In many ways, social media has been a boon for politicians, providing them with a way to communicate with their constituents, air their opinions from a new platform and show their human side. Some use it well; others… not so much.
Nationals Queensland MP George Christensen has come under fire for sharing the image above on Twitter last night wit the caption: “How many Aussies who want to follow the US on ‘gay marriage’ want to follow them on the right to bear arms as well?”
How he drew the connection between marriage equality and guns control is unclear, but one assumes he is implying Australia will follow the US’s lead in all matters. This despite the fact America has had the right to bear arms for longer than Australia has been around, and same-sex marriage was only recognised two days ago.
The member for Dawson doesn’t have a great track record for speaking his mind, having previously suggested that Greenpeace activists are terrorists, Muslims are cruel to animals and that he would like to see the death penalty reintroduced.
In May 2014 Christensen stated on Twitter that those criticising the 2014 federal budget should “do a tour of Asia & live like these locals”, featuring a photo of an impoverished backstreet in a non-specified country.
He also took to Twitter in the wake of the Sydney siege in Martin Place, criticising the “I’ll ride with you” hashtag as a “typical lefty (campaign) that falsely portrays Aussies as thugs who endanger Muslims.”
Christensen’s latest tweet has been widely criticised but has not been retracted, and Mr Christensen has not replied to those who say it is wrong.
How many Aussies who want to follow the US on “gay marriage” want to follow them on the right to bear arms as well? pic.twitter.com/Peyp3Zx1WS
— George Christensen (@GChristensenMP) June 28, 2015
— Vicki Ward MP (@VickiWardMP) June 28, 2015
@GChristensenMP None of them, you idiot
— Nic Kelly (@nicwkelly) June 28, 2015
— Seán (@Seanjth) June 28, 2015
Do you think politicians should be allowed to use social media to say what they think?