It is tempting to laugh at Senator Jacqui Lambie’s way out outburst on climate change, wind energy, and nuclear power.
BUT – Australia’s outrageously ignorant and idealogical government loves her for this.
This brings about what I think of as the “Pauline Hanson effect”. By this, I mean that the Howard government was pretty far to the Right anyway, but the extreme right wing campaign run with some success by Pauline Hanson made it easier for Howard to move even further that way.
And not just the Liberal Party. As the whole political discourse in Australia shifted further away from the interest of the public good, and towards corporate interest, and towards xenophobia, – the Labor
Party moved with it.
Now with the already absurdly right-wing Abbott government, we have Jacqui Lambie’s extremism. There is a real danger that she can help to make Liberal and Labor policies – on energy, on climate, on nuclear issues, on asylum seekers – look reasonable and mainstream .