Getting Elected to Office

By David Payne
Volume 8, Number 2 (Winter 1997-1998)
Issue theme: "Australia's identity crisis"

This is the second book (with which I am familiar) on Member of the Australian Parliament Pauline Hanson to hit the stands this year. The first, Pauline Hanson The Truth, was a collection of speeches by Ms. Hanson along with other information designed to back up her case against welfare, gun control, and Asianization. No one to date has admitted to authoring that book, which no doubt says something about the volatility of the subject. Word has it that Ms. Hanson has distanced herself from the book - one wonders why.

The present volume attempts to examine the "Hanson pheno-menon" from a pro-Hanson perspective. The author uses the One Nation movement to show how the entrenched orthodoxy of Australia works to undermine and destroy whatever it sees as a threat. Such procedures are nothing if not undemocratic, and as such One Nation is a test case to see whether or not Australia's democracy can be reborn.

"Hansonism" is a pejorative term. The powers that be in Australia, meaning the governing and intellectual elite, want Hanson identified with the crudest forms of racism against Asians and Aborigines. Veitch tries to show that the charges just don't stick by examining the people and the movements in her support. It turns out, says Veitch, that the people closest to Hanson have the same political backgrounds as those who are against her.


David Payne, Ph.D., teaches logic and philosophy at North Central Michigan College in Petoskey, Michigan. He is a frequent contributor to The Social Contract. There is a continuing campaign to try and link Hanson to any and every movement that might possibly discredit her - the favorites being neo-Nazi groups and the KKK (yes, it's now multinational). This is odd in that Hanson's platform calls for a thorough mixing of races within Australia, not a separation of races as the David Duke's would have it. The truth appears to be that Hanson's policies and her supporters represent mainstream Austra-lians, not the wild and frenzied right wingers portrayed in the media.

There is much that is good in this book. There is also an undercurrent of paranoia. Am I reading too much into it when I see Veitch hinting that Hanson herself was allowed to succeed by her opponents in order to further their own agendas? Here's a possible scenario. Inroads were slowly but surely being made by Graeme Campbell, the Confe-derate Action Party (CAP) and the Australians Against Further Immigration movement (AAFI). Then Pauline Hanson explodes onto the scene, supporting their agendas along with her own. Now the old guard are in a quandary. The closer they align themselves with Hanson the more they are in danger of crashing and burning with her should she do so; but if they distance themselves from her they splinter the ranks of their opposing position and are in danger of losing the popular support that they so badly need. If this was a planned strategy on the part of the ruling elite, then we must tip our hats in amazement at their political deftness. More likely, Hanson happened and they are now trying to use her as best they can to their own advantage.

Whatever the case, one has to feel for the anti-immigration organizations. To have their fate tied to this fish and chip shop owner from Oxley who seems to be in over her head must be frightening indeed. They have had to subordinate their agendas to hers, and many have put in much hard work laying the groundwork that Hanson has now taken over as her own. All they can do now, I suppose, is try to keep her ear, try to direct her in the proper direction, and try to extricate themselves from her if she goes down hard. TSC