An anti-Muslim party candidate, Pauline Hanson, wants to ban Muslim immigration, install security cameras in mosques and withdraw from the United Nations’ refugee convention.
A few years ago, such policies were on the outermost fringes of Australian political life. Now, the former fish-and-chips-shop owner pushing them is a newly elected member of Australia’s Senate who gets respectful treatment from the prime minister.
This is by no means the first foray into extremist politics for 62-year-old Pauline Hanson, co-founder and leader of her own party, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation. But her resurgence after years in the political wilderness is a striking example of how the xenophobic populism that helped Donald Trump win the Republican presidential nomination in the United States is reshaping politics in other countries, too.
In a general election last month, many Australians were stunned by the success of One Nation, whose blatantly anti-Muslim policies appealed to many voters who felt threatened by immigration — even in a wealthy country with a far more generous social security net than the United States and few illegal immigrants.