From the ed­i­tor's desk

Whitsunday Times - - WHITSUNDAY VIEWS -

I’VE gone back in time.

It’s 1997, I’ve just ar­rived in Aus­tralia and Pauline Pants­down’s ‘Back­door Man’ is dom­i­nat­ing the air­waves on Triple J.

I can hardly be­lieve al­most 20 years later, I’m re-liv­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence.

What hap­pened at this elec­tion and why? There are sev­eral the­o­ries. One is that the views of the One Na­tion politi­cian par­o­died in the above song are still alive and well – par­tic­u­larly in re­gional Aus­tralia.

Pauline Han­son cer­tainly polled well in our elec­torate of Daw­son. In fact, she was the most pop­u­lar Sen­ate can­di­date out­side the two ma­jor par­ties in both Daw­son and Capri­cor­nia, win­ning 13.47% of the Daw­son first pref­er­ence vote by the end of the week­end.

An­other the­ory is that peo­ple were con­fused by the vot­ing process, par­tic­u­larly when it came to the sen­ate.

The one-me­tre-long bal­lot pa­per vot­ers were faced with on Satur­day was both un­wieldy and filled with par­ties most peo­ple wouldn’t have had the faintest idea about. But they still had to vote.

An­other the­ory is that the vast ma­jor­ity of the Aus­tralian pop­u­la­tion are sick and tired of the two-party-pre­ferred sys­tem and would now quite hap­pily cast a protest vote. In this arena, Aus­tralia is not alone. Here in the land of Oz, Mal­colm Turn­bull and Bill Shorten are still fight­ing it out while we con­tinue to bleed debt.

In Bri­tain, Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron has re­signed amid Brexit un­cer­tainty and in the US there’s the spec­tre of Don­ald Trump.

As Pauline Han­son would say: “I don’t like it”.

Stop the world, I’m get­ting off. Sharon Small­wood Ed­i­tor

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