Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed that One Nation will now be preference behind Labor on Liberal ‘how-to-vote’ cards at the next election following damming revelations the party sought funding from the American NRA (National Rifle Association).
The Al Jazeera investigation revealed secret meetings in which One Nation leaders discussed using foreign political donations to transform Australia’s gun laws into something more closely resembling the United States. In one piece of footage, party leader Pauline Hanson appears to suggest that the 1996 Port Arthur Massacre (which prompted widespread and strict gun law reform in Australia) was staged as part of a false flag attack.
Since the investigation was first broadcast, Mr Morrison has been inundated with calls for the Coalition to officially preference One Nation behind Labor at the federal election. His announcement however only applies to Liberal candidates and is yet to be seen if the Nationals will follow-suit.
Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals leader Michael McCormack says that a decision regarding preferences would be made closer to the election, stating that the Nationals were a “grassroots party and decisions are made at the state and local level,”
While Liberal candidates who sit in the Liberal partyroom are beholden to Mr Morrison’s directive, those in the Nationals partyroom do not have the same obligation and can decide for themselves.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten expressed that he was “deeply concerned” that some politicians “have a pass” from Mr Morrison’s instruction to preference One nations last and that it would allow “secretive preference deals with One Nation”.
Mr Shorten said on Twitter that it was “sneaky” and that the Prime Minister “can’t bring himself to put One Nation last because he wants their preferences if he can get away with it,”