John Madigan says he admires controversial senator

CORY Bernadi doesn’t seem to have many admirers this week, but Senator John Madigan says he’s one of them.

In an interview with The Courier, Senator Madigan said he admired Senator Bernardi for taking a stand on his beliefs. 

“I support anyone’s right to express their opinion without fear and I believe in the right of free speech,” Senator Madigan said. 

“It should concern more people, journalists included, when a person is denigrated for expressing their opinion.”

The Democratic Labour Party senator said he did not agree with Senator Bernardi on many issues but said his right to express his view should not be questioned. 

“When the day comes that you have the ‘thought police’ saying what you can and can’t think, it is a dangerous area we are entering,” he said. 

“Journalists should be extremely concerned about this.”

Senator Bernardi has been widely condemned after making controversial comments in his new book, The Conservative 

"Gutless parasites that troll internet sites and attack people they have never met..."

Revolution.

In the book, Senator Bernardi accuses some women of using abortion as “an abhorrent form of birth control” and also made more controversial comments about ‘non-traditional families’.

“He is entitled to his opinion,” Senator Madigan said. 

He said the debate had switched from the issue to the individual and he was often attacked for his views. 

“I am often on the receiving end of these gutless parasites that troll internet sites and attack people they have never met or never spoken to. I have been a victim,” he said. 

“Quite frankly, I couldn’t give a continental because they wouldn’t do it to my face.

“We are in a sorry state of affairs where this business of playing the person has become prevalent. There is not enough playing of the issue. 

“Quite frankly, this playing of the individual rather than the issue denigrates the whole debate on any issue.”

Senator Madigan said he had ordered a copy of Senator Bernardi’s book and would reserve judgement until he had read it.

matthew.dixon@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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