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Political Trust- A Novel Idea

From The Magpie Whisperer

The dust has settled on the NSW election and for most of us it’s business as usual while we wait to see what’s delivered over the next four years. There are new faces in Macquarie Street and for them family, friends, hobbies and any other interests will now come a distant second to politics. What is always of concern is how the collective responsibility of politics forces many to suppress their personal views and even their ethics. And it goes a step further than that. If a politician becomes aware of another doing something unethical, the code of silence prevents him/her from acting on it. Other professions have that unwritten code of silence, but since politicians enjoy so much power, interact with so much public money and play

such pivotal roles in our lives, if unethical or illegal activities are allowed to slide, then generations of citizens will suffer the consequences.

Personally, I think it’s a toss-up between cynicism and boredom which most accurately describes the present disillusionment with politics. Have we simply lost trust in our politicians, or is politics just not entertaining enough? It’s clear the time has come when people are no longer willing to give the benefit of the doubt to government when something goes wrong, and are now more likely to see the latest scandal as indicative of the entire class of politicians. But because people want to trust in the future, and their ability to influence it, they still participate and try to make things better, and returning the LNP coalition to government in NSW is a good example.

I had a bit of a laugh at the nakedness of the ‘big round number’ bidding war between the two major political parties in the lead-up to the election,

but I admired the artful construction of the ratholes in the promises. As yet there are no specific dates by which targets are to be met and most commitments are contingent on the power asset lease. Plainly there is a great incentive for politicians to overpromise in order to win an election, and no immediate penalty for doing so. Premier Mike Baird has said he will work hard each day to ‘make the life of every person in NSW better.’ That’s a big promise. But if he and his government can prove they know how to achieve the pre-election goals they set out, it will set a welcome precedent. And something entirely new – a politics of trust.



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