Aboriginal rights representative and Indigenous leader Pat Dodson has been backed to become the next federal senator for the Labor party in Western Australia on Friday, March 2nd after Joe Bullock announced his resignation on Tuesday, in part due to the ALP’s support of “homosexual marriage”.
Dodson was endorsed by opposition leader Bill Shorten to fill the newly vacant position following WA Senator Joe Bullock’s resignation earlier this week. Bullock’s decision to retire from federal politics after the Labor voted to remove a conscience vote and force a yes vote on the policy in the future.
Bill Shorten spoke about the new Senator at a media conference on March 2, saying, “Pat Dodson’s CV speaks for itself. He is a person of unmatched intelligence, integrity and achievement. He’s nationally recognised and rightly admired as the father of reconciliation”.
The well-respected Yawuru man from Broome is known for his extensive work in advancing Indigenous reparation and support. Dodson’s unparalleled grasp of the complex challenges we are yet to overcome should help us break down the understanding of constitutional recognition in a community sense specific to the land, rather than targeting the issue from a somewhat ignorantly mediated system.
Former Australian politician and rumoured candidate for the latest seat Louise Pratt had this to say about Bullock, who replaced Pratt back in 2014:
“It is a blow to progressive voters that I would be replaced in the Senate by someone who I have known for many years to be deeply homophobic, to be anti-choice and, [who] has recently emerged, disloyal to the very party he has been elected to represent,” she said.
However, the purpose of this article is to celebrate moving forward, not plague the people that don’t sit unanimously decided with us. The last thing we need is more people degrading someone’s character based purely on their opinions, regardless of whether they are wrong or right. But by Jove, good riddance. I personally think that this is going to be one of the pioneering shifts for Labor’s political reform in 2016, so the fact that it has happened so early on is very exciting.