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Why is Pauline Hanson so divisive in Australian politics?

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Pauline Hanson

In the wacky world of Australian politics, there are few figures more divisive than Pauline Hanson, the leader of the One Nation party. Many have described Hanson and her followers as representatives of unadulterated racial hatred, while she would describe her party has ‘bringing down political correctness’.

One Nation is a political force that, love it or hate it, has stubbornly survived in Australian politics for a long time. If you don’t know about the history of the party and its leader, then you might wonder why Pauline Hanson is considered so divisive.

Pauline Hanson was dumped as a Liberal candidate due to comments she made about indigenous entitlements. She went on to win her local seat as an independent, and in her first speech in Parliament notoriously said that Australia was “in danger of being swamped by Asians”.

She also said that “a truly multicultural country can never be strong or united”. She has never apologised for these comments, which is perhaps why her supporters like her.

At the party’s peak, it had around 9% of Australia’s population supporting it. Opponents of the One Nation party have cited that the political movement is unashamedly based on racism and fearmongering about immigration.

When she returned to Parliament in 2016, her maiden speech was similar to the first except stated that the country was in danger of ‘being swamped by Muslims’. She notoriously came into Parliament one day wearing a burqa in order to push her view that the religious garment should be banned.

For many, Pauline Hanson has staying power because she is a representative of a significant portion of Australians who share her divisive views. Pauline Hanson is really just a symptom of the racism of many people in Australia.

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The legacy of John Howard

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John Howard

Ex-Prime Minister John Howard is someone who has a divided reputation at best. He is remembered fondly for some things and seemingly hated for others.

One of the biggest things in the legacy of John Howards is, without a doubt, his response to the Porth Arthur massacre. The tragic shooting (then the world’s largest mass shooting), caused the deaths of 35 people and injured 23 others.

The shooting was a traumatic moment for the Australian psyche, and it was a moment where John Howard (then only two months into his role as Prime Minister) was forced to act. John Howard acted by famously issuing a gun buyback scheme after strengthening Australia’s gun laws, specifically to prohibit the sale of military-style firearms used in the massacre.

Despite facing backlash for the move from many Australian gun owners (not the kind of group you want to annoy), Howard persevered and even attending a meeting with gun owners wearing a flak jacket. Many people who disagreed with all other elements of John Howards’ politics supported him on the issue of gun ownership.

Most Australians understood that having free access to deadly firearms that can kill large crowds was a bad idea. It was particularly supported by women who felt that their children were endangered by guns.

The reforms started by John Howard are often cited by Americans to this day in the ongoing gun debate. What was easy for Australians is a source of fierce debate amongst Americans. America’s culture with gun ownership is much different from Australia.

The most important takeaway from this development in Australian political history is that it largely worked. Australia has not suffered any gun crime on that scale since the Porth Arthur massacre.

This is without a doubt the thing John Howard is most remembered for.

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The story of Clive Palmer and his run in Australian politics

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Clive Palmer

Clive Palmer is arguably Australia’s most eccentric and public billionaire. He has made several novel investments, including funding a dinosaur theme park, a footy team, and a modern-day rebuilding of the Titanic, the ship that famously sank in 1912 after hitting an iceberg. Palmer made and lost most of his money in the Australian mining industry.

Palmer met his wife of 22 years while studying at the University of Queensland. They were happily married until her death in 2006 from cancer. Palmer often cites that raising his daughter without her mother has been one of his greatest ever challenges.

When he dropped out of University in 1975, Palmer went on the become a real estate tycoon and made a large sum of money pursuing property development. He capitalised on the property boom in Queensland at the time and ended up retiring from the real estate industry at only 29 years of age. He has said that he made around $40 million AUD from his property investments before leaving in 1980.

Later in the mid-80s Palmer got into the Australian mining industry, starting 3 different companies aimed at mining exploration in Western Australia. He eventually leased the most successful of these mining companies to a Chinese firm for a deal worth around $3 billion AUD.

In 2007, Palmer married his second wife Anna. Anna is 20 years younger than Clive and actually had Clive act as ‘father of the bride’ in her previous wedding. He had 2 more daughters with Anna.

In 2013 he started the ‘Palmer United Party’. He has had an interesting political career and is best known for embracing internet meme culture in his campaigns. However, this has not yielded much success for him in the end.

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Government’s changes to university fees might make you second-guess your career

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university fees might make you second-guess your career

For young university and high school students, the government’s recent changes to university fees could cause a dramatic shift in career thinking and planning. The changes are a combination of market economics and social engineering, designed to encourage students to pursue cheaper degrees that the government believes will be more economically valuable for the economy in the future.

Maths students rejoice

If you’re considering a career in maths or agriculture, then the government’s changes will be welcome news to you. Agricultural and mathematics degrees are forecasted to decrease by a whopping 62%.

Science and health share in the good news

Maths and ag students won’t be the only ones happy with the new announcements. The Minister for Education, Dan Tehan, has also announced that science, health, environmental science, IT, engineering and architecture degrees will also fall by around 20% in the proposed plan. It’s forecasted that lowering the cost of some degrees could increase the number of university placements by up to 39 000 within three years.

No change for med students

Medicine and dental students can expect no changes to their fee costs in accordance with the new plan. The same can also be said about veterinary science degrees.

The losers

Unfortunately, some of the most popular degrees have taken a massive hit in terms of affordability. Costs for law and commerce degrees will reportedly rise by about 28%, while humanities have been hit the hardest with a whopping 113% increase. If you were thinking of pursuing a law degree or an arts degree, it might be time to re-think that decision.

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