Pressure on Nationals over One Nation preferences in CQ
PRESSURE is on Capricornia MP Michelle Landry to take a hard line on comments made by One Nation politicians about gun control, foreign donations and immigration.
Ms Landry wouldn't confirm where she intended to place One Nation's candidate Wade Rothery on her how to vote cards, but she was quoted by the Courier Mail yesterday saying, "I'll tell you this ... Greens last, then Labor, then Palmer".
Yesterday she told The Morning Bulletin she would make a decision once all the candidates had nominated when the election was called.
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"We've had a discussion with the LNP and that's the advice from head office," Ms Landry said.
"I will be looking at the candidates that run against me, and some times you have people with some far way-out ideas.
"Once the election is called and the candidates are declared, I will decide where the preferences are going."
Given the Greens Party's clearly stated agenda to scale back the coal industry - putting CQ's jobs and economy in jeopardy - Ms Landry pledged to put them last on her how-to-vote card.
"I have a great deal of trouble putting the Greens and Labor anywhere because of what they're doing to the coal industry," she said.
"I'm pretty upset with their behaviour."
After a covert three year Al Jazeera investigation revealed key members of the One Nation Party seeking foreign donations in exchange for efforts to water down Australia's gun laws, Australia's political parties widely condemned One Nation.
Given the recent semi automatic gun massacre in Christchurch which claimed 50 lives, and footage appearing to show One Nation Party leader Pauline Hanson suggesting Port Arthur massacre was a conspiracy, the pressure was on Australia's politicians to rebuke One Nation by punishing them through preferencing on how-to-vote cards.
Following Labor leader Bill Shorten's call for Prime Minister Scott Morrison to match Labor by putting One Nation last, Mr Morrison confirmed today that the Liberal Party would put One Nation below Labor on their how-to-vote cards.
But Mr Morrison wouldn't commit to putting One Nation below the Greens, who he regarded as "a serious danger to Australia".
The pressure is now on The Nationals party, particularly in the marginal seat of Capricornia, to match the Liberals decision to preference Labor above One Nation.
Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Nationals Michael McCormack told The Australian the Nationals were a grass roots party and decisions were made at every election by MPs and state divisions where to place Pauline Hanson's candidates.
It is unclear how One Nation will preference Labor or the Coalition on their how-to-vote cards, with the party's preferences crucial to helping both sides get MPs elected in the past.