One Nation sails into disaster in West Australia election

Editorial from The Pen

One Nation’s plan for a political upset in Western Australia has failed. After all, its rise had the full support of the mining industry, which poured millions of dollars into achieving a Liberal – One Nation triumph. A media blitz backed the campaign .

Part of it was to humiliate the Nationals, because their leader, Brendon Gylls dared to suggest a 5 percent tax ton mining company profit. The had to be taught a lesson.

A cliff-hanger result in the Pilbara means that Brendon Gylls, is now fighting for his political life.

The main game is  bigger than the fate of the National Party. The mining companies are leading the push to change the industrial relations system to open up for more extensive hiring of cheap labour, to reduce company tax and maintain Australia’s dependency on fossil fuels.

The undemocratic influence of big money in the political process  was the most important issue in this election. This the mainstream media chose  to ignore. Western Australia had now made it abundantly clear that there has been a rise in direct corporate involvement to influence the electoral result and this should be a concern for the whole of Australia.

The mining lobby has played a big hand in underwriting the Abbott/Turnbull policies at the federal level. Western Australia again raises shows that big money has too much influence on the political institutions and processes of Australia.

At least this time around, the effort to extend control backfired. Voters saw through the tricks and reacted in a way that provided Labor the opportunity to pick up a more than 10 percent swing.

Pauline Hanson might now be saying that the preference deal with the Liberals “was a mistake” and  has compared the former premier, Colin Barnett, to “stale milk” that the electors wanted to throw out. Why did she enter the preference deal with them then?  What she says now applied before the ballots were cast. The preference deal looked like a public sacrifice of principle. This is what was on the nose to most people. Hanson wont admit this, but what she does say is a kind of backdoor recognition that the people of the state had been under estimated.

The rotten alliance was also, and this is important, a symptom of a much deeper problem. Both parties are trying to drag Australia into their brave new world of lack of compassion, intolerance and undisguised service to those who bankroll their existence.

Two other and not entirely unrelated factors also played their part. One Nation’s internal and public infighting for control. The other is the low standing of the Liberal Party at the federal level. It is no accident that they were kept clear out of this election campaign.

One Nation could gather only around 4.7 percent support. Roughly, a third of what the polls predicted at the start of the campaign. Given the widespread media promotion that One Nation enjoyed, this is a disastrous result.

The outcome is good for Australia. It was a kick in the teeth for those who would send us into a dark age.

Unfortunately, they will regroup and take up the cudgels again. For the rest of us, a little time has been won.   This can be used to prepare for the next battle in a drawn out war, being waged by a rich and powerful élite on Australian civilisation.

For Labor and the greens, the situation imposes a responsibility  to present a real alternative.They will ultimately be judged on what they do.

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