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Tuesday, 7 February 2017
Page: 9

Senator HINCH (Victoria) (13:03): I stand here and watch as a new senator—having been here as long as Senator Bernardi. To hear him stand there talking about principle, after he stood as a Liberal candidate and was elected by the people of South Australia as a Liberal candidate, is a joke. I feel sorry for the 330,000 people in South Australia who voted Liberal. They voted with him on the top of the Senate ticket. They voted for a Liberal senator for six years. Below the line, Senator Bernardi got something like 2,000 votes, and yet he stands up here and talks about principle.

It sounds crude but it reminds me of the words of President Lyndon Johnson who once said about a critic of his party—and the government knows the ones they have inside their tent—on why he had not fired or tried to expel him, 'I'd rather have him inside the tent pissing out than outside the tent pissing in.' Maybe Malcolm Turnbull is well rid of Senator Bernardi, because at least he is now out there pissing all over everybody else, and inside his own party room he has one less—

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( Senator Whish-Wilson ): Senator Hinch, I draw your attention to the standing orders. You are sailing fairly close to the wind in the use of your language.

Senator HINCH: I will take it back, but I will leave the quote from President Johnson, because he is a President and he said it.

I want to go on record to say: I find it appalling that this happened. What should happen in the lower House is if somebody changes their opinion, does not like their party anymore or wants to get rid of it they should resign their seat in the lower House. They should then go to the people and stand and say, 'This is who I am. This is what I stand for now' and stand for re-election. Unfortunately, of course, in the Senate you cannot do that and that is not the best democratic way to do things.