Honesty and Trust

Suggested clause for constitution:

'Members of the Government must carry out their duties in a manner which is honest and trustworthy'


Idea behind the draft clause:

Time and time again the public ask for honesty and trustworthiness from politicians and over and over politicians let us down. 

The constitution should state that these are core qualities and that all members of the government must carry out their duties in s manner which is honest and trustworthy.

edited on Apr 12, 2015 by Ian Smith

Ian Smith Apr 5, 2015

Dear All,

I am posting a quick comment here and in my other ideas.

Firstly, I want to say how much I have enjoyed seeing all of your contributions on this and other ideas and how impressed I am with the range of expertise and erudition which has filled these debates.

Secondly, I wish to put forward a couple of suggestions as to a way forward at this stage.  They are:

A.   I suggest that we all refrain from further voting until the ideas have been refined and represented and have then been debated for a while.  My thinking here is that we will want to see the reshaped ideas and see the comments on those refined ideas before we decide whether they are to be voted up or down,  I do not think that we should refrain from voting on comments but perhaps try not to vote too hastily on them.

B.  Now that the hurly burly of the "Hacking" phase (some of it quite savage) has passed, I hope and wish that we will adopt a more collaborative and less combative approach in our commentary, so that commentary is given a chance to be constructive and really do the job of refining the ideas in question.

C.  I would hope that we can refrain from attacking the very existence of the idea under discussion in this phase or the fact that it has successfully gone through to this phase against the wishes of those who voted it down.  I sincerely hope that the previous critics of an idea, will still respect that it found favour with the crowd and now help to refine the idea in this phase.

Thirdly, I will try my best not to introduce any more typos and mangled phrases! 

Best wishes for the holiday weekend!


Christine Farquharson Apr 7, 2015

As an aid to the refining phase, here's a quick summary of what was discussed back in phase 1. Please remember to keep commenting and voting on ideas and comments - that will give the original idea authors a sense of what the community considers important as they work to refine their proposals.

- Gavin Russ agrees that trust and honesty are important but wonders how they can be meaningfully embedded in the constitution as more than values. (1 down)

- Tom Austin suggests that electoral reform is part of the solution. He wants to see a none of the above option on ballots and a requirement that a candidate win a majority to be elected. (2 up) He argues that voters would be better able to demand accountability if they had the option to vote for none of the above.

- Titus Alexander notes that these values are already in the Nolan principles to which all MPs agree, but agrees that putting them in the constitution could reinforce them. (2 up, 1 down)

Ian Smith Apr 7, 2015

Dear All,

Before I draft a suggested clause for the constitution, I should be very grateful if you would let me have any further thoughts on this idea and in particular the form of a constitutional clause.

Kind regards,


Tom Austin Apr 8, 2015

Yes, CF, Electoral reform is key, though I have never quite pushed for NOTA, it and clear-mandate are things that would help bring about the necessary change: From Sellers-market to Buyers-market.

Alas Ian, in these days of sound-bites it would be nigh-on impossible to expect honesty to shine out. Even if there were trusty fact-checkers, blemish-less graphics - Venn diagrams, pie-charts and the like, until we establish a buyers-market people will still hold onto their 'pig in a poke', and let the 'cat out of the bag' only after the polls close.

Andrew Bulovsky Apr 13, 2015

Thank you for the very concise proposal, John.

Does anyone else have thoughts on it? 

Tom Austin Apr 13, 2015

I think, Ian, that this calls more for a strengthened proposal for 'Recall'.