Message from Zoe, 9th Feb 2022

Let’s talk about trust, shall we?

What could be more important in the relationship between the community and those leading us, than trust?

Trust, honesty, accountability, and sincerity are central to good leadership. So is empathy.

The fact that all of these are increasingly lacking is also central to my motivation to run as your community backed Independent for Goldstein.

Covering US politics as a journalist for 4 years, I witnessed the widening of the trust gap between the people and their elected representatives firsthand. I spent four years developing an understanding of the wave of support for Donald Trump and talking to his supporters. In many cases, his voters had swung behind him out of a sense of disconnection from their representatives in Washington, a developing view that there was one set of rules for elites and another for everyone else, and frustration that no one was listening.

Sound familiar?

In turn, those things caused people to disconnect from politics and the mainstream media, to develop more extreme views, often fed by conspiracy theories and disinformation and to become pliable and subject to information manipulation. Hence, we saw, in an extreme manifestation of that, the Capitol uprising last January.

Australia is a different place, but increasingly, I see similar patterns emerging.

It’s become evident in the last week that those leading our government don’t even trust each other, which says a lot!

We must address this erosion of trust and truth head on. (I have written a bit on this before, which you can read here

The good news is, we have options.

With a federal integrity system, including a well-resourced investigative commission, a code of conduct for elected representatives, legislated truth in political advertising and spending limits, transparency and ceilings on political donations and lobbying, and protection of whistle-blowers we can begin to create some checks and balances to enforce acceptable standards of behaviour and weed out corruption.

These things will start to bring some integrity back into the political system.

I am committed to integrity in politics because I think trust is fundamental.

This is central to my campaign to become your Independent for Goldstein in Canberra.



More from Zoe