[LINK] 'World's biggest Luddite' in Telstra plasma TV row

Chris Maltby chris@sw.oz.au
Fri, 14 Feb 2003 12:31:39 +1100

On Fri, Feb 14, 2003 at 09:40:39AM +1000, Chirgwin, Richard wrote:
> Jan - let's just say that the lack of an equivalent to ICAC at
> the federal level is problematic.

Sure is...

> Hmmm. The question of corruption is interesting. Was a benefit asked
> for in return for the loan? Probably not. Was the loan (and other stuff)
> kept a secret - no, but I love the way the pecunary interests register
> seems to be one of the few documents in parliament that's NOT on the
> Hansard Website (I may be wrong).

> Does it >look< dodgy? No more so than Shane Warne's mum's tablets.
> Is looking dodgy enough? No.

> As far as impeachment goes, well, we don't have a president do we? In
> Canberra, the foxes do the guarding - it starts with the various house
> ethical committees (I don't know their correct titles offhand) which
> are made up of ... other members of the house.

It's valuable to recall the case that was instrumental in the end
of Greiner's premiership in NSW. After a lot of scandal there a case
was conducted in the Supreme Court IIRC. The final judgement was that
although the matters in question had clearly provided an advantage to the
supporters of one side, the nature of politics is, in fact, to make these
kinds of political decisions. The court decided that it was the role of
voters and not the courts to punish governments who made questionable
decisions. (All the above assumes that no law has been broken, unlike
for example, the Howard government's role in the MUA/Patricks dispute.)

For voters to fulfil this role they need access to the necessary
information so they can form a judgement.  This means that we need to
expand scrutiny and transparency of the influences on political decision
making. It's a disgrace that pecuniary interest registers and political
donation registers are not linked on the Parliament House website...