You’ve got to hand it to her – Senator Jacqui Lambie has made a name for herself back home.
Unlike many elected Senators who prefer to stay out of the headlines, Lambie has established herself as one of the most outspoken and controversial up and coming politicians of our time. Many commentators have taken to reporting on her outrageous comments comically, but I don’t think Senator Lambie is a laughing matter. Here’s why:
1) She has more power than you think she does
Her claims may be incongruous but she makes them from a position of political influence. With the Greens and Labor holding 35 seats in the Senate to the LNP’s 33, the Palmer United Party is an imperative ally to Abbott’s government. In order to get legislation through the Senate the Prime-Minister has appeased Clive Palmer in the past, but this may change as Jacqui Lambie is beginning to see the impact she can have on these fragile political allegiances. If Senator Lambie no longer takes orders from her party leader, what bargaining tool does Clive Palmer have over the PM?
2) She doesn’t sugarcoat her opinions
There’s barely a politically correct statement that comes out of Jacqui Lambie’s mouth which is why the media give her so much air time. What’s more is, she follows through with she declares. Her recent disgust in Defence Force pay cuts has seen her threaten to block all legislation (thereby withdrawing her PUP/LNP alliance vote) until reformations are made. We were all shocked again to learn of her proposal for defence force personnel to ‘turn their backs’ at remembrance day services in demand of a wage increase. These are just a couple of recent examples – the list goes on. And she doesn’t just say these things for press coverage – it’s clear that she genuinely believes she is in the right and on a mission to save Australia.
3) She’s a Senator
And she’s been elected to advise on legislative matters for the next 5 years. It’s an office that does deserve an element of respect. Putting aside the fact that I disagree with many of her policies and opinions, Lambie is also one of only 88 women to be elected in the Australian Senate since the establishment of Parliament in 1901.
IMAGE: Senator Jacqui Lambie of the Palmer United Party. (WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)