CYNICISM about our politicians is never far from the surface.
There's a view "they're all in it for themselves and they don't care about us".
Well that attitude is being validated each day in the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption as evidence mounts about the scandalous behaviour of former Wagga MP Daryl Maguire.
Taxpayers have also learnt about his secret relationship with Premier Gladys Berejiklian which was occurring while he was involved in suspect activities in Parliament House.
We deserve to know about such matters, yet despite a raft of questionable episodes involving federal politicians we do not have a Commonwealth anti-corruption body.
The federal government has proposed a Commonwealth Integrity Commission but its draft legislation is not public.
On Thursday the government's 'talking points' for the day were leaked.
These are stock answers MPs are expected to trot out in response to media questioning.
On the issue of the stalled watchdog, the Coalition representatives were encouraged to blame COVID-19 for the delays.
That is feeble, given plans for the commission predate the virus and that governments can do multiple things simultaneously.
The talking points also stress the Coalition's body would have "greater investigatory powers than a Royal Commission".
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But they don't mention that hearings would be not be held in public.
You can imagine Ms Berejiklian and Mr Maguire would prefer that set-up.
Given new evidence can crop up during a hearing, as we have seen with the hotel quarantine investigation in Victoria, it makes sense to have transparent inquiries.
They also allay cynicism that the Coalition does not want a robust, open watchdog due to suspicious behaviour by its own members that it would prefer remained unscrutinised.
It's time for action and a better model than the one mooted.
The Coalition should take seriously suggestions from Indi MP Helen Haines for a more open commission and if it did so it would increase the wider public's faith in the body politic.