Former Senator Jacqui Lambie’s career has been somewhat problematic.
The news of her resignation, following confirmation she is a dual-citizen, has left many a bit displaced. A bit unsure of how to feel about a person who so deeply divided our community, and yet embodied what we consider as a core Australian value: bloody hard work.
When trying to unpack this complicated box of emotions towards Lambie, someone told me, “I like her, but I don’t respect her.”
Since her election in 2013, the attitude towards her has changed. From this “bogan”, “racist” Tasmanian, Lambie has somehow mastered a public image shift to become the “Aussie battler” fighting for the middle-class.
The loss of Lambie to the Australian Parliament is one that divides me, and many others.
Let me be clear, we are worlds apart on many of her policies and worldviews, particularly on social issues. Her attacks on minority groups, particularly Muslims and those who practice Sharia law, parallel that of Pauline Hanson and Donald Trump. They are sickening.
Nonetheless, we cannot deny that Lambie has changed the way we do politics in Australia. Despite her unexpected exit, she has changed our nation. For the good, for the bad, and for all the greys in between.