Kristina Keneally is a Senator from the great state of NSW. She is in the Senate, not because she was elected, but because she was selected by the NSW ALP. Senator Keneally is also the deputy leader of the opposition in the Senate. She has that role not because her colleagues elected her, but rather because the leader of the opposition, Michael Douglass Anthony Albanese said so.
The last time Senator Keneally faced the people, she lost (in the Bennelong by-election). The time before that, then NSW Premier Keneally took the ALP to one of their worst electoral defeats paving the way for a LNP government lasting at least 12 year.
Election versus selection. Important distinctions, different outcomes.
When one’s political mandate comes not from the people but from the few powerful, it can impact one’s perspective. It can lead one to believe that the views of the few elite and connected are representative of the views of the many. Often this may not be the case. Taking one’s signals from the few elite can impact one’s judgement, or worse, highlight ones actual flawed judgement.
Take for example Senator Keneally’s rantings over the CPAC Australia conference being held this weekend.
Take this interview on the ABC from earlier this week where Senator Keneally accused some of the speakers of “vilifying Muslim Australians” and suggesting that members of the National Rifle Association should not be permitted to speak at a conference in Australia because they are members of the National Rifle Association and because the leadership of the NRA has urged Australia to overturn its gun laws.
Oh my god. How dare these people, or their associates, express a view Senator Keneally disagrees with and expect to be permitted into Australia.
Also Senator Keneally complained about all the powers available to the Minister for Immigration. She complained not that the Minister had these extensive powers, but rather that the Minister was not using them, or using them judiciously.
One really must question the judgement of Senator Keneally in not only running and running hard with this issue, but also the judgement of the ALP leadership to permit this.