My new MP is just around the corner ….

…lucky boy! I have called in twice now, to register my opinion on different matters.

The first time, my comments on the proposal to overturn the laws preventing territories from legislating to legalise euthanasia were duly recorded by one of his advisers on a feedback form, and I was assured that “John” would take my opinion seriously – indeed, I was told, the first thing he had asked his electoral officer was “what does the community think?” I hope that he thinks the same way as my part of the community! however I doubt it – he is a very conservative person from all accounts- I did suggest that he might like to consider my opinions as being representative of the other over 65s in the electorate 🙂 (worth a try!). I guess we’ll find out if he does when he votes FOR the motion!!

The second visit was to let him know that I’d like him to consider my view when the proposal to legalise “gay marriage” is put before the House. This time I spoke to another staff member. I had my 11 year old grandson with me and had only gotten as far as “Gay Marriage” in the subject line, when SHE gave ME the benefit of HER opinion – along the lines of :’what a waste of time – wouldn’t you think they had more important things to worry about than getting married, why would they want to – who’d want to get married – the best thing I ever did was getting rid of my husband etc etc’ and to my grandson: ‘don’t ever get married, blah blah blah ….’. This continued loudly at full pelt for quite some time before I could talk over her to tell my grandson to take no notice – he can make up his own mind about marriage when he’s older. I did manage to get a word in to tell her that I had a gay daughter and felt very strongly that she should have EQUAL rights with the rest of the population, notwithstanding the laws relating to de facto relationships (which she pointed out to me in case I didn’t know). My grandson piped up here and wanted to know ‘who’s gay?is that Auntie Jill?’ I said no, Auntie Cathy and he corrected me with ‘but she’s a lesbian’ – as my long departed father would say “out of the mouths of babes and suckers”! I received a bit more opinion from the staff member before I managed to interrupt again and eventually have my opinion recorded.

I have absolutely NO CONFIDENCE that my MP will think as I do on this matter – if a member of his staff, the office manager as I learnt later, is not able to record in an objective manner, a dissenting view from her own, I can only imagine with despair the “behind the scenes” discussions in that office.

PS Maxine! Where are you??

PPS I’m assuming that these votes will be conscience votes – but still hoping that some rational feedback will help sway the conscience of my pollie, “John”.

PPPS Do they reveal who voted how?

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2 responses to “My new MP is just around the corner ….

  1. Dear Grandma Flea

    Please accept my heartfelt apology for the experience you had in my office. I will not attempt to justify the comments made by my staff member, except to say that your query would have been one of the first moral issues raised in my Electorate Office – having recruited my staff and moved into the office only a week or two earlier.

    Since this time we have been able to establish protocols and I have made clear the expectations I have of my staff as my representatives. I can say with great confidence that you would not have the same experience twice, and as a local resident I invite you to come back to the office to raise any matter of concern and share your experiences again on Flea Bites.

    My staff bring a diverse mixture of academic and vocational backgrounds to the office – an intentional strategy to provide a broader representation of the electorate. This has meant that some new to politics have had a quick education on the correct procedures and protocols – of which your experience qualifies. My Office Manager, Jaci (who has never been married and was not the one responsible for the comments) was the Office Manager to Brendan Nelson as Opposition Leader, and has brought a wealth of experience to share with the others.

    With regards to my role as Representative – I take this duty very seriously. I have been asked by Parliament to assess the views of my Constituents before making a decision on a matter of conscience. Your visit, and the emails and letters I have received from many form part of this process. As community leaders all MP’s must perform their duty and the represent the wishes of the majority whilst protecting the needs of the minority. This is an enduring process.

    I hope this reply serves to put your experiences in some perspective. I do apologise again and hope to see you in the office sometime.

    Wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas.

    Kind regards

    John Alexander
    Member for Bennelong

  2. Pingback: Flea-Bites

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