Australia goes to the polls

Pauline Hanson - leader of One Nation - is attempting an electoral comeback to the Australian Senate

Pauline Hanson – leader of One Nation – is attempting an electoral comeback to the Australian Senate

Voters across Australia head to the polls on Saturday (July 2nd) after a bitter and close fought federal election campaign.  For the first time since 1987, both the House of Representatives (elected in constituencies on a British style first past the post system) and the Senate (elected proportionally via statewide party lists) are being contested.

There are three rival parties in Australia which could be described as ‘nationalist’ in the sense that H&D readers would use the word: i.e. they are similar to either the NF, BNP, EDL or the right-wing of UKIP.

By far the most closely linked to our movement is the Australia First Party led by Dr Jim Saleam, a traditional racial nationalist whose policies include rebuilding Australia’s manufacturing industry, abolishing multiculturalism, and controlling foreign ownership of Australian financial and economic assets.

The AFP has a slate of Senate candidates in Western Australia, and candidates for two House seats in New South Wales (including Dr Saleam himself in a western suburb of Sydney), one in a Victoria constituency (a Melbourne suburb), and one in the constituency covering an area centred on Darwin in the Northern Territory.

Dr Jim Saleam, leader of the Australia First Party

Dr Jim Saleam, leader of the Australia First Party

Australia First’s traditional rival is the One Nation party headed by controversial former senator Pauline Hanson.  One Nation is anti-immigration and pro-White, but its policies are far more vague than Australia First.  Pauline Hanson’s earlier political career ended in disappointment and recrimination, but she is now attempting a comeback and has a reasonable chance of winning one of the Queensland seats.  One Nation also has slates of Senate candidates in Western Australia, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and New South Wales.

The newest semi-nationalist party (in some ways similar to One Nation) is the Australian Liberty Alliance (ALA) which has a mainly anti-Islam focus and has hosted Dutch Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders as a guest speaker at the party’s official launch in October 2015.  The ALA has grabbed some headlines by recruiting veteran rock singer Angry Anderson as one of its Senate candidates in New South Wales.  Some have suggested that the ALA and One Nation have agreed electoral pacts in most Australian constituencies: there is just one House seat where the two parties are standing against each other.  However there is bitter opposition between ALA and One Nation on the one hand, and the more hardline traditional nationalist AFP on the other.

An ALA candidate is standing against Jim Saleam in Sydney, one of four ALA House candidates in New South Wales.  There are also ALA Senate slates in most states, a House candidate in Western Australia, and five in Queensland.

In Queensland the AFP has endorsed Kim Vuga, a well known independent Senate candidate whose anti-Muslim, anti-immigration views have received wide media exposure.

The AFP has endorsed Kim Vuga, an independent, anti-immigration rival to Pauline  Hanson in Queensland.

The AFP has endorsed Kim Vuga, an independent, anti-immigration rival to Pauline Hanson in Queensland.

Most analysts assume that the only one of the above candidates with a strong chance of winning is Pauline Hanson, who is in a close fight for one of the Senate seats in Queensland.

Myriad small Christian and populist parties are standing in various parts of Australia on platforms including opposition to abortion and gay marriage.  The latter issue is likely to be put to a referendum, whoever wins the federal election.  Present Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who heads the supposedly conservative Liberal-National coalition, is a notorious supporter of both gay marriage and the anti-monarchy, anti-British movement for an Australian republic.  Since the republican cause was defeated in a referendum in 1999, it might be considered to early to push for a second poll on the issue, but we can assume that Turnbull and his devious allies such as newspaper tycoon Rupert Murdoch will have a strategy to resume their campaign as soon as practicable.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, a conservative who campaigns for gay marriage and against the monarchy

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, a conservative who campaigns for gay marriage and against the monarchy

Strange though it might seem, the best of the realistic results for Australian nationalists might be to see Turnbull defeated by Labour, in the hope that Australian conservatism might then acquire more decent leadership.

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