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Perilous Pauline

Peter Brent writes in Inside Story (10.3.17) about the increasingly unpredictable Western Australian state election, arguing that a resurgent One Nation party faces a reckoning on election night.

'Pauline Hanson is back. In line with “populist” parties across the globe, fuelled by despondency over plodding economies, Islamist terrorism and immigration crises, One Nation is on the rise, even hitting 10 per cent in the latest Newspoll.

'With the party now controlling a large chunk of the Senate crossbench, the Malcolm Turnbull who opined before last year’s election that “Pauline Hanson is not a welcome presence on the Australian political scene” has been replaced by a more nuanced, equivocal individual.

'In desperation, Western Australia’s Liberal Party has entered a preference deal with One Nation for tomorrow’s election, which at time of writing is being roundly viewed – through the prism of the published polls, aided by Liberal leaks – as disaster for the Libs. (An unexpected result at the ballot box would transform it into a work of genius and wonder, of course.)

'Much is made of the supposed contrast between today’s convictionless Liberals and John Howard’s “insistence” back in the late 1990s and early 2000s that One Nation be put last on how-to-vote cards, but that involves generous employment of the airbrush.'


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