Selling out ethical journalism: @journlaw on @theage secret recordings #springst

[clear] It is a sad day when senior political figures steal a journalist’s recording device and destroy its contents, as we have been told happened at this year’s Victorian Labor conference. But it is an even sadder day when we hear a major newspaper – The Age – justifying a senior reporter secretly recording their conversations with sources. That newspaper’s editorial thundered at the state opposition leader: “Here is a lesson in the law, Mr Andrews: it is not illegal in this state to record people without their consent if you are a party to the call.” The journalist involved – The Sunday Age’s state political editor Farrah Tomazin – went […]

The fruitless push for a Parliamentarians’ code of conduct

By Rose Iser 16 October 2013 The latest spate of entitlements scandals is unlikely to bring about a code of conduct for federal parliamentarians given that, for the past 40 years, multiple attempts to enact a code have failed. Since 1975, federal leaders and parliamentarians have investigated the possibility of a code of conduct, but reports and proposals have never resulted in a wide-ranging code covering the behaviour of MPs. In 1980, the House of Representatives noted a report from the Bowen Committee, chaired by the Chief Justice of the Federal Court, Sir Nigel Bowen, recommending changes to Standing Orders to enforce a code of conduct – a breach of which […]

Will the donkeys have a say?

By Angus Barnes 30 August 2013 A ‘donkey vote’ is so-called because it is the vote of fools, but can the donkeys have an impact on this election? While it may appear foolish to number the candidates in the order they appear on the ballot paper and not, for example, in the order of the party’s how-to-vote-card, under the preferential voting system this ‘donkey vote’ is still considered a formal vote. Thus donkeys count. Why do people chose to donkey vote? This is hard to say categorically, but some reasons may be for time efficiency, lack of knowledge of candidates/parties, or a form of protest for voters unhappy with the choices […]