Leader of the Reason Party and Northern Metropolitan MP Fiona Patten’s strategy for new integrity and transparency rules for politicians, has been reaffirmed by a new survey conducted by Griffith University and Transparency International Australia.
The survey, of 2,218 adults, revealed that trust and confidence in all levels of government fell in 2017 to 46 per cent for federal and state governments and 51 per cent for local governments.
This only reaffirmed Ms Patten’s concerns of a growing impact of corruption on trust and confidence in government, and politicians using their positions to benefit themselves or their families.
“I want to see more community engagement in the parliamentary process – this could mean the establishment of citizen juries and governments actually acting on the petitions this government receives,” Ms Patten said.
“The public deserves a political system where their representatives act in good faith and with integrity. The self-interest of our major political parties has resulted in significant public distrust, which is something that I want to rectify.
“Restoring integrity and honesty within politics is the Reason Party’s central policy platform. Our community simply deserves nothing less.”
The survey is broadly consistent with the Grattan Institute research from March 2018, which showed protest politics was on the rise in Australia, with the main cause being collapsing trust in the major parties. At the 2016 federal election it hit its highest level since the Second World War, with more than one-in-four Australians voting for someone other than the ALP, the LNP or the Greens in the Senate.
Ms Patten’s plan for reason, which she will take the 2018 state election, includes:
- · A new duty of care for politicians to only act in the interest of the community
- · Open, publicly available ministerial diaries
- · An end to parliamentary entitlements; replaced with enforceable office expense rules
- · Retiring MP’s banned from working as lobbyists for a fixed term.
Ms Patten has promised to maintain her focus on open and honest dialogue with the public – and to listen.
“I could just sit back and watch the votes fall to small parties, like mine, but my focus is on restoring trust.”
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