27 April 2023

PODCAST: The Hoot on Lidia Thorpe, democracy and parliamentary behaviour (and is Canberra boring?)

| Genevieve Jacobs
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Lidia Thorpe with the Hoot logo

Is Lidia Thorpe’s behaviour unparliamentary – or does democracy need broad representation to thrive? Photo: Greens.

This week’s Hoot podcast is out as Ross Solly and Genevieve Jacobs take a deep dive into what is – and isn’t – parliamentary behaviour.

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It’s all prompted by diverging opinions on Senator Lidia Thorpe, elected to the federal Parliament as a Green from Victoria but now an independent. Always outspoken, Senator Thorpe has been in the media recently for everything from unparliamentary language to a 3 am stoush outside a Melbourne strip club.

READ ALSO Lidia Thorpe’s antics are extraordinary, but that’s what democracy looks like

There’s plenty of tut-tutting about how a senator should behave and what voters expect of their elected representatives. But hang on, says Region opinion writer David Murtagh, isn’t democracy supposed to be about electing a broad swathe of representatives?

He thinks they shouldn’t all conform to expectations about genteel behaviour inside or outside parliament. Ian Bushnell is less sure – he reckons the senator is little more than a human headline in search of a news story.

In the end, the voters will have their say in four years’ time, but what do you think?

READ ALSO Go back 30 years and Tuggeranong was booming. What’s happening now?

As Canberra changes, so do our population centres. Tuggeranong residents have been saying for years that they’re missing out and as the city’s population centre inches further north and west with every passing year, could they have a point?

There’s little prospect of light rail coming to Tuggers any time soon, despite it being a common sense transport move for many in the southern suburbs. And despite some recent densification, there’s no doubt the focus has shifted elsewhere in recent years as Gungahlin and Belconnen both boom.

Do Tuggeranong residents miss out, or will the pendulum eventually swing back their way?

READ ALSO You know what’s more boring than Canberra? Calling Canberra boring

Here’s another argument you’ll be (overly) familiar with: is Canberra boring? It’s had another run in the national media as news.com.au posed the question and answered it with a laundry list of things you could do here as a tourist.

Zoya Patel has fired back, saying that the most boring thing you can do is carry on about how boring Canberra is, with the implication that every other Australian city is “a feast of delights” in comparison.

But is keeping Canberra’s sneaky secret the best idea of all?

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Lidia, Lidia
I wish we could
Get ridiya.

THe sooner she is gone the better for the country

We don’t always get the representatives we want Davo1. But that’s Democracy! As much as we cringe at the antics of many of our elected representatives, those who are elected and those we turf out.
Just look at the lazy Zed. One time Senator for the ACT and so called representative. Rejected overwhelmingly by ACT voters in 2022 in a safe Liberal seat. A seat that has never been lost for the party!
ACT voters were decisive at that election. We now have a visible and independent Senator who truly represents Canberrans.
I rejoice in not seeing Zed and his followers. Zed, undermining and scheming against colleagues and party members. Often seen mooning around restaurants with his government issued credit card.
I am still rejoicing at his departure!

Despite all the media hype and sanctimonious lecturing over Lidia Thorpe I just can’t seem to get worked up. I get more worked up over the Mark Latham’s, Pauline Hanson’s and Nigel Farage’s of this world, just to name a few.
I am sure Lidia Thorpe would liven up any party or dinner night and provide more fun than many of the wowsers, whingers and sorry sacks who infest these social media sites!!

@Jack D
One thing about Thorpe, Jack – she will never be out of the headlines for too long

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