In another sign political parties based around personalities rather than principles don’t work, a member of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation in Western Australia’s upper house has quit, citing “enduring poor party leadership”.
Conservative Party leader Cory Bernardi has long called out “personality parties”, as being essentially unprincipled in their policy platforms and hence untrustworthy once their members are elected, because you never know what they’ll decide to support.
The Australian reports, WA East Metropolitan MLC Charles Smith told state parliament on Tuesday night he will now sit as an independent.
“Today is the end of a long line of frustrations for me, and I advise the house that I have resigned from Pauline Hanson’s One Nation and stand as an independent member,” he said.
Mr Smith is a former policeman and was elected to parliament in 2017.
The party’s two other MPs are state leader Colin Tincknell, and Robin Scott.
One Nation had been able to provide a substantial block to the Labor government’s legislation, but the party has been plagued by infighting.
Mr Smith said he felt “suffocated by a complete lack of leadership and direction” from Mr Tincknell.
“It seems that Queensland just wanted bums on seats in WA,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.
“We usually don’t know the ‘party-direction’ until we meet on the morning that parliament sits.
“Nobody knows what is going on. It is not hard to send an email stating what position will be taken on each issue, yet that doesn’t happen.”
Senator Bernardi called out One Nation’s hypocrisy on Sky News after this year’s expose where her Chief of Staff James Ashby and Queensland Party leader Steve Dickson were caught on camera trying to pocket foreign donations from the US National Rifle Association in return for diluting Australian gun laws.