Parliament is still embroiled in the citizenship fiasco with a continuing log of claims and counter-claims.
The self-disclosure regime has proved to be less than complete with one MP actually denying any knowledge of their father (an Italian citizen) even though they were photographed with him last year.
That’s just one example of why politicians are held in such low esteem by members of the public. They simply cannot be relied on to tell the truth if it might be to their political disadvantage.
The disclosures have also made a mockery of Bill Shorten’s claims of Labor’s superior vetting processes. This morning we have seen one Labor senator referred to the High Court and I expect more MPs (from both sides) will follow.
Perhaps the most positive thing I can say is that thankfully this is the final sitting week of parliament for the year. The country will be better served by being spared what has become the circus of federal parliament.
There has, however, been some positive signs this week.
The government has outlined reforms to the regime covering foreign political and charitable donations, agents of foreign influence and the expectation that politicians act in the national interest.
Whilst not directly prompted by the activities of Labor Senator Sam Dastyari, I have no doubt his repeated behaviour informed the need for change.
Interestingly, the government’s approach seems to have adopted a lot of the measures that Australian Conservatives have been talking about for the past ten months.
We have repeatedly called for the severing of the ties the major parties have with agents of foreign governments. Now it seems they are heeding our warnings.
This saw Labor playing catch-up, claiming credit for stopping the China extradition agreement which simply demonstrates how untrustworthy Bill Shorten is.
He knows full well that the disallowance of that directive was led by Australian Conservatives and that the Opposition were belatedly embarrassed into supporting our position.
We applied principle and values in doing the right thing and that delivered a meaningful outcome. We will continue to do so and hope to have many more policy wins in 2018.
I have no doubt that next year will be a significant one for the country. There is likely to be a Federal election and at least three State elections. Each will need a strong conservative representation to make sure our nation gets back on the right track.