Graham Richardson pointed to an exchange in the Parliament:
My SkyNews colleague Paul Murray was in Canberra on Monday and was appalled that an MPI (Matter of Public Importance) was moved in the Senate which enabled Labor speakers 13 minutes each to bucket Pauline Hanson, who was then given only two and a half minutes to reply and defend herself. The manifest unfairness of the system was obvious to all, but the result was not what the major parties might have expected. In her short time, Senator Hanson delivered a response far more effective and memorable than all the attacks on her ever could be.
So I went and had a look at the Hansard (as one does):
Senator Hanson: … The fact is, I will not apologise for being a patriotic Australian—for standing up for Australian values and for the Australian people. So you can do your deals with the Greens, and all the rest of it, who want to see Australian coal destroyed, jobs destroyed and opening up for extremists in this country. Do your deals with them—that is absolutely wonderful! That is not what the people want. It was right when Senator Brandis said that 600,000 Australians voted for One Nation at the last election. Are you saying they all got it wrong? I don’t think so.
You should get out your tissues for the tears running down your cheeks, because you have not been able to do preference deals with us. The fact is, you have lost your way in this nation. Whether you have held government in the states or federally you have run this country into the ground. You have gone so socialist with your policies. You have the CFMEU, the unions, running you, so you have no control over your own destiny. People cannot rely on you at all, so don’t talk to me about grubby deals.
I have worked hard and I have put my policies out there to the Australian people who voted for One Nation—not only myself, but two senators in Queensland, one in New South Wales and one in Western Australia. It was based on our policies—what the Australian people want.
The Labor Party has well and truly lost its way. I am not going to stand here and support the Liberal or National parties either, because I think they all have a lot to learn about what grassroots Australians really want. From the very beginning I said that when it came down to doing preferences in Western Australia I was going to do what I thought best for getting One Nation candidates elected to the floor of parliament, and that is exactly what I am doing.
I am not here to prop up the Colin Barnett government, and I am certainly not here to ensure that Mr McGowan is elected into the parliament either. That is a decision for the people. When they go to vote their preferences belong to them. The how-to-vote cards are only a recommendation. They belong to the voter. That is my message to the people. I will put myself out there with my candidates. We will put our policies up and the people will decide.
You waste time in this chamber talking about this when we have over 200,000 homeless. I am fighting for the cane farmers up in Queensland who are about to go under—the cattle producers and everyone. And here you are in this chamber talking about One Nation and the preference deal in Western Australia. That is a state issue. It has nothing to do with matters federally. I really think it is pathetic. You should be absolutely ashamed of yourselves for the people watching this to think that you raised this as an issue. The people of Australia will be watching this and they know that I am out there fighting for them and their issues. If I say anything extreme they will judge me. But it is a shame that you have actually judged me because you are in fear of losing your seats to One Nation. I will put myself up against you any time—the Labor Party, the Liberals, the National Party or the Greens—based on my policies and how I fight for the Australian people.
Pretty impressive. If One Nation can get its organisational capacity up to speed, they could become quite formidable.
Building organisational capacity, however, is not a trivial task or easily done. In the short run I expect to see many “problem” senators and state MPs being elected. At the same time, however, they could do serious damage to the major parties and also sound economic policy.