Saturday, 19 April 2008

Outlaw politicians' lies, 2020 told

Prominent Victorian barrister Julian Burnside QC has asked this weekend's 2020 summit to support a plan to make it illegal for politicians to lie to the public.

Mr Burnside is attending the future of governance session at this weekend's summit in Canberra.

And he has warned that many of the reform ideas coming out of the summit could be worthless without a more fundamental change in public life.

"If politicians are able to lie to us, mislead us about what's going on, about what they're planning to do, the whole system will not work," he said.

"We can have all these elaborate ideas [about] re-designing the constitution, but if they lie to us we can't hold them to account."

Support for a republic and changes to the constitution were prominent among the early exchanges in the governance session this morning.

The participants will continue their group discussions throughout the afternoon before coming together for today's final session.

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