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The lesson of Hansonism? It’s the economy, stupid

The ABC’s Andrew Probyn reports (3.3.17) on the effect on the major political parties of the surging support for Pauline Hanson’s One Nation, with both left and right struggling to outline a credible plan for the economy which will appeal to ‘disillusioned’ voters.

‘Pauline Hanson is nibbling at the Left as much as she is chomping on the Right.

‘And some of the ideas being revisited in the Opposition are, according to folk inside the Labor Party, partly driven by a belief that the best way to deal with the rise of One Nation is to articulate a progressive economic agenda.

‘In the words of one member of Labor’s parliamentary Left, this would help combat disillusionment in the population so “they are not going to be blaming minorities for their economic woes”.

‘… In light of the rise of One Nation and the debate about penalty rates that is poisoning Malcolm Turnbull’s prospects of electoral recovery, Wayne Swan’s speech [to the AWU national conference] could have been directed at the hollowing political centre, once a shared project between Labor and the Coalition.’

One Nation a threat to the Nationals’ primacy in the regions

Michael Hogan comments in The Guardian on the challenge faced by the National Party to win back its dwindling constituency in regional Australia.

‘In Queensland, where the Nationals are also the dominant party in an alliance with the Liberals, the LNP is currently in opposition, but is looking at a potentially disastrous result in elections due within the next 12 months – probably this year. The reason is the popularity of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party. A number of current and past LNP members have announced that they will be standing as candidates for One Nation, rather than the LNP.’

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