A senator just the same

Friday 20 March 2009 3:41 PM

In company with others, I'm perplexed by Senator Fielding's parliamentary record. (And I speak as a fellow Christian, in substantial agreement with Family First's platform.) But whenever the Senator does something seemingly at odds with the left agenda (and I tend leftish myself), we'll hear the familiar whining chorus beloved of letter-writers and bloggers: "a conservative trojan, elected on the thinnest of margins, and it's Labor's fault." 

In the wake of the alcopops tax debacle, even The Age's Shaun Carney (Opinion, 21/3) chimes in for a few bars, though ending slightly off-key with a salute to democracy. Fielding, he observes, is punching far above his weight, given his electoral marginality. Well maybe, but so what? To my perception, one is either elected or not elected. If the electoral process lands a person in either chamber, then they are simply a member. When did either house become class-based? When have we challenged a party vote on the grounds that some MPs or senators were barely elected? Fielding is not the only parliamentarian to have "just made it."
The real "problem" may be that we insist on electing frail human beings to lead us. The Senator is in good company.