Culture

Pauline Hanson Has Perfected Her State Election Campaign By Suggesting A National Referendum On Burqas

Did we just reach peak Pauline Hanson?

Since we’re one day away from Australia Day and less than a week from the Queensland state election, now seems as better time as any to remind you that Pauline Hanson is still a person who exists in the world. And, because both those dates are very important moments in the infamous politician’s bustling social calendar, she’s naturally been quite busy.

Since announcing her intention to run in her rural seat of Lockyer last November, Hanson has been hot on the campaign trail talking to locals, sinking some piss at the races, and trying to manage the bustling crowds at One Nation community forums.

Despite her party’s relevant state-based policies on water, housing, and trade-based education, the majority of her campaign this election has been focused on her persisting controversial views on multiculturalism and the fact she won’t buy Vegemite anymore.

Now, she’s perfected the beautiful piece of performance art that is her political career by returning to her old fish and chip shop and suggesting the country should have a national referendum on burqas.

“If politicians haven’t got the intestinal fortitude to make this decision, then I suggest put it to a vote to the people and let them have their say in a referendum,” she said while speaking to Fairfax. “If you want to live that way of life, go back to a Muslim country.”

Of course, this view shouldn’t come as a surprise. Among other things, Hanson was also a vocal supporter of Jacqui Lambie’s idea to ban burqas in October last year; she even penned an opinion piece for news.com.au on the issue.

“I’m offended by the burqa, and opposed even to the niqab,” she wrote. “Muslim garments create fear … I know not every Muslim is a terrorist but, to the best of my knowledge; every terrorist attack has been by Muslims.”

Putting aside the fact that this is pretty far from being a state election issue, let alone one immediately relevant to the fish and chip shop in which she was speaking, it’s difficult to see how Hanson envisages this idea playing out. Only eight of Australia’s total 44 referendums have been carried over the past 109 years and none have ever dealt with whether we should or shouldn’t wear an item of clothing.

Now, it’s been 16 years since our last referendum and, considering the fact that Lambie’s plan to ban burqas in just Parliament House couldn’t gain the necessary support last year, it’s unlikely our Prime Minister would be keen to take on the entire country.

But hey, maybe we’re wrong. Democracy is a beautiful thing.