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Governance by litigation is not democratic

Dear Sir,

It should give us all consternation that local politics is becoming a circus played out in the courts due to accusation, allegations and what appears to be outright lies to discredit your opposition politically.

It is disturbing that guilt by accusation seems to be the now-preferred strategy going forward, knowing this will resonate with your chosen support base.

It would be reasonable to sympathise with irresponsible claims of theft, extortion and lewd sexual conduct behind closed doors among elected officials with no substantive proof on offer.

These claims are often vindictive and hateful, with no consideration given to personal reputation and ruin. All that seems to matter is its effectiveness.

Governance by litigation is a terrible way forward and I believe the least democratic; the people want to see those they voted for buckling down to move the country forward. This is meant to speak to the entire legislature. While we do live by the rule of law, we do not expect to be governed by magistrates, lawyers, defendants and plaintiffs.

Is it now OK that the playbook should contain half-truths, innuendo, smear and, dare I say, plain old gossip?

Is the bar now set so low that it no longer offends our sensibilities as to what is right and decent in adversarial partisan combat? I certainly hope our moral compass has not become the victim of expediency and ambition.

Now to be fair, I must say that these forays into the minefield of litigation to have one's reputation restored and vindicated should be borne by the politician himself/herself and not from the public purse.

This, I believe, is right and goes a long way to establishing integrity and character in the person bringing the lawsuit.

There has to be one standard which we all must subscribe to for eminent fairness.

We need a return to respect for Parliament and the lofty opportunity to serve with conviction, enabled by intelligence and good ideas for the future wellbeing of the constituents we serve in a robust house where good conduct is played out among prepared people endowed generously with intellect.

Public money truly does not grow on trees and it should not be planted in the courts, either, where it is guaranteed not to grow.


Good conduct needed: We need a return to respect for Parliament and the lofty opportunity to serve with conviction, a reader says (File photograph by David Skinner)

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Published August 29, 2015 at 9:00 am (Updated August 29, 2015 at 12:53 am)

Governance by litigation is not democratic

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