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Firebrand pol in jail

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Sydney

A fish-and-chips shop owner who became a force in Australian politics with her anti-immigration party was jailed last week for election fraud. Political amateur Pauline Hanson formed her own party, One Nation, and won a seat in Parliament in 1996 by proclaiming that Australia was being “swamped by Asians.” One Nation’s policy recommendations on restricting immigration were widely denounced as racist. Still, much of the party’s agenda, such as a demand that boat people be denied permanent residence, was ultimately adopted by the government. Prosecutors said Hanson fudged her party membership figures to get One Nation on the ballot, and she was sentenced to three years in prison. Hanson’s Web site said she was being persecuted just “like Nelson Mandela” for speaking up for the “oppressed”—in this case, white Australians.

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