Press Release: Call for Candidates to Unite Behind Royal Commission into Political Corruption

Canberra
12 March 2019

The newly formed anti-corruption party the Democratic Reform Alliance (DRA) is calling for all candidates in this year’s federal election to unite in calling for a Royal Commission into the endemic political corruption and institutional conflicts of interest in the political practices of the major parties who control government.

Chief Political Advisor for the DRA and former Leader of the Australian Sex Party ACT, Steven Bailey said today that, “Australia has had enough of the maladministration, corruption, and unethical behaviour of the major parties. We agree with Kerryn Phelps, that now is a unique time in Australian history for new political forces, regardless of their political persuasion, to unite behind common causes, and hold our Governments, and the parties that form Government to account”.

Leader and founder of the DRA Nicholas Houston said that, “many people consider Australia to be relatively free of corruption when compared with other countries. But this is no longer the truth.”

“Recently, and historically, Australians have seen senior Ministers accept corrupt personal favours from corporate interests. Governments of all stripes systematically allocate major contracts worth billions of dollars to party donors without following due process. The Cabinet systematically stacks government boards and commissions with their mates, and senior officials misuse political office to give jobs to lobbyists, party power brokers, and even pregnant staff members, and the abuse of travel and electoral entitlements is endemic”.

“More significantly, 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 taxpayer.”

Houston says that, “Australians have had a gutful of the abuses of the major parties and it is time to examine the state of our democracy and clean up the system. Even in the USA, important appointments are scrutinised and approved by their Senate. We need a Royal Commission with the power to investigate the unethical and conflicted practices of our politicians and the major parties over the last decade and recommend criminal prosecutions where necessary”.

Bailey said, “the major parties will no doubt resist the call for a Royal Commission into Political Corruption and Institutional Conflicts of Interest in the Australian Political System, effectively calling a Royal Commission into themselves. But let’s remember that it was the pressure of independents and minor parties that forced Governments to call for Royal Commissions into the banking industry and institutional responses to child sexual abuse. The reality is that as time goes on, Federal Government will be formed by coalitions of Independents and minor parties. What we call a ‘hung parliament’, other mature nations call representative democracy at work. We are calling on all minor forces to make such a Royal Commission a condition of forming Government.”

“As Australians, we have a choice. We either accept the permanent erosion of our egalitarian systems and institutions, or we can progress boldly into the 21st century with a strong accountable democracy. We are calling for a Royal Commission into the fabric of our Democracy, and in doing so, aspire to be the freest and fairest Democracy in the world.”

Houston said, “there are those politicians who say no, hold us back, and maintain the status quo. I believe that it is the politician’s role is to inspire the nation and lead by conviction. Rather than comparing ourselves to others, we need to reach for our highest ideals. The fate of the 21st century depends upon it.”

From today until the end of the first week of the writs being issued, Bailey will contact every single candidate and party on behalf of the DRA, asking that they support such a Royal Commission. The DRA will continuously list the parties and candidates who choose to unite in supporting our call on its website, Facebook, and in other social media platforms. We will also list those parties and candidates who, despite the evidence of corruption and endemic conflicts of interest in the system, reject our call and the need for a Royal Commission.

For further information please contact Steven Bailey

Tel: 0400 419 404
Email: organiser@democraticreformalliance.org.au
Website: www.democraticreformalliance.org.au

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