Only our politicians could think of reasons why they in their personal conduct, their workplace and the political decisions they make, shouldn’t be investigated for suspected wrongdoing.
With that statement l inform you that a parliamentary committee made up of three conservative and two Labor MPs has, this week, rejected outright a code of conduct and establishing an independent parliamentary standards commissioner.
Movement on the proposed federal anti-corruption commission has been placed in quarantine. Earlier this year, the attorney general, Christian Porter, indicated that draft legislation had been ready for release but was delayed due to COVID-19.
How often will they use that excuse in the future?
The government has already missed several self-imposed deadlines to introduce its legislation. The model it has proposed has been widely criticised as weak as water and in need of a decent stir.
There are many and varied reasons as to why we need a Federal Integrity Commission. All in their own way demand your attention. Corruption stands out amongst them.
However, in this instance l put to you that just one wrongdoing justifies the establishment of a commission to keep the bastards honest. Of course, if you accept that it’s OK for our politicians to tell us lies, half-truths and lies by omission then you will obviously disagree.
Lying is not good under most circumstances, especially in the public domain. l have always maintained that the Australian public simply cannot expect good policy to start emanating from government until we begin to clean up the system itself. Bill Shorten committed Labor to do so but the Coalition came in late in the campaign and the voices in support were but a whisper. History shows that Labor lost and the LNP thus far has reneged on its promise.
I, like many other readers of this site, 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 own 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.
Bill Shorten described:
“… restoring public confidence in Australia’s democratic system as “bigger than me versus Morrison, bigger than Labor versus Liberal” and crucial to winning back trust.”
“Because the most corrosive sentiment in democracies around the world is the idea that politicians are only in it for themselves.”
But if the commission doesn’t have authority similar to a Royal Commission, independence with broad jurisdiction, with all the investigative powers it requires and is without government interference then all will be in vain.
Why do we need a Federal Integrity Commission?
“… sought to establish a statutory, independently enforced code of conduct to govern the behaviour of parliamentarians.”
In its wisdom, the committee concluded that:
“Based on the evidence before it, this committee is not persuaded that the circumstances have now changed such that there is a strong argument for introducing a code.”
Lying, misinformation, lying by omission, subliminally implied suggestions, straightforward propaganda, deliberate scare-campaigning and any form of untruthful communication has become the norm in the way politicians and the media converse with the public. So normal and long applied has this form of conversation become that we are now unquestioning of it.
That’s why we need a Federal Integrity Commission.
My thought for the day
If we are to save our democracy we might begin by asking that at the very least our politicians should be transparent and tell the truth.
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