Jacqui Lambie, Dan Tehan, Rosie Waterland, host Tony Jones, Grace Collier and Mark Dreyfus on Monday night’s Q&A episode. (ABC News)
Former Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie says Pauline Hanson should “kiss and make-up” with One Nation senator Brian Burston or sack him.
Speaking on Monday night’s Q&A program, Ms Lambie said there was nothing wrong with crossing the floor if politicians were putting their state first.
“If Senator Burston thought it was better for New South Wales to have the business cuts through, that’s who he has to vote for, not for Pauline Hanson,” Ms Lambie said.
Senator Hanson became teary on national television last week, stating Senator Burston had “stabbed her in the back” by breaking ranks with the party over company tax cuts.
She has since asked him to resign from One Nation, writing in a letter that she had lost confidence in him.
Relaying her experience in dumping senator Steve Martin from her own party earlier this year, Ms Lambie said Senator Hanson should listen to her advice.
“Stop the tap from dripping and either kiss and make-up or sack him,” she said.
Of the One Nation senators elected in this term of parliament, only senator Peter Georgiou effectively remains after Senator Hanson’s fallout with Senator Burston.
Fraser Anning replaced Malcolm Roberts when Mr Roberts was disqualified from being a dual citizen, only to publicly split from the party within hours.
Rod Culleton was replaced by Senator Georgiou after Mr Culleton was ruled ineligible to nominate by the High Court.
Federal Labor MP Mark Dreyfus said it was clear that One Nation had been an “absolute circus”.
“What One Nation has done since the four senators were elected in 2016 is to vote 90 per cent of the time with the Liberal Party,” Mr Dreyfus said.
“They didn’t go to the people and said they’d vote with the Liberal Party 90 per cent of the time. They had another message — pretty policy free.
“I’m hoping people who will vote for One Nation again, to keep in mind what their representatives in the Australian Parliament have done.”
Panellist and author Rosie Waterland, 32, grew up watching Senator Hanson’s trials in politics but said after many decades it could be time for the One Nation leader to try something different.
“Maybe politics just isn’t her jam,” Ms Waterland said.
“It just never really seems to work out for her. She doesn’t seem to be good at the back door dealing part of things, doesn’t seem to be good at the policy side of things. Maybe it’s just time to change direction.”
Are politicians too self-serving?
Columnist for The Australian newspaper, Grace Collier, said politicians were living the lives of rocks stars and of extreme privilege — a separation from the public that she said did them a disservice.
“They have an entourage. They get driven around. They don’t have to buy their own cars. They don’t have to put petrol in it. They don’t have to pay rego. They don’t have to worry about insurance,” Ms Collier said.
“They generally go to places. They walk in, people hand them drinks.
“It’s an amazing life. I’m sure it’s very difficult as well because they’re away a lot but there is that whole treatment.
“If you look at what they spend, people who spend $200,000 a year on travel, and this is quite common, you have to be a billionaire in the real world to splash that sort of cash on travel.”
Ms Collier said abolishing the Commonwealth car service, COMCAR, as well as making politicians pay for their own cars would motivate them to reduce the costs borne by everyday people.
But Federal Liberal MP Dan Tehan said he has never felt like a rock star in the job.
“What I’ll be doing tomorrow is I’ll be getting up at 6:30 in the morning,” Mr Tehan said.
“I’ll be getting in the car, and it is provided to me while I have this job, and I’ll be driving and spend a day and drive back to Hamilton.
“I’ll do probably three to four hours driving tomorrow and probably a similar amount the day after and do it all myself or have some of my staff members with me and they’ll share the driving with me.
“I think good members of parliament do try and stay grounded.”