Outspoken senator leaves a colourful legacy

This won’t be the last time we see or hear from Jacqui Lambie.

The outspoken, and now former, Tasmanian senator has vowed to return to politics.

Ms Lambie announced on Tuesday morning that she would be resigning from her position effective immediately.

She had discovered she was a dual citizen by descent. Her father, who moved to Australia as boy from Scotland, passed down the citizenship.

And, as we now all know, Section 44 (i) of Australia’s Constitution makes someone ineligible to be a member of Australian Parliament if you are “a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or citizen of a foreign power”.

For Ms Lambie this would have been an unpleasant surprise. In the past she has highlighted her family’s history that dates back to the first Australians.

She has also been proud of her veteran status and was elected on the basis she would fight for veteran rights.

Treated as a cross-bencher, Ms Lambie at times held the balance of power. 

From afar it was odd to see a self-professed Aussie battler suddenly representing the average Tasmanian. And perhaps that was her x-factor and reason for re-election in 2016.

Ms Lambie has the ability to fight for the average Joe. To offer help, when perhaps the form of help is still unknown. But, people didn’t care. Because Ms Lambie listened and tried her best to correct what were viewed as wrongs.

This accessibility was a trait that at times stood her apart from her peers.

Ms Lambie doesn’t mince her words. This is a blessing and a curse. She doesn’t keep her cards close to her chest. She isn’t afraid to laugh at herself, to standby her conservative and at times controversial comments, or seek dating advice on radio.

Those controversial comments were often challenged Australian identity and had national security as the focus. 

She has bravely detailed her battles with mental health, raising her sons and even shared her son’s battle with ice addiction.

By sharing her own battles so openly and without shame, gave permission for others to do the same. And for this Ms Lambie must be congratulated.

Ms Lambie will no doubt return to politics in some way, shape or form. In the meantime, her frankness and unpretentious attitude will be missed.


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