THE DASTYARI SAGA

THE DASTYARI SAGA

Politicians Should Put National Interest Before Party

The pre-resignation comments of Senator Sam Dastyari indicate what is wrong with the Parliament and indeed politics in general today.

The Senate was established to represent the interests of the States in a federation. This is why each State elects 12 senators regardless of its population. This is why Tasmania, with a population of only 515,000 is able to elect the same number of Senators as New South Wales with a population of 7,554,000.

The comments of Senator Dastyari were all about what is best for the Labor Party whereas any politician should be talking about what is best for the national interest and Senators should also be talking about what is best for the State they represent rather than the political party they belong to.

Adversarial politics as opposed to all elected politicians working for the national interest are damaging the way in which our system of parliamentary democracy is working. Australia is saved from the worst influences deriving from the resulting chaos because our Constitution is based on the Crown and therefore insulated from political control.

We can do nothing about the rise of the political parties and the tight rein the whips of each party exercise over their members but every politician elected to office must be reminded of the great honour done to them by their election and that they are there to serve the people first and foremost regardless of party affiliation.

Each federal politician is required to swear or affirm true allegiance to the Queen and to the Constitution before taking their seat. Allegiance to the Queen is allegiance to the Crown and through the Crown to the people. Most politicians, however, treat their oath or affirmation as mere words not worth bothering about. How then, can we expect such politicians to be allegiant to the people who elected them in the first place?

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