How Not to Run a Conservative Party - Pauline Hanson and One Nation
This week Pauline Hanson announced she would rejoin the party that she helped create, One Nation. For those of you who have never heard of Pauline Hanson, or were too young or have simply forgotten the details let me give you a short history.
Pauline Hanson was an Australian politician who was kicked out of the Liberal party, the main Right Liberal party in Australia. She joined the party in 1995 and was endorsed to run as a candidate in less than a year, and she won a seat in the Federal Parliament. But in her maiden speech to Parliament she said something that scared the living daylights out of nearly everyone else in the Parliament. She attacked multiculturalism and mass immigration. When the party told her to change, she didn't and within a year she had been expelled from the Liberal Party. In 1997 she then co-founded a new political party called One Nation.
One Nation attracted alot of attention and in it's first election it won 18% of the vote, but due to Australia's electoral laws the party didn't win a single seat in Parliament. At the next election it's vote was down to 5%. At the most recent election that it ran candidates in, the Queensland state election, it had less than 0.1% of the vote.
In 2003 she and others within One Nation were convicted of electoral fraud for claiming more members than existed. She was sentenced to three years imprisonment but she only served three months before she was acquitted by the Court of Appeal. As you can see it's quite a story even in the short version I've given.
Here are some links to follow if your interested in finding out more.
wikipedia Pauline Hanson
abc pauline hanson-returns-to-one-nation Particularly check out the different views in the comments.
But I'm not writing about Pauline Hanson as such, what I'm going to write about is why things went wrong. I should point out that I never supported Pauline Hanson or One Nation, even though I agreed with much of what she said. So why didn't I support her?
The problem is multiculturalism and mass immigration, not any particular race or group. She was too focused on them and not enough on us. Here was a point that she and One Nation made over and over again, they knew what they were against but they they didn't know what they were for. They were against mass immigration, but what happened if they won office? It seemed their policy was 'well their here now we have to put up with them , but not one more!'. There was a negativity to their policies and not much that was positive, that would improve things. Stopping mass immigration is great, I support that, but what happens then?
It often seemed that they wanted exactly what the Left always accuses us of, wanting to return to the past. I don't want to live in the past, the past got us here and I really don't like it here. But so many of their policies were trying to step back in time with no real idea of what happens next.
They presented themselves as Conservative but they were a party of reaction, they reacted to the world around them and they did not really have an ideology. They were not a party of Conservatism because they didn't believe in men and women being distinct and having different roles within society. They endorsed women as candidates, most famously Pauline Hanson herself. A women who seeks political power is a Feminist, no matter what she says.
One Nation rose on the back of Pauline Hanson's personality and message. Without her the party would never have existed. Unfortunately Pauline Hanson was totally aware of this and she exploited it. A number of growing political groups joined One Nation as they wanted much the same things as she did. But anyone with any personality, popularity or organisational ability was found and expelled. This was Pauline Hanson's party and she wasn't sharing it with anyone else. That meant that when she lost her popularity, so did the party. Just as it rose because of Pauline Hanson so did it fall.
This meant that the party was always very amateurish. Pauline Hanson herself is terrible in interviews, but if she has ever received any training it sure doesn't show. Until quite recently the website was still the same as it was when put up in the 1990's, it is now quite good. Currently on their website they have this: "Immigration and Multiculturalism - have we ever been asked?"
Absolutely correct, we have never been asked and it is wrong. But then in an article talking about former Labor Prime Minister Gough Whitlam who died recently this is said: "Multiculturalism was forced upon Australia by Whitlam without anyone being asked if we wanted it. I am not talking about a multi-racial society, which is what we are, and should be".
When were we asked if we wanted to be a multi-racial society? Both were forced on us but one is terribly wrong and the other is terribly right, if you can work that one out good luck, because I sure can't.
One Nation is an example of how not to run a political party or a political movement. It has particular relevance to Conservatives as here is a party that many of us would find many things we agreed with, but that wasn't enough. Only when we have worked out what we stand for and what we want from the future can we hope to successfully fight. It is not enough to simply be against something.
Upon Hope Blog - A Traditional Conservative Future
Another Article You Might like?
Living on debt aka stealing from the future