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Thursday 24 Aug 2017 | 13:33 | SYDNEY
Thursday 24 Aug 2017 | 13:33 | SYDNEY

Pauline Hanson from across the Tasman

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31 March 2009 15:31

The (not) Pauline Hanson pictures caused quite a stir on both sides of the Tasman recently. On a visit to Wellington, several amused observers commented on La Hanson’s longevity and, ah, attraction. The impression of our trans-Tasman friends was that Pauline still wielded significant political sway, as evidenced by our media’s prurient interest in the latest controversy.

Seriously, though, what was surprising was the lingering impression among New Zealanders of Australia as a fundamentally racist society in which Hansonism still flourishes.  

From my side of the sea, her influence on Australian politics is reflected in successive election results:  48.6% of first preferences in Oxley in 1996; 36% in Blair in 1998 (which she lost); 0.86% in the Senate in 2001(another loss); and Beaudesert in the Queensland state elections on 21 March 2009 (21%).  She now promises to bow out. (Although she’s promised that before, as eloquently recounted in a 2004 Denton interview post jail, fraud charges quashed). 

Here’s another way to track her demise/journey, whichever way you choose to look at it:

  • extract from maiden speech, 1996: 'I and most Australians want our immigration policy radically reviewed and that of multiculturalism abolished. I believe we are in danger of being swamped by Asians.'  
  • launch of campaign song 2007:  'Welcome everyone, no matter where you come from.'

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