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Twenty years on, One Nation is still chaotic, controversial and influential

TJ Ryan Foundation Research Associate, Chris Salisbury, writes in The Conversation (8.6.18) that, despite One Nation's dysfunction and often inconsistent policy positions, Pauline Hanson has cemented an influential place in the federal arena, albeit a status that’s on the verge of diminishing drastically.

'Twenty years since its spectacular electoral debut in Queensland, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation remains a potent, if enigmatic, political force. Despite the party’s internal volatility and public displays of disunity, it’s still poised to play a significant role in the next federal election, especially in key marginal seats in Queensland.

'The weeks approaching the winter parliamentary break have witnessed almost daily revelations of One Nation’s in-fighting, keeping Pauline Hanson in the headlines.

'Recent ineligibility rulings, resignations and demotions have enveloped the party in a seeming storm of self-implosion.

'Its stocks in the federal senate, where it had four senators elected in 2016, are now diminished. Depending on out-of-favour senator Brian Burston’s decision concerning his future with the party, there may be further attrition to come.

'Many observers have noted how these public rows between Hanson and party colleagues, and the loss of numbers in parliament through bad blood or bad management, recall events in the party’s shambolic formative years. Some predict that history is set to repeat, and One Nation is again on a rapid path to self-destruction.

'But such assumptions might underestimate the stubborn persistence of Hanson and, importantly, her party’s supporters.'

 

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