How do we bring out the best in our democracy?
A healthy democracy is built on firm foundations of accountability, transparency and integrity.
Australia has a proud democratic tradition, however there are loopholes in our system that leave it vulnerable to corruption. For example, corporations and wealthy individuals can donate substantial sums to political parties and invest in high-powered lobbying, often with little transparency.
How do we know whether and how much policy decisions are shaped by the needs and interests of powerful individuals, industry associations and corporations, rather than the public’s best interest? How can we best ensure our democracy best represents the needs and interests of all Australians, both current and future generations?
Our research, based on lengthy discussions with experts and everyday Australians alike, point us towards clear priorities for reform. These include caps on political donations, controls over political lobbying, a robust code of conduct for all parliamentarians, better protection for whistleblowers, cooperative action on global anti-corruption efforts, and of course a strong national anti-corruption and integrity agency.