Gillard's Peris pick has robbed us of a genuine celebration
OPINION: It's one of those instincts that you can't quite explain but it just does not feel right in your gut.
That's how I felt when I heard Prime Minister Julia Gillard was kicking long-serving Northern Territory senator Trish Crossin to the curb to bring in a woman who will potentially be the first indigenous federal member for the Australian Labor Party, Nova Peris.
It's not just the cynicism of Gillard kicking out a long-serving member of her own party - a woman who stayed loyal to Kevin Rudd while Gillard was busy planting a knife in his back.
It's the feeling that we have been robbed of genuinely celebrating a great moment.
If an indigenous member had been chosen and voted in organically, what a special moment that would have been.
An honest moment, a reason to celebrate.
Instead this moment feels totally wrong.
Nova is being used as nothing more than a puppet in Gillard's public relations scheme.
A scheme that has backfired horribly.
Nova Peris was a terrific athlete and has done great work for the indigenous community but as a Labor candidate she has zero credibility.
She wasn't even a member of the party.
Gillard's choice seems totally left of field.
She had other, more credible options open to her, such as former NT education minister Marion Scrymgour, the first indigenous female minister who was running for preselection against Crossin.
She got a phone call from Gillard telling her the race was over - she had a "captain's pick" whatever that is, in the shape of Nova Peris.
Obviously the celebrity factor has more appeal for Gillard than a woman who has actually done the hard yards.
But as much as it hurts to see a genuine indigenous candidate denied a chance at selection, spare a thought for Crossin herself.
The popular senator has served the Labor party for 15 years but apparently that means nothing.
The fact that Gillard has the arrogance to think her actions are acceptable is truly frightening.
She has disregarded the processes of her own party.
If Crossin is on the ballot come the next election, if she runs as an independent or otherwise against Nova, I hope the people of the Northern Territory stick with their popular senator.
Don't let Gillard hijack a historical moment because of her egotistical belief that she has the right to do so.