Australia

Jan 13, 2012

Just how do you justify entitlements to ex-politicians?

If a politician’s entitlements annoy a voter, then an ex-politician’s entitlements must annoy a voter more, writes Stephen Bartos, governance expert and director of Sapere Research Group.

If a politician’s entitlements annoy a voter, then an ex-politician’s entitlements must annoy a voter more. That at least seems the logic in The Sydney Morning Herald’s front-page story on Wednesday about former premiers drawing on their allowances.

These kinds of stories are standard outrage generators, but one doubts that the average reader reacts with the kind of horror the writers anticipate. It seems more likely, looking at letters published since, that the response is resigned amusement with a tinge of irritation. The levels of cynicism about politicians — especially in NSW after recent decades — are so low that a few extra entitlements are just extra confirmation of pre-existing views.

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7 comments

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7 thoughts on “Just how do you justify entitlements to ex-politicians?

  1. klewso

    Then there are those on more than one “pension”.
    Why can’t it be means tested?

  2. I liked the statement “It could be a lot worse — some voters end up
    with a convinced criminal as their ex-politician. ” Whether convicted,
    or convinced, I think you’ll find that politicians are one group that
    are excluded from taking up their position if they have a criminal
    record!

  3. zut alors

    Re the convinced/convicted criminal ex-politicians on the provided link: it comes as no surprise to see Queensland has double the number of any other state.

    It’s worth living here not only for the outstanding weather but also to have a front row seat to the antics.

  4. stephen bartos

    OK, I admit it, ‘convinced’ was a typo – but a quite amusing one in retrospect.

  5. Nicholas Houston

    Peter Reith is my favourite ex-politician, having mis-lead Parliament and the nation by claiming those asylum seekers threw their kids overboard when they did not. Perhaps fearing he had done wrong (or perhaps just chasing the dollar) he did not stand for re-election and went off to consult to the defence industry. He got away with his lies, his Parliamentary pension and his consulting fees. It is a pity future Parliaments cannot re-visit egregious mis-leaders and strip those politicians of their entitlements.

  6. klewso

    “Reith”?
    Not to mention the misuse of his phones and the way he helped Patricks to “retrain”?
    Now he’s an “expert” at “The Drum” :- now more “The Dumb” with that sort of input??

  7. Nicholas Houston

    I would wish that nightmare of a Peter Reith comes back into a role in the Liberal Party in the hope that there may be some public calling into account his actions. There are probably millions of people who cannot stand him and would like to see a spectacular fall. Not me of course!

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