Should we allow politicians with a criminal history? 376

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Politicians, in theory, should be upstanding members of the community who want more people to do the right thing and the government to do the right thing by the people. They should espouse leadership, honesty, courage and good will. Now there’s no harm in having fun and everyone makes mistakes. But when that mistake is a run in with the law, are they the kind of people we want to represent us and fight for us?

Sunrise this morning reports that Queensland MP for Cook, Billy Gordon is staying in Queensland parliament as an independent despite quitting the Labor party last week. Two weeks ago it was alleged that he has undeclared criminal history relating to unpaid alimony and domestic violence.

While he made the decision to quit after the allegations fuelled rumours of dismissal from the party, several other Labor MPs voiced their support for Mr Gordon by also coming clean about their own run ins with the law.

Politicians, that can be identified by clicking here, came clean about drink driving charges and indecent public behaviour but all stated that none of these resulted in a criminal offence and all incidents were disclosed to the party at the time.

This whole situation raises a very interesting question though, what are the limits around behaviour for our politicians? Is it fair to say that they should be held to standards of high morals? Or is that in fact unfair because they are too, normal people. The argument against that is people like you and I have survived our lives without criminal offences so we know it is possible.

So today tell us, what do you think? Should politicians be allowed to have criminal history and legal offences in their name? Or should politicians have to be clear of legal offences and criminal history? Share your thoughts in the comments below… 

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  1. As no-one is above the law – should YOUR question include traffic “offences” ?? Otherwise – at least the member in question admitted to past history -0 rather than have it presented by others !

  2. Politicians should be held accountable for their actions and dealt with to the full extent of the law. The general public have to face up to their actions, why are pollies exempted? I don’t see any crime that is forgivable for them and they should be ousted from politics right quick. The only problem with that is then you would have very few of them left as they are all guilty of something. The stats are around 70% with criminal records. Our own PM Numbnuts had a record for violence against a man and then a woman whilst in Uni because of his anger management issues. He has also dropped Joe in the hallowed halls.But his rich Daddy got a QC and his record was expunged. The list is long of crimes but the most worrisome is fraud. Many also go bankrupt due to bad investments.What to do, what to do.

  3. I have cabs in Tassie for 30 plus years. To get my licience i had to have no criminal history and if i commit a offence while holding a public vechile licience……i lose that licience on the day i am charged…..even before a court appearance… guessed right……NO

  4. I would say that it depends on the crime, the age the person was when convicted, and perhaps other variables. Needs debate and analysis.

  5. People who feel comfortable voting for a representative who has a criminal past should go and live in Africa, they will feel right at home. A representative who develops a criminal record after election should be forced to go back to the people he/she is supposed to represent for a vote of confidence, before being allowed to continue in his/her seat.

  6. Integrity is critically important. A politician with a criminal record needs to show that he or she has reformed and can be trusted to act with integrity.

  7. As long as they reveal before elected and were not imprisoned. We can all make mistakes

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