14.11.2019

‘As good as her’: Pauline Hanson life-size cutouts replace leader at byelection

Fifty life-size cardboard cutouts of Pauline Hanson have been delivered to the marginal seat of Longman while the One Nation leader is on holiday.

The cardboard Hansons will be at every polling booth in the Queensland seat for Saturday’s byelection, where One Nation preferences may decide the contest between Labor and the Liberal National party.

Hanson’s chief of staff, James Ashby, revealed the thinking behind the tactic to Brisbane’s Courier-Mail, saying the cardboard Hansons were “as good as her”.

“A photo visual of Pauline is as good as her being there because it is a presence,” he said. “People will still be able to come and get a photo with Pauline.”

One Nation’s Queensland leader, Steve Dickson, told the Australian he thought the cutouts looked “pretty good”.

“If you can’t have the real person on the day, let’s have the identity of the real person,” he said. “It’s a life-size cutout.”

Longman

Matthew Stephen, One Nation’s candidate in the seat, was snapped carrying and posing with the cutouts on Friday.

Hanson has been absent from the final week of the campaign, but Ashby told the Courier-Mail she was in daily contact from aboard her cruise ship in Europe.

The AMWU
(@theamwu)

Find someone who looks at you like a wide-eyed corflute cutout of Pauline Hanson pic.twitter.com/JSgqgYqsLp

July 26, 2018

A poll on Monday found the seat was on a knife edge, with Labor on 49% and the Liberal party on 51%. One Nation received 9.4% of the primary vote at the last election in 2016.

Pirate Monkey Provocatéur
(@jonkudelka)

This seems way too much like the first 5 minutes of a Doctor Who episode. https://t.co/iD3Dlv0Znv

July 26, 2018

don’t post
(@Cormac_McCafe)

they know they’re not allowed to vote, right?

July 26, 2018

The Hanson ploy is not the first time cutouts have stood in effectively for absent politicians. In January, the Thai prime minister, Prayuth Chan-ocha, brought a cardboard cutout to a news conference, telling reporters questioning him to “ask this guy” before putting it down and walking away.

Last year, the Canadian global affairs department had to tell Canadian embassies to stop using cardboard cutouts of Justin Trudeau.

The Trudeau cutouts had become a popular event decoration for Canadian diplomats in the US, but the practice was halted after criticism that it portrayed Trudeau as two-dimensional and lacking depth.

“It just doesn’t seem very prime ministerial,” one leaked email said.

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