Pauline Hanson is one of Australia’s most well known politicians. Her reputation and recognition extends outside of Australia and reaches across the globe.
Pauline’s political career began in 1994, and her involvement in Australian politics continues today. Pauline Hanson is currently standing as an independent candidate for the March 2011 New South Wales Legislative Council election.
Pauline’s political career has seen her represent herself under two different political parties, both of which she created, as well as acting as a Liberal Party member and an independent candidate.
During the last two decades, Pauline Hanson’s ability to ask the difficult questions has helped her to gain fame and popularity with the Australian community. At the same time, her views have been branded as controversial and even racist.
Pauline Hanson is not the average politician, always aiming to look squeaky clean and blame free. Instead, Pauline accepts that there are issues that Australia inevitably must address, whether it’s now or in the near future. Many consider Pauline Hanson to be an outspoken soul that is simply ahead of her time.
Comments that Lead to Controversy
Pauline Hanson first came to the attention of many Australians following a comment she made to ‘The Queensland Times’ during her election campaign in March 1996. At the time, Pauline Hanson was registered in the election as a Liberal Party candidate.
Pauline’s controversial comments centred on the debate of whether or not Aboriginals were receiving support and benefits, supplied by the state, that other Australians would not be entitled to.
The media pounced on this comment, and despite the initial uproar, Pauline Hanson won the election. However, she took the seat as an independent candidate, rather than a Liberal party member.
Pauline Hanson had clearly gained fans and foes during her election, and her comment had proved a serious political debate. Pauline’s maiden speech to the House of Representatives in September 1996 fired the debate further.
The Famous House of Representatives Speech
Pauline Hanson’s maiden speech at the House of Representatives has become the topic of much discussion. Even after more than ten years on, everyone, from the political academics to the Australian people, talks about that one speech.
From the start, Pauline Hanson made it perfectly clear that she was unlike other politicians; instead, she felt she better identified with the wants and needs of the people, as opposed to the greed and means of the politician.
Her opening lines saw her stating that her views were based on ‘commonsense’ and her experience as ‘a mother, a sole parent and a businesswoman running a fish and chip shop’.
Quick to acknowledge that her comments to the newspaper had created controversy, she countered with the argument that despite this comment, she had managed to win support and, most importantly, the seat at the election. Pauline Hanson also surprised all, by revealing that she considered that the pursuit of multiculturalism and political correctness would lead to a case of reverse racism.
Pauline Hanson also addressed the growing concern of the number of immigrants coming into Australia, and the government’s inability to listen to the people on this particular subject. Pauline eloquently out forward her argument with one simple sentence:
“…if I can invite whom I want into my home, then I should have the right to have a say in who comes into my country.” – Pauline Hanson (House of Representatives speech, September 1996)
Pauline Hanson’s speech also looked into a number of other issues concerning Australians, including youth unemployment, child benefit, family breakdown and the Family Law Act. She expressed concerns about global debt and the current economic system, and called instead for lower import figures and the return of trade limits and tariffs.
The Rough Road of Politics
“It’s been a very rocky road. I have had all the major political parties attack me, been kicked out of my own party and ended up in prison, but I don’t give up” – Pauline Hanson (Federal elections, May 2007)
Between the speech at the House of Representatives and the here and now, Pauline Hanson has walked a rough road, and endured a turbulent political career.
The speech caused quite the stir with Australian citizens, each individual developing their own opinion of Pauline. The political parties took a more dramatic response, doing their best to separate themselves from Pauline’s views, but not strongly enough to validate censoring her thoughts entirely.
After launching her first political Party, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation, she enjoyed initial success and support. However, a number of factors led to the reduction of support for the party from Australian citizens.
Pauline Hanson left One Nation, only to walk into an electoral fraud investigation. Pauline and another One Nation party leader were sentenced to a total of 9 years imprisonment each in August 2003; however, after less than three months served, both Pauline Hanson and her political partner were released, with all of the charges quashed.
Rather than leaving politics alone, Pauline Hanson once again embraced the route to a political career less than 12 months after her release from prison. Pauline did not win that particular election in 2004, however, she did win more votes than her old rival party, One Nation.
Recent Political Engagements
Pauline also ran as a candidate for the 2007 Federal elections under her second, more recent political party banner; Pauline’s United Australia Party. Again, Pauline was just shy of securing her seat, and she managed to win a strong percentage of the votes submitted by Australian citizens. The ongoing support of the Australian people has constantly pushed Pauline to assess and improve her policies and to continue pursuing a career in politics.
In 2009, she decided to drop the new party name, and again run as an independent. Pauline felt that as an independent, she could best represent both herself and the needs and wants of the people, without party politics becoming an interference.
Although Pauline Hanson spoke of selling her home and moving to England in 2010, she has since decided to run as an independent candidate for a seat on the New South Wales Legislative Council in the March 2011 election.