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Hanson, Pauline (1954—)

Pauline Hanson, founder of the One Nation party and Australia's most well-known neopopulist political leader, provided a clear challenge for Australia's media. In her notorious maiden speech as an independent member of Federal Parliament in 1996, she attacked Asian immigration and indigenous welfare, sparking racial divisions while striking a chord with many rural, regional, and working-class voters who felt alienated by multiculturalism and disaffected by rural economic downturn.

At first, Hanson was ignored or ridiculed by the media for her apparent naïveté, nasal Australian accent, and frequent verbal blunders. However, as she gained more support, the popular media (talk radio and tabloid newspapers) and later the more serious print and broadcast media began to examine the causes of her success, often highlighting disaffection brought about ...

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