Life-size cardboard cutouts of Pauline Hanson will replace her at polling stations in Longman because she’s on holiday…
For all those familiar with my writing, I feel that I have to add that I am not making this up. You can google it or, if you no longer trust that giant search engine, just ring Pauline’s office directly. Although I’m not sure that Pauline’s office wouldn’t be just as likely to tell you that it’s fake news and that she and Donald Trump will be campaigning side-by-side at all polling stations in all parts of the world.
Pauline has evidently decided that now would be a good time for a holiday, given that there’s a by-election in her home state of Queensland. While some of you may think that this would be an inappropriate time for the leader of the party which contains her name to take a break, Pauline doesn’t think the same way that other people do.
Ok, ok, I know that some of you will be telling me that I could have finished the previous sentence after the word “think”, but you are overlooking the fact that Pauline didn’t just leave her party in the lurch. She prepared life-size cardboard cutouts of herself, obviously counting on the fact that her supporters wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. After all, she reasoned, they still think that she’s on the side of the battler and haven’t noticed that she’s voted with the government to screw the poor at every opportunity.
In fact, tactical genius, James Ashby, was quoted as telling us that the cutouts were “as good as her”, adding, “A photo visual of Pauline is as good as her being there because it is a presence. People will still be able to come and get a photo with Pauline.”
Now, some of you may think that getting a photo with a cutout isn’t actually the same as getting a photo with the real thing, but they’re the sort of people that point out having a life-size model of your favourite Hollywood star in your home is not the same as actually being married to them. In short, they’re not the voters that Pauline Hanson’s One Notion is appealing to.
Of course, James, people may remember, was one of the clever people behind the plot to embarrass Peter Slipper. My One Nation source, who coincidentally is also made of cardboard, told me that Ashby didn’t go far enough. (That’s in his statements about Pauline, he wasn’t suggesting that he didn’t go far enough with Slipper.) According to my source, far from being just as good, a Pauline cardboard cutout was even better than the real thing. For a start, it could be practicallly everywhere at once, but not only that, it didn’t need to have a rest break. Most important of all, if asked a question, it wouldn’t say, “Please explain”. And it certainly wouldn’t say something that could be repeated in the media and twisted to make it sound as though Pauline was saying something racist just because she was expressing support for good Christian values like burning crosses with protective sheets over one’s head.
If the PHON candidate tomorrow does well – and let’s face it whenever Pauline’s party gets more votes than Malcolm Roberts’ 77, the media suggest that it was a good result for them – then Pauline can claim it was because of the cutouts. On the other hand, if they do poorly, then she can rail about how the government held the election when they knew she’d already booked a holiday.
Whatever the result, I expect to see several opinion pieces expressing the view that if it wasn’t for Bill Shorten, Labor would have increased its vote by a significant margin. This will be followed by suggestions that they should try a similar tactic and have as leader a cardboard cutout. While they could replace him with a talking dummy, programmed to say a few key phrases when you pulled its string, this would simply look they were copying the Liberal Party.