Being an independent senator is truly national service. A government senator, while in parliament, debates to defend a certain policy decision. Alternatively, an opposition senator tries to rebuff this position. These two sides already have their positions outlined for them, so all that is required is proper analysis and debating skills to get your point across. On the other hand, being an independent senator, you really have to do proper research and analysis and consider all points of view to formulate a decision. In carry out your function, you are truly operating as the conscience of the nation.
Considering this point, it was truly unfortunate to read that independent senators were being harassed and heckled as they left the parliament on last Tuesday night. It is simply a slap in the face of all these hard working, self sacrificing men and women who give true national service. This behaviour just reinforces our immaturity as a society. Protestors need to know where to draw the line. They should realise that the word independent implies that one is free to support any point of view, once it is properly rationalised. It was really appalling to see this abuse being perpetrated for simply articulating a point. However, what was even worse and really galling was to hear temporary opposition senator, Fitzgerald Hinds, offering hall-baked and spurious reasons to defend this behaviour. This is not proper leadership. The heckling was wrong, Mr. Hinds defense of it was wrong, and two wrongs cannot make a right. Mr. Hinds should have known better. What sort of example is this for our country.