Monday, May 05, 2008

Power plays going crazy

My home state of NSW has witnessed some incredibly blatant attempts at corruption over the recent past; an incredibly arrogant Premier rejecting the overwhelming feelings of his party; and the same Premier being openly rejected.

The game is still in play, the party per se has no power over the Premier within the parliamentary wing; that is down to caucus. There is a longer term power and I assume elected members are being pressured as I write, with threats against future pre-selection. No worries for Premier Morris Iemma or his bulldog treasurer Costa.

This is power politics at it highest level. The Premier and the treasurer cannot survive this for long, so why are they so determined to push on regardless. To my mind we only need to look at one of the ploys to get union delegates on side with the sell off. This powerful block was offered share packages in any final sale deal.

Think about that one, vote for this deal, we’ll sell the state’s resources and give you a free share of the result. I expect regulators and the High Court might have some objection to a deal like that, but it failed anyway. The Premier was rolled on the floor of the State party conference by around 700 votes to 100 votes.

Back to the desperation, for our state and federal political leaders the game is increasingly about life after parliament, getting those gold stars on the CV. In this case the promises of job futures must be compelling for these guys to put their not so little pink arses on the line so dramatically.

The one thing I still can’t understand is just why the highly effective ICAC (Independent Commission against Corruption). This body is an international best practice model. But then NSW is still one of the most corrupt jurisdictions in this country, so perhaps the ICAC can simply cherry pick the most winnable cases.

11 comments:

enigma4ever said...

really interesting....really...a Corruption Commission...

Cart said...

An investigation of our rail transit outfit RailCorp, by ICAC, has just found their funds have been used as "a personal ATM" for some workers. The general level of corruption here has always been high and I can only assume a world’s best still has limited resources. Maybe it’s all a product of a convict past ;)

D.K. Raed said...

so "you scratch my back & I'll scratch yours" isn't just confined to my hemisphere?

Cart said...

I do think we have elevated the process to public spectacle.

TomCat said...

I can't say that I fully understand what's going on, but I hope your unions realize that deals with the corrupt right wing usually come back to bite the unions in the butt, at least in this half the world.

Cart said...

Tom, the Labor Party was born out of the union movement. I guess as a nursery for parliamentary service they are well versed in taking on government.
It is just unusual to see such blatant contempt for the numbers. Though it is not unusual to see blatant corruption.

lindsaylobe said...

Hi Cart ~The problem is the Commission does not have enough teeth and it’s difficult to prosecute. What we need are more definitive descriptive guidelines and an agreed period in which former politicians are prohibited from accepting favourable business positions after completing their terms in parliament. Rudd is consdering such provisions at the moment.
Best wishes

Cart said...

Lindsay, thanks for taking time out to comment. I know you have your hands full, and hope your wife is fairing well; you too for that matter.
I know the ICAC has its limitations, but it worked well until politicians saw a need to get around the intent. I seem to recall federal provisions can override some state laws, but I’m not sure Rudd can override the NSW Labor branch.
While Iemma talks about tougher electoral funding laws he still hasn’t mentioned that great after parliament windfall these guys aim for now. Could well be the donation deal doesn’t really stand up to the less transparent later payoff.
I still think it would be a bonus for the rest of us if parliamentarians, or at the very least ministers, were granted an extra term’s pay to cover the losses from being barred from inappropriate employment when they leave parliament

TomCat said...

Union corruption had been big here two.

Cart said...

True Tom, and you have the same dynamic with state politics. We actually do share a lot of similarities, among all the differences.

TomCat said...

That we do, my friend.