I said that one bright side of the upcoming election is that there is a good chance to at least get rid of a few of our truly odious or stupid political representatives. Hopefully David Leyonhjelm is among them.
It is getting hard to keep up with all of the blunders being made by politicians during the election campaign but, Leyonhjelm’s parody video of Kevin Rudd’s apology to the stolen generation is a special kind of appalling.
To many people it is difficult to even comprehend why he would think this was a good idea, but I haven’t done the research. Perhaps it is a deliberate strategy?
The way he bangs on about automatic firearms, Leyonhjelm already appeals to a bit of a niche market of (mainly redneck) voters. Perhaps his strategy assumes that the condemnation this stunt generates will actually draw a reaction of support from those who are uncomfortable acknowledging racism of the past.
There are many conscientious racists who get quite fired up over political correctness as an unacceptable limitation of our freedom of speech. The unspoken corollary of this attitude is that people need not take responsibility for the impact their words have on others, but this doesn’t seem to bother them. Are there enough people like that out there to boost Leyonhjelm’s vote? It is hard to say. He starts with a very low proportion of the primary vote so certainly has increased his name recognition and perhaps the number of people who would vote for him first.
However he will also rely on preferences and I suspect he has just reminded a large number of voters that they don’t want to see him re-elected and their preferences will reflect that.
If this was a deliberate play for the racist vote, it is an incredibly cynical strategy that belongs more on an episode of Game of Thrones than in Federal Parliament. But that befits the man himself, as he certainly doesn’t belong there.