With a federal election approaching, the issue of political corruption is shaping up to be a key issue. Labor have committed themselves to a National Integrity Commission and, after sustained pressure from Labor and the Greens, the Liberals eventually announced a similar Commonwealth Integrity Commission. These Commissions sound like a nice idea, but rather than being a solution they are a justification of the root issue: political power.
The leader of the opposition, Bill Shorten, claims that such a Commission is necessary to “restore people’s faith in their representatives and the system”. This is a feel-good line from a power hungry politician, a characteristic shared by all parliamentarians who call for this type of anti-corruption body.
It’s time for a quick history lesson.