Senator Fraser Anning’s controversial maiden speech in Parliament has exploded into a massive divisive issue, particularly on social media, definitely this week’s hot topic.
Political experts and local councillors are writing off his speech as a publicity stunt, but any press is good press…
Many politicians have condemned Anning for his maiden speech, using an abhorrent choice of words, and upsetting a vast majority of the public.
But the underlying idea being the Australian government needing to tighten up their immigration policies, has been overlooked.
“I think that it was controversial and excessive in so many ways that people tended to focus much more on the words rather than the ideas and so he lost capacity to really debate this one carefully,”
“I think there would be people that are attracted by the idea but not the words,” said global politics and policy lecturer Dr Ian Cook.
Immigration Lawyer, Lily Chen, dubbed the speech as disgraceful and inflammatory.
“Yes you have freedom of speech, not to say Senator Anning cannot deliver his maiden speech however he should have carefully selected his words,” she commented.
Despite an evident divide online about immigration opinions between younger and older generations, Dr Cook believes more people are moving towards an anti-immigration position.
“The more this is articulated, I guess the clearer it becomes… younger people have very different views about immigration than older people, and a lot of politicians are very much pushing and reflecting the views of older australians rather than younger australians,” he said.
Lily Chen, immigration lawyer, believes younger generations need to engage in political conversations more often, especially over contentious societal issues like immigration.
Dr Cook also said with important ideas and conversations being put forward, young generations need to be aware of what’s really being spoken about in parliament, and then in turn can have their voices heard.
Ms Chen believes our government has a right to determine who should be allowed to come in, but cannot be determined from the opinions of one politician alone.
She said the number of immigrants should be determined by population experts, not politicians.
However, when asked if Australia’s immigration policies are where they should be, Ms Chen commented that our infrastructure would not be accommodating to an ever increasing number of immigrants.
Senator Anning’s future as a politician is chancy, after possibly diminishing his credibility with any future commentary.
Dr Cook said it’s going to be hard for people to take him that seriously when he’s prepared to push things as hard as he has.
His intransigent stance in the moment is not going to win him friends in the long run.
“It may go down as much a kin to Pauline Hanson’s maiden speech, but I doubt he’ll have quite the longevity she’s had,” he said.
On the other hand, Ms Chen said Anning’s future as a politician will be popular, but he needs to serve the people, not insult them.
“I don’t think he should open his mouth in the future with any similar inflammatory comments, however he already achieved personal benefit by doing so,” she commented.