Nick Houston has formally nominated as a Democratic Reform Alliance (DRA) aligned Independent Candidate running for the ACT Senate. The DRA is focussed on creating better accountability arrangements for our politicians, reducing corruption in the political system, and extending the ability of ordinary Australians to participate in the governing of Australia.
Houston is running on a ticket of transparency in government.
Houston said today “Many Australians have had a gutful of the maladministration, corruption, and unethical behaviour of our politicians. The abuse of travel and electoral entitlements is endemic, the Government systematically stacks government commissions with party insiders, and senior officials regularly misuse political office to give jobs to lobbyists, party power brokers, and even pregnant staff members”.
According to Houston “the core issue is the major parties are awash in improperly disclosed corporate and union cash, with the corresponding favours, kick-backs, and advantageous regulatory outcomes worth, in some cases, hundreds of millions of dollars ultimately paid for by the tax-payer”.
“The parties have no incentive to represent the needs of the electorate and there are insufficient accountability mechanisms in place to stop the corruption”, said Mr Houston.
Houston said, “like many people I have had a gutful of the litany of abuses and conflicts of interest of the major parties and want change”.
The DRA has called for a Royal Commission into Political Corruption and Institutional Conflicts of Interest in the Political System. Houston supports the call stating that “in the aftermath of the findings of the royal commissions into banking and institutional child sexual abuse that shocked the nation it is now time to have a closer look at what is happening within the political system”.
Mr Houston says a change in the political wind has created an opening for a candidate who can address the concerns of people from across the political spectrum.
“Accountability is not a left or right issue. I am looking for votes from everyone who is disillusioned with the major parties including Liberals disenchanted with Zed Seselja, disappointed Labor voters, Greens, and people who would otherwise consider voting for Pauline Hanson or Clive Palmer”.
“If I am elected, I will work with other independents and minor parties to use any balance of power opportunity to negotiate tough new legislation to clean up politics”
“Anyone who wants sensible moderate change should first vote an Independent as it is only the Independents who can introduce the reforms required”.
Mr Houston outlines his key policies as follows:
1. Ban donations from corporations and organisations (as opposed to individual shareholders and union members);
2. End tax payer support of political parties;
3. Introduce world’s best practice campaign and party funding laws;
4. Better regulate politicians’ entitlements and reduce benefits to community standards;
5. Introduce a tough Anti-Corruption Authority to keep the bastards honest;
6. Introduce an Integrity Commission to enforce binding probity guidelines in relation to government appointments, contracting, and asset sales;
7. Better regulate lobbyists including banning politicians from lobbying for 3 years after holding public office.
Mr Houston also supports extending the right of ordinary Australians to participate in our democracy.
“It is time the people of Canberra are given the same democratic representation in the Parliament as people living in the other states. I also support the direct election of the Governor-General within the current constitutional context. Finally, I support binding national plebiscites on critical social issues including euthanasia, drug law reform, foreign treaties, and decisions to commit troops overseas”.
About Nick Houston
Nick Houston is a long-term resident of Canberra who grew up in Belconnen and went to Cook Primary, Canberra High School and Hawker College. He now lives in Woden. Houston has worked in three different government departments and for the last 13 years has run a legal practice in Canberra specialising in migration law.
To learn more about Nick Houston and the transparency policies of the DRA see:
For further information please contact Nicholas Houston
Tel: 0412 189 814