Saturday, December 10, 2016

From AusPolooza - David Leyonhjelm - Trumpesque?

From my new Australian politics blog,

Today Senator David Leyonhjelm cast himself in the shadow of President Elect Trump . . . I'm sorry, I still can't say the words president and Trump together without staggering for a moment. It's like the words astronaut and hedgehog together, sure, through evolution it might happen, in a billion years, but not in my lifetime.

Senator Leyonhjelm was speaking about a shotgun that he has been lobbying for. As a senator in our federal government lobbying for shotguns is obviously an essential element of his duties, nothing else is pressing. His point was that the perceived limitation of personal freedoms was one reason Trump was elected. In saying this Senator Leyonhjelm was portraying himself as trumpesque. Trumpesque? Don't sweat it, you'll see it in the Oxford within four years. And possibly hedgeonaut.

Senator Leyonhjelm is misunderstanding which nation he is living in. Australians, on the whole, are supportive of strict gun laws, so those who require them can hold them, but those who don't require them can't. Our culture and history are quite different to the American. Both are what they are, but comparing Australian politics to American is an oranges and apples comparison.

When Senator Leyonhjelm claims government decisions on topics like gun control will lead to an insane change in our voting habits, beyond the already lunatic fringe we observe in our senate, he is misunderstanding his nation. By the next election, when Senator Lambie has lost the plot, when One Nation has disintegrated, again, when Senator Xenophon has become too preachy and painted himself into too many corners, when Senator Hinch has imploded with self admiration, by then the voting public will be yearning to choose between the two devils they know.

The small parties and independents have a bit over two years to show us that they are relevant and dedicated to serving us. If they don't, which is likely, they'll all be sacked by the public, and any grandiose dreams of trumpesqueishness will appear as silly as the word I just made up.


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