Food for thought

Food for thought

At the request of Parliament its Code of Conduct was reviewed by the Integrity Chamber (see Tuesday paper). This resulted in suggestions like the establishment of a relevant internal complaint procedure.

One notable proposal was lowering the monetary limit to register – never solicited – gifts from US $500 to $50, bringing it more in line with similar codes elsewhere. This ought to include favours, savings or discounts, hospitality services and any item partially or fully paid for by the “giver,” while cash, vouchers and shares should not be accepted at all.

That the legislature itself asked for this advice is admirable. However, to what extent the recommendations will be implemented remains to be seen and a response due October 26 had not yet been submitted.

If such were only possible, some “new rules” might be added:

* Thou shall not leave a party faction and take along the seat for anything but basic principles, not frivolous or opportunistic reasons.

* When in government faced with a loss of majority support, thou shall not dismantle the legislature in turn and spark early elections, especially if a new coalition has already been formed.

* In case appointed minister, thou shall always work in the general and not any particular interest.

* Thou shall not change political parties like underwear and/or do “list shopping” to have the best chance of getting elected.

* Thou shall not engage in attempts at vote-buying, of which several cases were proven in court.

* Thou shall not get in trouble with the law for irregularities as happened to more than half a dozen MPs since 10-10-10.

* Thou shall not seek ways to evade campaign financing rules and restrictions.

* Thou shall not make unrealistic empty pre-election promises; instead be sincere with the people.

There are undoubtedly other examples, but it’s just food for thought.


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