Pour One Out For Pauline, Because One Of Her Senators Has Already Quit
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Pauline Hanson and One Nation may be the Australian representation of a great lurch to the anti-immigration Right across the world, but unlike in the case of Trump and Brexit, we've already seen this one play out. Pauline's got her finger on the pulse of the electorate, but one thing is holding her back: like in the 90s, she's just not that good at actually doing politics.
Case in point: we're barely six months into this Parliament, and she's already lost a Senator. Outspoken West Australian senator Rod Culleton – who is known for his possible court case which could render him ineligible as a parliamentarian – has ditched the party and will sit as an independent.
“Since my election to the Senate, I have consistently remained committed to all of the policies and pre-election promises, however my PHON Senate colleague’s public record shows they have not,” he said in a statement on Sunday night.
“Policy decisions have been run in morning media, with no consultation, discussion or agreement from the party room and personal attacks and undermining, un-Australian behaviour towards myself and my team, has been ongoing and terms dictated to the team.”
Let's face it – when the first One Nation senator inevitably defected, 'un-Australian behaviour' was absolutely going to be one of the reasons cited for the split. It was foretold.
Despite the loss of Culleton, One Nation are looking like solid contenders for the next Queensland election, with the party polling in the double digits. They're fielding 36 candidates, which Hanson says have been "closely vetted".
“We’re coming after you (the major parties) and your jobs because I don’t feel you need to be there,” she said in Brisbane on Sunday. “You have not listened to grassroots Australians.”
One Nation's support has always been strongest in Queensland, where they picked up 11 state seats back in 1998, before the party ultimately cratered. History's repeating itself, by the looks of it.
Photo: Getty Images / Lisa Maree Williams.