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In defence of Pauline

A probably unpopular take on the return of the female redhead who challenges our parliament and how we see ourselves as Australians.

Ms Hanson would have got in anyway. The changes to the senate rules didn’t make her return any more likely.  What made it inevitable was the failed economic and social policies of state and federal governments that led the same anti-modern voters who elected Ms Hanson 20 years ago to come full circle.

Brief History
After Ms Hanson was ‘betrayed’ by her own party apparatchiks, these voters tried minor parties.  They muddled about trying to find a voice that reflected their own thoughts. Suddenly Tony Abbott gave them true hope that Australia would return to the halcyon and mythical days of the 1950’s, when men were Men… and White. Then he got the sack, and was replaced with an urbane do-nothing who was completely clueless about what was going on below the executive floor, let alone at the bar in the country pub.

The last few months under Turnbull gave voters time to think. Time to realise that maybe they’d been conned. For years, many of these voters have bought the ‘aspirational’ market-will-provide line trotted out by the LNP… It’s only recently that people are actually figuring out that trickle-down doesn’t work; but don’t yet understand what happened. People voted to stop the boats, and then lost the farm.

This time, just as last time, Pauline Hanson has attracted groups with an axe to grind. The Socialist Alliance, Animal Justice Party, and other groups on the Left are just as guilty of this sin.  It should not call into question the legitimacy of Ms Hanson as a representative, or the legitimacy of those who voted for her.

E-con 101
We are in the midst of another labour-force revolution, coupled with major shifts in social identity. Types and terms of employment are in flux; and so far, no one has any clear answers on how we can transition from where we are into the future. That scares most people. For people who have missed out on a promised life of stability; and who feel marginalised and under siege by changing labour, cultural and social norms, it is terrifying.

Hanson appeals to people who cannot cope with contemporary life, let alone the future; different cultures or skin colour are not really the issue. When pressed only the true believers have problems with race and sexuality.  For the majority, those things are an obvious symptom that they can use to define their position. The real problems come from change, from different ways of thinking, the rise of technology and change in labour, the shifting sands of meaning, being unable to trust the local newspaper (if you still have one).

If you read the One Nation website, it is an almost incoherent rant. It is filled with the confused and bitter ramblings of everyday people, who have no comprehension of the policy and economics that have led to their current condition. This is a group of people who have no particular political, economic or social ideology.  They thought our society was still based on the True-Blue, Fair-Go, rustic simplicity represented by the 1950s. Now they have awoken post GFC to discover that the new century is a complex and frightening place, and they want someone to blame.

We need to accept, despite how they express their concerns; people do have valid reasons to be concerned.  In the last 20 years Australia has become one of the least protected markets in the world.  However, the prosperity promised as result of these changes never arrived. Instead services and businesses have shrunk and vanished. Lives have been whittled away by neo-liberal economics and globalisation from the Right; and shifts in worldview and social justice from the Left.  This is a group of people who are no longer at the centre of Australia’s life, and they have been left to fend for themselves without any help to transition or understand the change.  They feel justifiably marginalised…

…as an intermission, I suggest you all take a moment to watch THIS and then come back.

Peoples is People
Supporters of Ms Hanson don’t see themselves as racist or homophobic; just as their mirrors on the Left probably don’t see themselves as social fascists.  They are just humans who are uncomfortable with diversity, and don’t know how to express themselves. The intellectual Left has had decades sitting in ivory towers to reform language to accommodate diversity.  For most in regional Australia or outer city suburbs, casual sexism and racism is a way of demonstrating affection.  Labelling a person as racist, sexist or homophobic doesn’t make them so, it only shames… and then angers them. But, again, they do not know how to express their confusion.  Pauline Hanson gives them voice. She is representative of the views of thousands of Australians.  The difference is that she is happy to take money from David Koch to air these grievances in public, rather than just bitching into a pot of Four X.

These Australians (and they exist on the Left as well) don’t care about facts, they just know how they feel. They don’t want to think about consequences, or geopolitics, or climate change, or complexity; they want things to be simple, and they don’t want to have to change. They don’t want to think about policy, they just want government to take care of them; and they will give their vote to anyone who promises to do that. Last election it was Tony, this time it’s Pauline.

The saddest thing about all this reaction to Ms Hanson, is that it didn’t have to be this way. Pro-environment sentiment in the bush is at an all-time high.  The Greens candidate Jeremy Buckingham has large support for his pro-farm stance. The Greens and ALP could have gone into the regions and actually spoken to these people.
If they had heard their grievances, and took them seriously enough to have the lengthy conversations needed to bring understanding, then the past two elections would have been very different.

A classic example of this is renewable energy. Regional and outer suburban manufacturing is collapsing.  Ironically, if a ‘jobs and growth’ argument for renewable energy and action on climate change had been prosecuted more effectively, it’s likely we would be a lot further along to reaching our emissions target.  Instead we are facing the prospect of a Royal Commission into climate science.  All because no one bothered to address the dog-whistling from the Liberals, and actually explain the issues and opportunities.

The shrill and uncompromising front presented by angry voters is just that; a front. However, while anti-corporate ranting is accepted without question; too often intellectual and urbane progressives have not bothered to engage with the people Ms Hanson represents, purely because of their views on social policy.

Which is unfortunate, as those views are rarely concrete, and more often simple, easy targets for confusion and anger: It’s a lot easier to blame an immigrant (or a corporation) than unravel the economic and policy choices responsible for ones current state. If anyone took the time to talk, they’d find reasonable, if uninformed people who are willing to give up acting on social prejudice for better work opportunities and better services.

As seen by the non-partisan cooperation between progressive greens groups and conservative farmers in the Liverpool plains or The Great Barrier Reef, on many levels Ms Hanson’s supporters are natural allies against the destructive aspects of corporate neo-liberalism.  If the socially and economically just future we all claim to wish for is to become a reality, complaining about Pauline Hanson isn’t going to help.

If the elections of 2010 and 2013 should have taught us anything, it is that mud-slinging and ignoring citizens only further fractures our society; with serious deleterious effects on our economy, civil society and democracy. If progressive, intellectual, inclusive citizens are truly concerned about what’s happening in regional Australia; then they need to stop criticising and start having conversations.

Will you have to swallow your own prejudices?  Yes.

Will you have to work with people you do not like? Yes.

Will it be hard work?

Yes, democracy is hard work; anyone who tells you different is selling something.

 

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55 comments

  1. IAO PRISM

    Cannot even say the unsayable by labelling it as ………ophobia. Even Trevor Philips who introduced the term to the UK now realises something is up. So quick to parody whitey who want the 50’s cannot even mention the dogma that motivates many to want to return to the 6’s, the 6 hundreds that is. Therefore this article promises to be unpopular but is actually just avoiding the painful point about Pauline.

  2. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Fantastic, Weasel.

    I agree 100%. Communities, Conversations, Consensus.

  3. paul walter

    One of the best postings I’ll read this year.

    Jennifer Wilson at No Place For Sheep, who often posts thread starters here, has invoked the Guardian article by Margo Kingston on Hanson, following a similar line, advocating a thoughtful review of her background and understanding the context in which she and they were formed, then taking the ideas on.

    No use resorting to stuff like operating a fish and chip shop, too plebeian for many who had the luck to get to uni and study things more at leisure with good tuition.

  4. jimhaz

    More classy work from the Weasel.

    The article resonates strongly with my point of view – expressed far more intellectually than I can.
    I wonder though, what there is to sell to regional Australia and satellite suburbs, that they might buy? The vast bulk of regional people are not farmers.

    I think the simple article linked below offers some background context, including the reason why Brexit occurred and why Occupy needs to return.

    A New Kind of Feudalism as Western Workers Lose Ground

    http://www.mercenarytrader.com/2015/05/a-new-kind-of-feudalism-as-western-workers-lose-ground/

    @ Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Consensus means compromise. The most outspoken on either side rarely seem capable of compromising – and I think the ultra complex and more individualistic nature of the modern world leads us into not wanting to.

  5. Denis Hay

    “Types and terms of employment are in flux; and so far, no one has any clear answers on how we can transition from where we are into the future.”

    There is an answer on how we can transition from where we into the future. If you take the time to read Bill Mitchell’s website here: http://www.billmitchell.org/ and a YouTube video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnyDRwSqp2E Bill explains his Modern Monetary Theory.

  6. Möbius Ecko

    Yes Denis Hay, and go to true full employment instead of the current economic system that has a deliberate unemployment factor built in.

  7. Kaye Lee

    “If anyone took the time to talk, they’d find reasonable, if uninformed people who are willing to give up acting on social prejudice for better work opportunities and better services.”

    I wish this was true. I have, for years, been trying to talk to people of all persuasions. Go to Larry Pickering’s site (where most of Pauline’s views seem to have come from) and try having a conversation. Try to discuss the economic and social benefits of migration and see where you get.

    Pickering is an extreme but a visit to George Christensen’s page finds the same people with the same views. George promises jobs for the locals from the expansion of Abbott Point. When I asked him about the government report showing that the expansion would only provide one ongoing job after construction (which also employed very few people temporarily) and compared it to the jobs from reef tourism, he removed my comments and blocked me. He won’t listen to anything that questions his narrative.

    I can understand the fears these people express – I just cannot find a way to allay them. They live in an echo chamber where any attempt at discussion is dismissed – you are immediately part of a conspiracy. The left and right trade barbs – one side are -ists and the other are -phobes.

    I can agree with them about the sale of some things to foreigners but when you try to discuss Australia’s need for foreign investment they have no answer. They know what they don’t want but have no idea about solutions.

    And if regional people wanted better services they wouldn’t be voting for the Coalition.

  8. Denis Hay

    Yes, Mobius, the system is designed to keep workers in the most vulnerable position as possible. Having a high level of unemployment and part-time casual jobs makes virtually everyone totally insecure. Stops people taking action to improve pay and conditions.

  9. stephentardrew

    I agree however I must hold back my inner child chafing at the bit to let off a few more salvo’s. Democracy it is, and yes, we must communicate and at least help alleviate the suffering of those who are marginalised or more will join One Nation. If people are in pain and grief attacking them will not work. One is guilty of the intolerance that is exhibited by those I criticise. A good lesson to learn. Rational argument and discussion is the only way. I often look to Kay Lee and other contributors to AIMN for common sense.

  10. Pappinbarra Fox

    You make a fundamental mistake when you say: Supporters of Ms Hanson don’t see themselves as racist or homophobic; just as their mirrors on the Left probably don’t see themselves as social fascists.
    Actually probably as many left oriented people support Hanson as right inclined. The traditional blue collar labour voter of last century could easily fall into the Hanson camp if they became disenchanted with the way the Labor team has been taken over by intellectual latte sippers.

  11. Kaye Lee

    I would add that, as Pauline’s entire political career has been built on maximising fear, she is unlikely to do anything to allay those fears. Her “solutions” are nothing of the sort. Discrimination and denial won’t bring us all together. Grand talk of abolishing the courts is just silly. Climate change denial is irresponsible. Religious discrimination is unconstitutional and her claim that Islam is not a religion is divisive.

    I am sorry, I find Pauline’s cynical opportunism (or at best naive ignorance) indefensible. If she is to be paid to lead this country then she needs to be far better informed so she stops misleading people.

  12. Dan Rowden

    I have an acquaintance with whom I semi-regularly share an ale. He’s an expat Pom who supported the Brexit “leave” campaign, primarily because of his monomaniacal anti-Islam attitude. Although being a long-time Labour/Labor man, a fact he was reminded of at the weekend by his wife and daughter, he thinks Pauline is pretty great. No amount of facts or argument from me can dissuade his from this view.

    If Xenophon gets 3 senators and Pauline gets more than just herself, we’re in a world of serious hurt. If the Coalition manages to form government with this senate make-up, we’re royally screwed, in my view.

  13. David

    Hanson is condemned by the words she utters and the beliefs she proposes

  14. jimhaz

    [George promises jobs for the locals from the expansion of Abbott Point. When I asked him about the government report showing that the expansion would only provide one ongoing job after construction (which also employed very few people temporarily) and compared it to the jobs from reef tourism]

    and folks here want these people, being part of the political cycle, to use MMT to fix things !

  15. Dan Rowden

    Hanson’s fundamental problem is that she’s a stupid person. That’s not her fault, but it’s nevertheless evident. Sound ideas and cogent argument are not ordinarily emergent properties of stupidity. Stupid really is as stupid does. That doesn’t automatically make her supporters, zealous or merely nominal, stupid, but it does call into question their judgement. Why anyone with a modicum of intellectual conscience would express support for, or agreement with the views of, a self-evidently stupid person is beyond my ken. It may even be beyond my barbie.

    Unfortunately, she is also a woman of some passion and stupidity and passion is a fairly dangerous mix. If people want to suggest that certain of her viewpoints resonate with them on some level, even if they’re not agreeing with her precise version of those viewpoints, well then, fair enough I suppose. There is a perfectly legitimate anti-Islam argument to be prosecuted. It’s just not Pauline Hanson’s. Sadly, perhaps out of political timidity or guilt we’ve allowed the Hanson’s of the world to make the running with regard to any debate or discourse regarding the potential issues with Islam. In doing so we may have damaged that debate irreparably, to the point where it is now almost impossible to achieve in an environment absent of claims of phobia and bigotry.

    Now, in a moment of monumental mental defect we’ve delivered the Hanson version of that debate into the corridors of our highest political ediface. There does not exist a face-palm meme of sufficient merit to express how calamitous this moment really is.

    I think I agree with Matters Not – put this woman in charge of it, send her out there into the world to make her case, all of which can only have the effect of her revealing, once and for all, her utter vacuity.

    Then we can send her off to the physics lab and Qld Uni as the world’s first example of a perfect vacuum.

  16. guest

    This very matter was discussed by Alvin Toffler in his book “Future Shock” back in 1970. The situation has just become more complicated.

    But while we might talk about engaging with the dis-enfranchised and the victims of future shock, we have never had so much information available to us. So then the problem becomes the failure to seek to understand, to think – instead,it is to feel too much. And feelings can be entirely irrational. Toffler talks about “the rise of a potentially deadly mass irrationalism.”

    Weasel writes here of those people who want things to be simple, with no change. It is not going to happen. They “just want the government to take care of them”. The Liberals speak of “leaners” and the “nanny state”.

    So when a state gives in-principle approval of a coal mine potentially 10x the size of the Sydney Harbour, they do so with the promise of jobs and growth. It does so with the humanitarian goal of lifting 300m Indians out of poverty.

    On the other hand, there are those who oppose the selling of coal to be burnt, creating millions of tonnes of CO2 and adding to the problems of climate change. So also the promises of fracking on prime agricultural land. It becomes a matter of vested interests, and no amount of talking will shift those who resist change or those who see advantage in change, no matter what the consequences.

    The discussion of Global Warming here in Oz has degenerated into quibbling about words and spruiking plain denial along with a measure of scepticism. Institutes which engage in scientific research have been closed on the premise of reducing costs.

    We see how vested interests prevailed in the attack on Iraq. Hussein was the bad guy who had attacked others, such as Kuwait, but not the USA (who at one time was his ally) But 9/11 was the big motive and gave a chance to bring democracy to the Middle East. Millions were to be liberated. Talk of weapons of mass destruction led to the discovery of none. But the Coalition of the Willing pressed on – and we know the result. The chaos is still with us. And some people here in Oz are afraid of being murdered in the streets or in their beds.

    So who is going to talk with Pauline? She has not changed in 20 years, just shifted her sights onto another target.

    What will the ones to engage with her – and those who follow her – say, if not facts?

    Turnbull tried to be positive with the idea of “exciting” times. That did not work. Nor did his notions of “transitioning”, or being “agile” and “innovative”. And the advice to “Work. Save. Invest”. Way too theoretical – even though it was all an invitation to get involved. And he promised to help.

    It all fell on deaf ears.

    But the Labor cry to “Save Medicare” made sense because the Coalition had been tinkering with Labor policies for ever. Even today Nick Cater suggests Medicare is unsustainable, but a private company would fix it by raising the fees.

    So everywhere there is talk, talk, talk – but the messages are mixed and befuddled.

  17. Sean Stinson

    Ripper article Mr Weasel.

    Dan Rowden, I agree with the point you make, and wonder how Turnbull could fail to see this coming.

    A more cynical person might wonder if Turnbull might have in fact engineered this outcome, or at least hoped for it.

  18. Jack

    Wow. A really balanced article that you don’t tend to get here. There are extremists on both sides of politics. It’s important that we have all their voices heard in our democracy, no matter how hard it can be to stomach personally

  19. totaram

    ” Even today Nick Cater suggests Medicare is unsustainable, but a private company would fix it by raising the fees.”

    But govt.cannot fix it by raising the Medicare levy? and reducing the money spent on the Private Insurance rebate? After all, if the Private insurers cannot survive without govt. assistance, why don’t they close down?

    The logic of some of these people belongs in a Kindergarten.

  20. cornlegend

    for all you political tragics waiting on the count, wait on.
    AEC suspended counting in Gilmore .
    They can’t find an electric letter opener

  21. Kaye Lee

    I don’t expect our politicians to be an expert on anything but I do expect them to recognise that they are not and to listen to those who are. Pauline’s absolute belief that she knows best because this is what the guys in the pub reckon is dangerous. She says she has collected a good team around her and the first two we see are Malcolm Roberts and James Ashby. Talk about a home for the homeless.

  22. mark

    A return to british domination,is what she represents.mark

  23. Michael Jones

    I’m just cracking up at you lot giving yourselves pats on the back, for finally coming to a realisation that anybody other than a socialist misanthrope would have come to a long time ago. That is, if you treat a large group of people with latent democratic power with contempt, they will eventually find a means to bite you hard.

    That means has turned out to be Pauline Hanson, again, which makes the oversight even stupider. There is nothing you can do to get her and her senators off their very powerful platform now for at least six years, so the best approach would be to learn from the experience.

    Lesson number one, none of you are as smart as you think you are. Let that sink in because until you internalise it, your hubris will continue to lead to failures like this.

  24. win jeavons

    The only thing that seems to be flourishing is confirmation bias.

  25. Jose

    “In defence of Pauline ”

    That BITCH is indefensible.

  26. Pingback: Part 12 of NoFibs Australian election coverage 2016: @Qldaah #ausvotes #auspol #qldpol | The Qldaah

  27. Pingback: Part 12 of NoFibs Australian election coverage 2016.

  28. Kyran

    “In defence of Pauline.”
    Why? Was she threatened, intimidated or muted, other than by her own?
    Isn’t she the banshee screaming into the wind?
    The post by ‘guest’ referencing Toffler’s work, reminded me of better times. Trying to read Toffler, Heller and Rand, at the same time.
    Ironically, Mr Toffler passed away on 27th June, 2016. One of his quotes;

    “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.
    The illiterate of the future will not be the person who cannot read. It will be the person who does not know how to learn.
    Change is not merely necessary to life – it is life.”

    Another ‘futurist’ of note is David Suzuki. Some of his quotes;
    “We’re in a giant car heading towards a brick wall and everyone’s arguing over where they’re going to sit.”
    “Education has failed in a very serious way to convey the most important lesson science can teach: skepticism.”
    “We must reinvent a future free of blinders so that we can choose from real options.”
    Messrs Rowden and Stinson, you’re onto something. Thankyou, the Weasel. Take care

  29. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    David Suzuki,

    is a world treasure like David Attenborough and Jane Goodall.

  30. Matters Not

    Make no mistake this is is the ‘second coming’ of Pauline. While the ‘first time’ was a trial run, this time it’s for real. After this, it’s her ‘assumption’ into a ‘better place’.

    Personally, I think she missed her financial opportunity, As a Senator, she will be on a ‘gravy train’ of sorts but there will always be someone looking over her shoulder. If she chose to be a ‘religious revivalist’, (offering hope, here. then and everywhere, then the sky was the limit. Limited only by her imagination, I suspect.

    Why she could have extrapolated the ‘religious’ images to an extraordinary level. Try, she of the ‘burning bush’ as an ‘opener’. (Just jokin ). Besides it’s been done to death.

    Ducks head and runs away.

  31. randalstella

    It is baffling how Turnbull could not have seen the Senate complication coming. The DD was as if he were asking for trouble – as if he were spiting the troglodytes in his own mob.

  32. Michael Taylor

    Can’t agree with you more, randastella. What was he thinking? Was it his arrogance? His belief that he was loved by all? Poor internal polling?

    Whatever, it was a major stuff-up.

  33. silkworm

    MMT offers the solution for bringing left and right together. What the Hansonites really fear is their jobs being taken from them, but they are blaming the wrong people – migrants, refugees, etc. The solution is Full Employment, which can only be provided by government, the public sector – in education, scientific research, health care, etc. Even a green army, but paid, not slave wages. But before we can show the right the truth of this, we must see the truth of this for ourselves.

    Where is the union movement on MMT and full employment?

  34. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    So true, silkworm.

    We need saving, and then newcomers.

    My preference is full, humanitarian acceptance of asylum seekers and a reduced acceptance of migrants.

    Ditto, where is the union movement looking out for the unemployed???

  35. paul walter

    You guys so cheer me up, almost as much fun as rubbing my face with a cheese grater.

  36. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Nothing like robust discussion.

  37. paul walter

    Fool’s paradise?

    Better to know now rather than later, I suppose.

  38. Sean Stinson

    It strikes me as funny that arguably the one decent thing Abbott did in his entire political career was getting rid of Hanson, and now Turnbull has brought her back.

    On a more serious note, what are the chances that this clusterfck could result in a unity (aka fascist) government?

  39. silkworm

    OK all you lefties. Treat Pauline with respect and stop laughing at her.

  40. randalstella

    I have to disagree with you there Sean.
    What Abbott did to Hanson was extremely indecent. It was thuggish, fascistic.

  41. Sean Stinson

    ok randalstella, it was indecent, but still his greatest achievement.

  42. Grump Grumbler

    And then perhaps there were some who just wanted to rock the boat for Turnbull & “Me Too Shorten”‘ by injecting Pauline into their “Cleaned Out” DD Senate?

  43. paul walter

    Well, what is the alternative, Silkworm? Her approach of contempt prior to any investigation, like a drunk with a shotgun. The unconsidered life is hardly worth considering, so many won’t attack Hanson till there is justification.

    THEN we can laugh, as many of us are doing right now, having realised the nature of the beast.

  44. Zathras

    Two things I remember from her first elected appearance were the legal restriction she placed on her ex-husband from commenting on her personal view of aborigines plus her mother’s invocation of the “yellow peril”.

    Part of her attitude seems to have been taught but the rest is entirely her own work.

    I read this summary a while ago – “Her entire history is about creating division and hatred for personal gain, not to make this country a better place. She never talks about inclusiveness or harmony, just divisive rhetoric about us and them – the ‘normals’ and the ‘abnormals.’”

    The real tragedy is that Howard never put her in her place when he had the chance for fear of alienating those voters who drifted toward her at the time.

  45. Kaye Lee

    Hanson warned we were in danger of being swamped by Asian immigration saying “They have their own culture and religion, form ghettos and do not assimilate.”

    She warned Africans were bringing in diseases. “We’re bringing in people from South Africa at the moment. There’s a huge amount coming into Australia, who have diseases; they’ve got AIDS. They are of no benefit to this country whatsoever; they’ll never be able to work.”

    She railed against “the privileges Aboriginals enjoy over other Australians” and wanted native title abolished.

    She is “fed up to the back teeth” with governments “bending over backwards to look after Muslims and their needs” and thinks all Muslim immigration should be stopped.

    Giving a platform for this sort of racist rubbish is not something I can possibly defend. We need our leaders to dispel misinformation, not represent and promote it. Pauline lacks the skills for critical analysis and is consequently easily manipulated, just as happened last time.

  46. paul walter

    Kaye Lee, we needed it fifteen years ago. Many of them have had reasons of their own for NOT disarming the thing.

  47. JeffJL

    Curse you Mr Weasel. You caused me to donate to The AIMN so article like this one will be promulgated.

    On a side note. Will Ms Hansen offer the WA vacancy to James Ashby? (WA prospective candidate may be disqualified due to court decisions against him and cases currently in front of the courts).

  48. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Wouldn’t James Ashby need to be registered as a candidate?

  49. Dan Rowden

    It would be kinda fun to watch Ashby try and be a Senator from jail. Derryn could give him some tips, I guess.

  50. JeffJL

    @ Jennifer M-S. No. Labor were able to appoint Mick Dobson due to the retirement of the WA senator Joe Bullock. The responsible party names any replacement candidates. They can name any eligible person.

    Don’t ask me what would happen with an independent member.

  51. Matters Not

    Albert Field became an (ALP) Senator from QLD even though he was no longer a member of the ALP. At that time the prerogative was with the (State) government of the day. Now it’s with the ‘Party’.

    In short, Hanson (in all probability) could name whomever she liked.

    Having Ashby as a semi-permanent resident in Canberra would bring a smile to the face of Pyne. He would provide a sort of relief from ministerial responsibilities. 😎 😎

  52. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Thanks JeffJL. So James Ashby gets a free ticket, after all!

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