Quick post: I search myself, I want you to find me… Thoughts on ICAC

I’m a big fan of ICAC.  State governments are rife with corruption, so having an independent commission is a good way to clean out these Augean Stables.

Should I worry about how comfortable I am with ICAC?  Upon what intuitions am I relying, and are those commonly affirmed intuitions?  What is the point of difference between being comfortable with ICAC and being opposed to it?

ICAC is fundamentally non-democratic.  Where the traditional theory is that corruption is a crime that gets adjudicated by courts or a character flaw that gets punished by the electorate, ICAC allows the executive branch of the State to scrutinise parliamentarians.  This is an important shift in power invested in unelected officials.

But isn’t this consistent with our current attitudes towards democracy?  We like the UN and international law because it regulates democratically elected governments and prevents them (or, at least, tries to prevent them) from doing things that we don’t like, like implementing policies that the majority of voters support.  The court system — traditionally seen as the most tyrannical and despotic element of our system of government — is now the darling of progressives who want to give it greater and greater say in the limits of legislative and executive power.

We want custodians and undemocratic authority figures to protect our system.  We instinctively want despotic officials to protect private liberties.  It’s why we all want ICAC.

The people who don’t want ICAC are those who think that democratic processes work.  They’re clearly wrong.


Author: Mark Fletcher

Mark Fletcher is a Canberra-based blogger and policy wonk who writes about conservatism, atheism, and popular culture. Read his blog at OnlyTheSangfroid. He tweets at @ClothedVillainy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s