When the Liberal Party knifed Tony Abbott last year they should have known that it would create controversy amongst the rank and file conservatives who pay $100 a year to be Party members. They should have also known that non party members who lean towards the right would also be disgruntled to see a Malcolm Turnbull resurrection. Unfortunately they believed that Malcolm Turnbull, despite alienating the right, would attract those on the left and subsequently those on the right would still vote Liberal because let’s be honest, do we want a Labor Government? Little did the Liberal Party elite know that someone, a blast from the past, a nagging former Liberal and a figurehead for the right was working tirelessly to reform her political party and provide an alternative to the two major parties. Pauline Hanson and her One Nation Party.
Pauline Hanson became famous in 1996 when she stood up and spoke what the majority were thinking, she formed Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party in 1997 but failed to retain her seat in 1998 Federal Election but her party gained one senate seat in Queensland. The Queensland based Party gained 11 seats in State Parliament, 8 more seats than the Liberal Party, the Liberals had a measly 3 seats. In Western Australia in 2001 it gained 3 upper house seats and produced 3 excellent MLC’s. Problems arose for One Nation with infighting rife in all state divisions of the Party and ultimately it destroyed itself from within. Last year, Pauline Hanson took over the reigns of the Party and rebrand it with a new colourful Logo. It has produced policies, or broad policy statements if we want to get technical that doesn’t just talk about Immigration. Pauline Hanson has managed to improve her public speaking skills and has managed to get with the times with the use of social media and acquiring a plane which has the party logo on it, not as big as Clive Palmer’s plane though. Pauline has also obtained a vehicle which is heavily signed, great form of advertising. Pauline Hanson has been invited on many news programs such as Paul Murray Live, Today Show, Sunrise and has been heard on many radio stations. It’s safe to say Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Political Party is back and is ready to fill that void the Liberal Party has created by knifing Tony Abbott. The question remains though, can Pauline Hanson do it? Can One Nation ultimately rise to be the third major conservative voice in Australian Politics? In other words, is One Nation the UKIP of Australia?
As mentioned in previous posts we have seen a rise in the number of right-wing political parties such as:
- Rise Up Australia
- Australian Liberty Alliance
- Katters Australia Party
- Australia First
- Hinch Justice Party
- Jacquie Lambie Network
- and more!
The difference between these political parties and One Nation is Pauline Hanson. Pauline Hanson is a great figurehead for One Nation, her brand has been around since 1996 and the party gained a lot of electoral support. It has been proven without Pauline Hanson the party failed to continue to sustain their electoral successes.
There has been talk that many disgruntled Liberals have gone over to the newly created Australian Liberty Alliance but unfortunately they have not gained much media attention unlike Hanson therefore it would be hard to see ALA as a potential third major conservative party, this leaves One Nation on top.
The issue now is can Pauline Hanson’s One Nation continue to rise? In order to cement themselves to be that third major conservative force it is imperative that Pauline Hanson is elected into the Senate in Queensland. If she is elected into the Senate, it will give One Nation Political Party some focus, a means for people to join. At the moment they are classified as a micro party, with a member of parliament, people will see that One Nation has potential and purpose. If Pauline Hanson fails to win a senate seat, I think it could be over for One Nation as an organisation unless they remain focus and on top of the issues especially if Malcolm Turnbull or Bill Shorten remain as leaders of their retrospective parties.
I see great things for One Nation, the knifing of Tony Abbott and the infighting amongst the factions within the Liberal Party is a blessing in disguise for Australia as it does open the door for a third major conservative political party. It makes sense for One Nation to fill that void as it has already been established, has community recognition, has a figurehead and a potential youth movement called Young Nation, which can be reformed. It all comes down to whether or not Hanson can gain that senate seat.