With hysteria levels in nominally conservative circles approaching fever point on the question of precisely what to do about Pauline Hanson, I thought it instructive to repost an article originally published in August, in the aftermath of the federal election.
It does seem that every time I think the planets are aligning to permit me more time for publishing comment, something new emerges from other quarters: and to this end, spending most of last week interstate, combined with more interstate work before Christmas and a slew of commitments outside business hours over the next few weeks, it means our regular conversation will have to wait.
For now, I encourage everyone to contemplate afresh the initial thoughts on Pauline Hanson winning four Senate spots and with them, partial control of the balance of power in the upper house; One Nation now stands to inflict great damage on all who stand in its way, beginning with a state election in Queensland next year.
For the major parties, and the Liberal Party especially, cooler heads — and far more refined levels of astute judgement — will be paramount in heading off this insidious electoral threat.
COALITION MPs who think Pauline Hanson must be vilified and her party smashed must reconsider; the inherent risks in any attempt at accommodation of the right-wing party are tempered by the dangers of literally ignoring it. A procession of state Coalition figures 15 years ago — headed by former Queensland Premier Rob Borbidge — offers an object lesson in the consequences of crucifying Hanson, One Nation, and the people who vote for it.
If there’s one thing that has generally been missed in much of the published commentary since last month’s election, it’s that the overall swing that occurred — in raw terms — was to the Right, the success of Nick Xenophon in South Australia notwithstanding, rather than to the Left.
Certainly, it’s the ALP and Bill Shorten who ostensibly emerge as the biggest winners and, in the House of Representatives at least, this is also certainly true; Labor now requires just seven additional…
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