Posted by: euzoia | February 25, 2009

Pauline Hanson coming back

One Nation on slide but Pauline Hanson may rise | The Australian

PAULINE Hanson’s return to the political scene may coincide with the departure of the country’s last One Nation MP.

Ms Hanson yesterday confirmed she would try again to return to parliament, this time as an independent at the Queensland election.

But she has yet to nominate a seat and, despite having a publicist, would not return calls from The Australian.

Unlike the One Nation founder, Queensland politician Rosa Lee Long, the last MP to carry the One Nation title, has remained in parliament, winning the north Queensland seat of Tablelands at the past three elections and increasing her vote each time.

A redistribution of electoral boundaries last year saw that seat abolished, however, and left Ms Lee Long to fight for the new seat of Dalrymple, a sliver of an electorate that runs from Atherton, behind Cairns, 600km south to Moranbah, west of Mackay and is notionally held by the LNP by more than 7 per cent.

Ms Lee Long was less than pleased with the redraw. She accused the Bligh Government of influencing the Queensland Electoral Commission’s decision during the redistribution process and for showing “contempt” for rural people. Where once her seat was made up mostly of the farming communities that sit behind Cairns, it now takes in mining and grazing towns such as Charters Towers.

Ms Lee Long fears the redraw might result in One Nation being wiped from the political scene. “I’ve got an electorate that runs north-south that takes in a number of varied communities,” the One Nation MP said. “Communities tend to run east-west. It would have made more sense to include the tablelands with Cairns.

“It just shows you how out of touch Labor is with north Queensland.”

Ms Lee Long welcomed Ms Hanson’s announcement, saying the former federal MP would be “a lot better than some of the people there now”.

“I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Pauline,” she said. “I don’t think it’s ever been fair to call the party racists. I’ve got Eurasian children. We’re against globalisation, I don’t think any good has come out of it. You only have to look at the mess we’re in now because we are so tied up with the Americans.”

Ms Lee Long’s late husband, Colin, was a builder of Chinese heritage who died in 1985.

Although running under the One Nation banner, Ms Lee Long has campaigned largely on local issues.

“I sit with the independents,” she said. “One of the advantages of being with One Nation is that I can vote independently. Will any Liberal or National Party candidate be forced to vote in favour of daylight savings just because their leader says so?”

Labor has yet to announce whether they will put up a candidate for Dalrymple, so Ms Lee Long’s main rival for the seat is Shane Knuth, the Liberal National Party MP whose Charters Towers electorate was also swallowed by the boundary changes.


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