Political Accountability and Responsibility

Our politicians’ “Codes of Conduct” have proven to be insufficient and ineffective. This is either because the Codes are lacking teeth or those charged with enforcing it are not able or willing to complete the task.

Having politicians adjudicate on whether their fellow politicians have breached conduct rules is “Caesar judging Caesar” and is wrong. An independent adjudicator should be appointed to decide these matters and if necessary, determine the appropriate punishment.

The spectacle of ministers deliberately misleading Parliament and therefore misleading the public of South Australia, simply has to stop. Such conduct should carry far more significant consequences than currently exist.

The traditional concept of Ministerial Responsibility should be revived replacing the watered-down version currently favoured by our politicians. Our members of Parliament should no longer be able to avoid accountability by pointing the finger of blame at someone in the bureaucracy from whom they accepted advice. Once they accept and act upon that advice, it becomes theirs. Politicians are very keen to accept the kudos of good results but are far less keen to accept the responsibility for bad ones. We want to bring about real change in the form of Ministerial Accountability.