On Victorian Senators

Geoff Edwards writes: Re. “Hinch’s Senate Diary: call someone else, I’m on the phone to justice” (Thursday)

Senator Hinch has sketched a remarkably circumscribed view of his role as a Senator for Victoria. Referring to the victims of child sexual assault, he opined that “It’s these unspoken victims that I am in Canberra to represent.” Perhaps, but only along with all the other electors in Victoria. His assertion might be a surprise to the people of Victoria who thought that the Senators were there to represent the State of Victoria in all its manifestations, voting as one electorate, not segmented into 100 interest groups.

Senator Hinch observed that he might be obligated to vote on other issues, “but that’s not why I am here.” Not exactly. His passion for this form of justice may well be the motive that propelled him to stand for parliament, but once he arrives there, he shares responsibility for the entire deliberative capacity of the chamber.

Of course, politicians have special interests and causes; indeed, they may well have been elected because of their convictions. Fingers crossed, the resultant of all parliamentarians’ enthusiasms will cover all topical issues effectively. But Victorians expect to have 12 votes in the chamber on every issue, not 11; and when a vote is required, every Senator is expected to become as well-informed as the pressure of business allows.

On the Tasmanian election

Zut Alors writes: Re. “Rundle: Tasmania could soon be Woolworths’ island” (Thursday)

When Sky’s David Speers quizzed Hodgman on the extent of Liberal campaign donations he persisted in saying they would be disclosed when required by law — in 2019.

This was Opposition Leader White’s prime opportunity to say she would disclose Labor’s figure within 24 hours. It could’ve been a moment of inspired transparency …meantime leaving Hodgman suspiciously secretive (ye.s yes,until 2019).

Queensland voters used to be the laughing stock of Oz when doggedly re-electing Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen but Tasmanian voters may yet steal the title of the dumbest state.

Peter Fray

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