returned to the building of Watergate. Since the prowlers were arranging to break into the office with a new microphone. The security guard observed that someone had taped over the door lock of the buildings. It was not figured out on spot that the robbers were linked to the President. In this regard, uncertainties were elevated when detectives figured out the proof of the process of re-election of the committee’s White House phone number among the belongings of the burglars. Later, Nixon where he stated and swore that the Staff of White House was not associated in the robbery scenario delivered a speech. Majority votes had faith in the President and believed that the President was not involved with the murder case and hence, he was re-elected in a victory. The impact was the rules of Congress had become law under the 1978 ethics act. It expanded the possibility of restrictions to comprise the high-ranking officials in the executive and judiciary sectors. The existing lawmakers denied on criminal sanctions for violations, therefore, that the act enforced civil penalties. In the late 1980s, the House in exchange presented itself a pay-raise to ban on income from honoraria completely. A campaign by the President appeared to be mandatory to the president and some of his key advisers. The techniques included which resulted in illegal espionage. However, being dishonest was unethical. No individual can prohibit dishonestly. In regard to this, it is worth observing that Nixon never ordered for a break-in at the Watergate complex. The former Attorney General approved this. It was very much unethical on his part since being a President he committed a series of crime with his staff. The scandal of Watergate was considered to be the worst among all the scandals since it focused on the behaviour of the President (Spence, 2017). The Watergate scandal was filled with unethical issues during the presidency of Richard Nixon and it was arguably the high point of journalism’s role in the politics of America. He was involved in the scandal himself that led to the reason of his resignation. Due to the crime committed by President Richard Nixon it made the American people judge less of their system of government. However, Nixon was known for successful and overlapping wars against the anti-Vietnam War movement (Suri, 2017). It somehow reflected the behaviour outline and the mind-set, which was unique. A willingness to disrespect the law for an advantage in politics and an interest for secrets about his rivals served as a principle of his presidency. The scandal of Watergate acted as a prescription to modify the legal and political structure in the United States and therefore it had become a standard for scrutinizing the political behaviour (Walker, 2014). As a memory, Watergate shaped public discourse even when it was deformed. Watergate spurred wishes for reformation to stop the future abuses of power as scandals inevitably do. The 1978, ethics needed financial disclosures by the judicial and executive branch and not by the members of Congress. The law prohibited the changing door though which the public officials moved into the private sector (Maier, 2015). The act determined the Office of Government Ethics to supervise its financial disclosure and conflict of interest provisions. Watergate inspired the formation of mechanisms for judicial appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate allegations of wrongdoing by officials of the Executive branch. Therefore, these were the principal ethical issues in the scandal of Watergate in Washington in the early 1970s.

Political Ethics and the Reform that led to the Watergate Scandal

Another scandal that is similar to the ethical issues present in Watergate was when Harper was declared as the worst Prime Minister of Canada. In the year 2010, President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron had reached at a swanky resort that is situated two hours north of Toronto to take part in the annual Summit. During that time, no individual was aware of the fact that Clement had lifted $50 million from the public. When the Auditor General Sheila Fraser determined what happened to the $50 million and then she found the paper work, which proved how they decided to spend money. Admission to the Information Act proved that Clement was cheering mayors in his riding to opt for the money that was required in the election. After the $50 million scandal came into the scenario Clement was not eliminated from cabinet and neither was he reprimanded. Stephen Harper, Prime Minister had given him the responsibility of the Treasury Board. This Board was set up for overseeing ethics and accountability in government. Recently, Harper’s inclination for bribery that was covered in the budget of 2015. The government got free from the registry of the long gun as the RCMP was instructed to diminish its records. Therefore, having access to information was done with permission later (Copeland & Potwarka, 2016). The permission was cancelled since an allowed access request is treated as a criminal offence. The information commissioner of Canada suggested charges to be laid against the responsible members of RCMP.

The in and out scandal of Canada occurred in the election of 2006. The scenario that took place was when the Tories were charged of getting around by spending limits by transferring money between the riding offices and the party. A sum of $1.3 million to 67 was transferred to spend on advertising (Rhodes, 2016). Tories did an investigation sitting on the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs. Approximately four members of the party were accused for getting involved in the method and therefore the party was bound to reimburse the amount. Harper’s former staff was involved in the scheme.

In the scandal of the F-35 jet fighter contracted, it was observed that the plan was to purchase 65 of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighters with the Tories claimed the price tag, which would be $9 billion to buy and $7 billion to retain (Bakir et al., 2017). However, the contract was never made specific to tender even though Canadian law needs and it should happen for maximum defence purchases (Greer & McLaughlin, 2017). In the year of 2012, the Auditor General’s report stated that the government did not hold a fair rivalry. Adding to this, when the government gave its ascent in an agreement with Lockheed Martin in 2006, it did not assure a lesser amount of production in Canada. Tories did not answer the questions about estimates instead told them that the planes costed less. After years of lies and denial, the government shelved the order (Neu, Everett & Rahaman, 2015).

The Prowlers who Broke into the Watergate Complex and the Washington Post's Role

The Bruce Carson influence peddling scandal stated that a former senior adviser in Harper’s PMO, there was a disbarred lawyer named Carson who had gone to prison for innumerable charges of fraud that is prior to joining the inner circle of Harper. Carson was alleged with influence-peddling in the year 2012. He was also charged for lobbying ministerial staff at the Department of Aboriginal and Northern Development. Stephen Harper was always open about his contempt for the cultural sector (Gray, Hanson & Kousser, 2017).  At the time of elections, he had claimed that ordinary people does not bother about art and have no empathy for rich artists who assemble for whining about their grants. Harper was determined to destroy CBC. Before Harper was elected as the Prime Minister, CBC was considered  as one of the most poorly funded public platform in the world. The government of Canada helped the CBC ranks close to the bottom compared with the Western industrialized nations (Hedgecoe, 2017). When Harper became the Prime Minister, the operating budget of CBC was less. It steadily decreased. Harper stacked the board of CBC with his political supporters. CBC had been presided over by Tory donor who was an employee at the most powerful law firm in Canada. The proper shift of CBC under Harper was observant as well. Harper attacked Canada’s historical institutions. He cut down the budget of the national library by making it more complex for historians to research the past and background of the country. Governance of Harper had altered the guide of citizenship, which reflected a shallow and pro-business view of the Canadian history by explaining the role of Canada in wars (Yu, Zhang & Zheng, 2015). Harper modified the museum of civilization in Ottawa to the museum of Canadian history. This is because it highlighted the role of Canada in military engagements. Canada’s major peacekeeping forces have been eliminated. China had invested over $30 billion in the Canadian energy sector and its companies are important investors in the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline (Forni et al., 2017). The Chinese investors wanted to sue Canada for plenty of its activities. It was related to the Chinese assets that are connected to the Northern Gateway Pipeline. From the time Harper became the Prime Minister, Lebanon was invaded by Israel by killing 1,125 lebanese as compared to the number of Israelis. In spite of the international condemnation over what was noticed as Israel’s over killed in these instances (Hass, 2014). The governance of Harper had consistently hustled in defending Israel. Canada was on side with Israel to frustrate the efforts of Palestinians for having their own state. The foreign policy of Harper had alienated the communities of Muslims and Arabs. The government wanted to keep Omar in prison. The federal government had deleted $1 million of funding for the Canadian Arab Federation because of the organization’s criticism of Israel.   He was involved in a fire flight in Afghanistan when he was 15. The government of Canada had chartered a justified and not so strongly biased attitude towards the Muslims. The war on ISIS was used by the governance of Harper to whip up to provide assistance for the legislation of anti-terrorism and terrorist attacks on the soils of Canada.


However, there have been plenty of unethical scandals in Canada. It can be observed that these political scandals of Canada have an unethical effect on the public. The political leaders are known for their political, social, economic and cultural pressures, which are majorly formed by issues of ethics. From the above mentioned unethical issues it can be concluded that these political scandals has unethical principles.

Bakir, V., Herring, E., Miller, D., & Robinson, P. (2017). Lying and deception in politics.

Copeland, R., & Potwarka, L. R. (2016). Individual and contextual factors in ethical decision making: a case study of the most significant doping scandal in Canadian university sports history. Sport Management Review, 19(1), 61-68.

Forni, M., Gambetti, L., Lippi, M., & Sala, L. (2017). Noise bubbles. The Economic Journal, 127(604), 1940-1976.

Gray, V., Hanson, R. L., & Kousser, T. (Eds.). (2017). Politics in the American states: A comparative analysis. Cq Press.

Greer, C., & McLaughlin, E. (2017). Theorizing institutional scandal and the regulatory state. Theoretical Criminology, 21(2), 112-132.

Hass, A. (2014). The Israeli “Watergate” Scandal: The Facts about Palestinian Water. Haaretz News.

Hedgecoe, A. (2017). Scandals, ethics, and regulatory change in biomedical research. Science, Technology, & Human Values, 42(4), 577-599.

Maier, J. (2015). The impact of political scandals on political support: An experimental test of two theories. International Political Science Review, 32(3), 283-302.

Morris, J. W. (2017). Politics and Ethics. The Siegel Institute Journal of Applied Ethics, 3(1),1.

Neu, D., Everett, J., & Rahaman, A. S. (2015). Preventing corruption within government procurement: Constructing the disciplined and ethical subject. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 28, 49-61.

Rhodes, C. (2016). Democratic business ethics: Volkswagen’s emissions scandal and the disruption of corporate sovereignty. Organization Studies, 37(10), 1501-1518.

Ruderman, N., & Nevitte, N. (2015). Assessing the Impact of Political Scandals on Attitudes toward Democracy: Evidence from Canada's Sponsorship Scandal. Canadian Journal of Political Science/Revue canadienne de science politique, 48(4), 885-904.

Spence, E. H. (2017). Corruption in the media. In The Handbook of Business and Corruption: Cross-Sectoral Experiences (pp. 453-480). Emerald Publishing Limited.

Suri, J. (2017). Johannes Kadura. The War after the War: The Struggle for Credibility during America’s Exit from Vietnam.

Walker, S. (2014). Katherine A. Scott. Reining In the State: Civil Society and Congress in the Vietnam and Watergate Eras.

White, L. (2016). The Anti-Money Laundering Complex in the Modern Era.

Yu, X., Zhang, P., & Zheng, Y. (2015). Corporate Governance, Political Connections, and Intra?Industry Effects: Evidence from Corporate Scandals in China. Financial Management, 44(1), 49-80.

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