With the next election possibly but a few months away, it seems highly unlikely that the Coalition will bring any legislation into the House for a Commonwealth Integrity Commission. So pathetic was the last attempt by Christian Porter that it was laughed out of the Chamber.
Be it not for me to say that all the participants in our political system are lilly-whites, but conservatives seem most prone to the evils of the corrupt deal.
It is now two and a half years ago that they promised to legislate for a Commission, and it seems they will renege on it.
There are three possibilities as to why. One is that COVID-19 has made it too difficult to draw up complex legislation. Two might be that it would incriminate the Prime Minister and Cabinet in significant corruption. And three is that there is no money in the budget for such a commission and its long-term costs.
This flies in the face of:
“… the “government’s claim that it understands the need to prioritise transparency and accountability in public life and implement policies to achieve such an outcome.”
Humility is the basis of all intellectual advancement. However, it is the truth that enables human progress.
Suppose it is true that the Coalition doesn’t plan to take a policy to the next election. In that case, it may fly in the face of public opinion and at the same time create the impression that they are scared of doing so because such a commission may want to look at Coalition corruption during its term in office.
As I see it, it is a win-win for Labor. The government cannot produce legislation that will eliminate enquiries into Coalition dealings such as land deals, aged care, political donations, sports rorts, Robodebt and a host of others that would pass the Senate. If we don’t end up with a commission, the government will still have to explain why.
And if Morrison thinks he can explain it away with a few glib lies, then he will be overlooking what is now a long-term, deep-rooted desire for an effective federal anti-corruption body.
Governments who demand the people’s trust need to govern transparently to acquire it.
Dr Colleen Lewis, Honorary Professor, Australian Studies Institute, ANU, is certain that:
“This matter will not go away; indeed, the reverse is the case. In several Australian states, the establishment of an effective anti-corruption model became a significant election issue. Those who care about accountability, openness and transparency at the federal level, and there are many, will ensure that it is front and centre in the forthcoming federal election.
It is time for the government to admit that the Porter-promoted CIC model is so badly flawed as to be an embarrassment to any government that professes to be concerned about effective accountability in the Australian public sector. It is not too late for it to right the wrongs of the past 2 ½ years.”
In October of 2020, Scott Morrison was asked by Anthony Albanese a question about the delay in the legislation. It was obvious that Morrison had zero interest, deflecting the urgency:
— Katharine Murphy (@murpharoo) October 21, 2020
At the time, I wrote that:
“In truth, what these answers delivered was confirmation of an ongoing capacity to lie to the Australian people. The government has been conducting business as usual since the outbreak began. Part of that normality has been legislation to overhaul the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act and the foreign veto power proposal plus powers to remove mobile phones from asylum seekers legislation. Add to these other examples, like doubling university fees for some future humanities students.”
I also purported that:
“Like many other readers of this site, I feel that for many years now, the integrity of our politics has been gradually sold out by a bunch of corrupt politicians more intent on feathering their nests than working for the people. We are sick to death of the travel rorts, the living away from home allowance, donation rorts and ministers when they retire, walking into senior positions with companies in the same field.”
Wouldn’t it be good if in our parliament, regardless of ideology, we had politician’s whose first interest was the peoples and not their own.
I could keep going, but I think you get my drift. All of these everyday pieces of legislation have been worked on while at the same time coping with an awful pandemic. With a list of alleged corruption growing longer by the day
And I repeat an earlier claim:
“If all the LNP errors, rorts and corrupt activities during the Morrison government’s tenure were lumped in the same basket as corruption and looked at retrospectively, then an Integrity Commissioner would have years of work.”
My thought for the day
Having the ability to admit that you are wrong is an absolute prerequisite to discernment and knowledge.’
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