After the recent merging between Australian Conservatives and Family First, some figures have suggested that One Nation should also move to join.
But while some might perceive Pauline Hanson and Cory Bernardi’s political movements as indistinguishable, there are particular differences in their respective philosophies.
As Bernardi is a staunch Roman Catholic and Family First have strong associations with the ACL, Australian Conservatives is clearly attempting to position itself among other things, as the natural home of the Australian Christian right. And whilst Bernardi often historically departed from his Liberal party’s platform on social issues, he continues to share their economically liberal worldview: be it on taxes, free trade, public spending, welfare, or foreign investment.
Contrastingly, One Nation has been positioning itself ever since its rise to prominence at the last federal election, as the natural home of right- wing populists/ nationalists. The party holds socially conservative principles, but places far greater emphasis on nationalist concerns such as trade, immigration and foreign policy.
Given Bernardi has in the past demonstrated an inclination to push back against UN influence and mass migration, his perspectives on trade and foreign investment appear to sharply contrast with One Nation’s populist, protectionist views.
In short, One Nation is a party for non- religiously devout nationalists, whereas Australian Conservatives predominantly exists to represent the Christian right.
Regardless of my personal preference for One Nation due to populist tendencies, I wish Cory Bernardi and his political movement the best of luck.
See below for more information on the recent merging of Australian Conservatives and Family First.