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.

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