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The Politicians' Pledge

The Politicians' Pledge is a promise made by a political candidate to constituents to adhere to a set of principles of representation.

The pledge was developed in 2015 prior to the NSW State election by the Ethics Centre (formerly known as The St James Ethics Centre) It was designed as a promise from candidates to constituents. The Sydney Morning Herald partnered the initiative, asking constituents to take the pledge to candidates and ask them to sign. Further, it was suggested constituents ask if the pledge wasn't signed what guarantee was there that they would be represented. We had the privilege of sitting With Dr Simon Longstaff to talk with him about the reasons behind the pledge and what it sets out to achieve. You can view the conversation at the end of this post. You can read the 2015 article about the pledge here

In 2019 independent Candidate for Indi, Dr Helen Haines, signed the Politician's Pledge.

Dr Haines went on to win the election.

The Politicians' Pledge

As originally conceived, the practice of politics is intended to be a noble calling. Yet, without voluntary, ethical restraint, the pursuit and exercise of power risks becoming personal, brutal and self-serving; coarsening the polity, bringing public institutions into disrepute and damaging the common good.

So, consistent with the highest ideals of our profession, I promise that:

In the pursuit of power, I will:

• Act in good conscience;

• Enable informed decision-making by my fellow citizens;

• Respect the intrinsic dignity of all;

• Refrain from exploiting my rivals' private failings for political gain; and

• Act so as to merit the trust and respect of the community.

In the exercise of power, I will:

• Give effect to the ideals of democratic government and represent the interests of my electorate as a whole;

• Abide by the letter and spirit of the Constitution and uphold the rule of law;

• Advance the public interest before any personal, sectional or partisan interest;

• Hold myself accountable for conduct for which I am responsible; and

• Exercise the privileges and discharge the duties of public office with dignity, care and honour.


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