Thank goodness we are all equal at the ballot box.
We Are Hughes was created with the idea we can create better politics. It seems impossible not to achieve this with such a low bar being set.
Craig Kelly and his belligerent undignified behaviour was known for years. It was not only tolerated, there was active intervention to keep him in Hughes. We now know this endorsement happened against the backdrop of allegations of inappropriate behaviour in his office being reported up the line by senior Liberal party members.
Craig Kelly only began to fall on his sword when the media highlighted his irresponsible and far reaching Facebook posts.
This response from Prime Minister Scott Morrison on the 3rd of February is more than telling:
"I didn't see any reason to draw any attention to these things, but the matter had been escalated in the media and it was important I addressed it as firmly as I did today, so the matter is done."
Likewise, Andrew Laming has been a problem in the making for years. Not only was his behaviour well known, Andrew Laming's own Facebook posts show him for what he was. It was only when the media highlighted the behaviour that he became a political problem.
In 2018 senior LNP members emailed members about Andrew Laming's behaviour highlighting "belligerent Facebook arguments with local voters". The result? The authors of the email were suspended.
Ms Higgins's allegations of a rape in parliament and the subsequent response is part of a pattern of behaviour. Taken at face value, it is only when the allegations were aired in the media that they were serious enough for the Prime Minister to be informed.
The allegations against Christian Porter that surfaced in the media are horrendous and tragic on so many levels. One wonders if these are humans problems or media problems for the government?
Linda Reynolds and Christian Porter are now on medical leave, Andrew Laming is undertaking empathy and communication training. All three MP's have effectively been taken away from media scrutiny. There is no suggestion that the medical leave is not warranted.
Our media has been incredibly important in holding our politicians to account. What beggars belief is that there is no internal accountability or code of conduct.
Dr Helen Haines, independent member for Indi, introduced Commonwealth Parliamentary Standards Bill 2020.
Zali Steggall AO , independent member for Warringah has proposed that the Sex Discrimination Act be amended to ensure MPs and judges are held to account for workplace sexual harassment.
These two private member's bills speak to integrity. That they have not been adopted speaks volumes about our government.
It is time decent independents had some great company. We have the ability in Hughes to do that.
When you vote for a party you get what you are given.
When you vote independent you get who you want.*
*Craig Kelly was not voted in as an an independent - he became independent after he was elected as the Liberal member