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Election Day celebrates the rule of law and compliance

Going door to door canvassing for votes …

Standing roadside with big sign for your candidate…

Standing for hours in line to vote…

Are you afraid you will be attacked by thugs, bombed at a polling place or forced to “vote” a certain way to keep the job that feeds your family?

You should be afraid – depending on what country you happen to live in on an election day.

But, on Election Day in America: We are not afraid. We must never be afraid of our political process.

We are united in our opposition to crooked politicians and to thugs and threats of violence to win elections. It’s un-American. We are not that kind of people. We don’t do that here.

Not even a hurricane should be allowed to block Americans from voting. United, we recognize that all Americans need to vote, like they need food and shelter.

The whole world stands in awe of Americans on Election Day. A vast democracy, the most powerful country in the world, changes its government by citizens voting in a process that is free from corruption and played by the rules: “Though my political opponent is wrongheaded and will ruin the country, I will play by the rules to win the votes to defeat him.”

Sounds like the compliance proposition; no bribes and no cheating to win the business.

Thinking of compliance as a career choice? It’s a good day to think about it.

Compliance is also about values and fair play. But the values can cost you.

More than one compliance officer has paid a price in stress and job security for taking a stand in favor of compliance with law and the company’s Code of Ethics.

Compliance officers are not always popular. This comes with the profession. It’s not for everyone, but most compliance officers I know say that over the years making a difference has felt good and careers have been successful. There were also those rare days when they were recognized as heroes, saving the company’s profits and its reputation.

Election Day in America – Let’s vote – and while we are at it, let’s celebrate the belief in compliance with laws and the spirit of fair play that makes Election Day in America the wonder that it is.

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Michael Scher is a contributing editor of the FCPA Blog.

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