Just when we thought she may have dropped off the radar again, it seems that One Nation leader Pauline Hanson might be making a comeback.
In Saturday’s QLD state election, Pauline Hanson ran for the seat of Lockyer, and ABC has reported that she is leading the count by more than 300 votes.
Pauline has been relatively quiet recently and it seems to have worked in her electorate, which has a history of far-right politicians. LNP candidate Ian Rickuss has held Lockyer since 2004, and before that, One Nation won the seat in 1998 and 2001.
According to the Gatton Star, Ms Hanson said she wouldn’t be commenting on multicultural issues however she did say her ancestors from Ireland assimilated into Australia and “multiculturalism was dividing Australia as a nation”.
For many years, the media has reported that Pauline’s views on multiculturalism and foreigners are racist, and in 2011, when she gathered independents to run in the NSW state election, she denied these claims to Fairfax, saying “I’m not racist. No one can ever comment or make a comment on any racist statement I have ever said. I have … as an Australian … a right to question immigration and multiculturalism, which I don’t believe is helping our country. I believe in people coming here, assimilating, becoming Australians and be proud of this country and abide by the laws of the land. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that”.
At the time, former NSW premier Kristina Keneally said “We absolutely condemn the sorts of racist and discriminatory policies which come from Ms Hanson and parties like One Nation”.
So does this mean, at a time where the world is fearing terrorism and racially motivated attacks, Pauline Hanson’s views are fitting more with the mainstream? Has she become a voice for many instead of very few? Years ago she was an anomaly but now, it seems she is being welcomed back with open arms.
According to ABC election analyst Antony Green, Pauline Hanson may end up winning her seat, although “It is likely her preference flows will be weaker in polling places with a higher Labor vote”.
But Ipswich councillor Paul Tully promised the ABC, “If Pauline Hansen happens to win, I’ll walk down the main street of Gatton at two o’clock in the morning with a sack of potatoes on my back”.
What do you think? Does Pauline Hanson deserve to win the seat of Lockyer? Are the voters encouraging racist or xenophobic views? Or are her policies and thoughts acceptable? Tell us below.