[LINK] {OT} Walk against War - sunday in sydney

Chris Maltby chris@sw.oz.au
Mon, 17 Feb 2003 14:22:32 +1100

On Mon, Feb 17, 2003 at 12:22:09PM +1100, Grant Bayley wrote:
> Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't this the same impression
> One Nation tried to give when it was in its ascendancy, and was
> laughed at when support for their "representative" views failed
> to materialise en masse at election time, instead being silenced
> by a majority that wasn't as vocal or as inclined to march on
> the streets with placards?  Don't you guys have any doubts that
> the same will eventually occur here?  None at all?

I'm not sure quite how to parse that first sentence, but I'll
happily correct you for being wrong in comparing the current
anti-war movement with One Nation at its first flush. First, the
orders of magnitude are way out if you believe opinion polls - the
opposition to war is in a clear national majority while support
for One Nation reached more than 10% nationwide (but higher in
certain hotspots).

Second, One Nation was a media phenomenon and tacitly encouraged
by Howard via his "I support free speech" angle. A lot of the story
was driven by the interest in what Howard might (or might not) say
or do rather than what Pauline was saying or doing. The anti-war
movement, OTOH, is truly grass-roots. Third, One Nation's leadership
was a significant problem when the spotlight came on them as the
protest element faded. The credibility of anti-war opinion leaders
is somewhat more robust.

But still, as is often said, a week is a long time in politics.