Senate voted 31 to 28 to reject a motion put by the leader of the One Nation party
The Australian Senate closely voted down a motion condemning ‘anti-white’ racism, despite voting for the controversial statement.
The Senate voted 31 to 28 to reject a motion put by the leader of the anti-immigrant nativist One Nation party – that acknowledged “deplorable rise of anti-white racism and attacks on Western civilization.”
Native Party leader, Pauline Hanson, received 23 votes from the ruling Liberal-National Coalition which included the deputy Senate leader and trade minister, Simon Birmingham.
According to the Guardian: Liberal senator Lucy Gichuhi – born in Kenya and the first person of black African descent elected to the Australian parliament – also voted for the motion.
The government leader in the Senate, Mathias Cormann, the foreign affairs minister, Marise Payne, and five other Coalition senators were paired with senators who intended to vote against the motion but were not in the Senate, meaning those Coalition senators also supported the motion but did not vote.
In the Senate debate, the leader of the Greens, Richard Di Natale, noted that the slogan “‘it’s OK to be white’ … has got a long history in the white supremacist movement”.
Di Natale argued that the “privileged white Anglo community” occupies positions of power – including in the Senate – while Aboriginal Australians are “more likely to die younger, to be locked up” and African people are “more likely to experience racism”.
Hinch accused Hanson and her former senator Fraser Anning of engaging in “a race to see who can be the biggest, the loudest, racist bigot in their contest to see who can get to the bottom of the sewer first”.
In August, Anning called for a “final solution” to immigration – claiming he was unaware of the connotation of the phrase – earning condemnation even from Hanson.
Please note #WentworthByElection voters 👇
The Liberals just sided with One Nation and Frasier Anning on a motion straight out of the alt-right playbook.
— Kristina Keneally (@KKeneally) October 15, 2018
The Labor senator Kristina Keneally seized on the vote to accuse the Liberals of “[siding] with One Nation and Fraser Anning on a motion straight out of the alt-right playbook”.
The assistant minister for international development and the Pacific, Anne Ruston, made a short statement to the Senate that “the government condemns all forms of racism”.
The Coalition government under the leadership of Malcolm Turnbull condemned Hanson when she wore a burqa to the Senate in a widely decried stunt in August 2017.
The outgoing race discrimination commissioner Tim Soutphommasane has accused the Coalition of helping revive race politics as the party fears losing votes on its conservative flank to One Nation.
In a speech in August he cited the home affairs minister Peter Dutton’s calls for “special attention” for white South African farmers, former citizenship minister Alan Tudge’s claim that Australia is veering towards a “European separatist multicultural model”, Dutton’s suggestion Melburnians are afraid to go out to dinner due to African youth crime, and Turnbull’s claim there is “real concern about Sudanese gangs” in Melbourne.