The recent sting operations exposing sleaze of MPs certainly stirred the nation. These exposés pose a formidable challenge to the legitimacy of our political system. But the Government’s frenetic efforts to provide state funding for elections, is a classic prescription of placebos for a deep-rooted political malaise. Public funding in itself, like placebos or vitamins, is harmless, even desirable. But this knee-jerk response does not address the underlying crisis. Two issues need elaboration.