Morrison’s War On Accountability

There are many crimes of the 9 years of Coalition rule, but perhaps none is as grave as their systematic undermining of safeguards against abuse of power.  Any government that has been in power for a long period of time has the potential to change the institutions and structure of a political system.  However, the Coalition have been unique in their complete disregard for accountability and disregard for the truth.  

They know that the only way they can hold onto power is through a web of manipulation and lies.  They know that if the Australian people understood the extend of their unique combination of incompetence and treasonous behaviour that they would would bar them from government.  

Our last federal election perfectly exemplifies how the Coalition relies on deception and abuse of trust to hold onto power.  Last election we saw a campaign built on the lie that Labor would implement a ‘retiree tax’.  This was a calculated and dishonest misrepresentation of Labor’s reforms to franking dividend imputation, which would only affect a small portion of high income earners.  Indeed, only three percent of those over 65 claiming franking credits had incomes over $180,000 but they claimed 43 percent of the value.  It was this three percent that Labor were targeting in their reforms.  But the Coalition turned this into the smear campaign of a retiree tax.

As if this lie wasn’t enough, the Coalition then decided on no basis whatsoever, to campaign that Labor would introduce a death tax.  It is impossible to emphasise enough that this claim was based on no evidence at all.  It just began one day, not in response to any policy announcement.  The campaign had no grounding in truth whatsoever, but it did work.  The number of ‘death tax’ Google searches multiplied in the days leading up to the election.  

Scomo will tell you that his election victory was a miracle, but it was nothing more than the fruit of a system of pathological lying.  

Those who think that this behaviour can be excused or is limited to election campaigns have not been paying attention and are in for a rude shock.  Because of the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID 19 pandemic, intergovernmental cooperation (between state and federal governments) was increasingly required.  However, right when the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) saw increasing use through necessity, Scomo decided that he would dissolve it.  COAG was generally considered to have a good level of accountability, allowing voters to examine the decisions of some of the most powerful members of governments across the country.  However, with this dissolution and the creation of the ‘National Cabinet’, Scomo was expressly declaring his intention to take some of the most important governmental decisions behind closed doors.  This is because he attempted to have the documents under the National Cabinet classified as ‘cabinet documents’ for the purposes of preventing their release under the Freedom of Information Act.  This calculated move to take information away from the Australian people in one of the most extreme and trying times represents a Coalition at war with accountability.  

This war is fought on many fronts.  The election campaign built on a lie delivered them control of the legislature and therefore control over the budget.  What did the Coalition do with this control?  They used it to further cover up their corruption.  When the National Audit Office uncovered their pork barrelling of marginal electorates with sports rorts, the Coalition’s response was to slash the funding of the Australian National Audit Office.  This undermines the very fabric of our democracy and the very concept of legitimacy.  This highlights why the Coalition is nothing more than a corrupt self-interested cartel, not for a second thinking about the public benefit and incapable of seeing beyond their own desire for power.

The Coalition is at war with accountability because they know that if they are held accountable for the web of lies that keep them in office and the incompetence they display, they will be revealed for what they are.  

They will be revealed as a hard crusty shell of corruption and deceit protecting a rotten inner core of self interest.  They will be revealed as a party committed to the destruction of the pillars propping up the legitimacy of our democratic system.

This election represents a chance to finally remove this cartel from power, it represents a chance for order and integrity to be restored to the government.  It represents a chance for the Labor party to introduce a strong federal integrity commission to prevent this sort of systematic corruption from greasing its way into power again.

This election we must vote out this conglomerate of corruption before they do more damage to our democracy.  We must vote them out before it is too late.