OPINION: Pauline Hanson our next PM?
FIRST there was Brexit, then Trump - could Pauline Hanson be the next shocking election result?
This weekend social media has been abuzz with the idea that the One Nation leader could be Australia's next Prime Minister.
We asked QT readers on Facebook whether they thought Ms Hanson could be our next PM and as always there were passionate views both for and against the idea.
"World leaders are just becoming more and more ridiculous. First Abbott, then Turnbull, now Trump. Why not Hanson? How low can we go," asked Julie Williams.
Regan Bow wanted to see Ms Hanson is office, saying: "We can only hope. Imagine a PM that listens to the people who put them there."
Kay King agreed, "Yeah why not, she speaks her mind so put it into action."
Whether you agree or disagree, the fact is as I sit here writing this, the One Nation leader is the number one topic trending on Facebook with the #PH4PM (Pauline Hanson for Prime Minister) hashtag also making ground on Twitter.
Despite people's enthusiasm for the idea, Ms Hanson responded on Twitter asking her supporters not to focus on the hypothetical leadership campaign.
"It's flattering but I don't want people to focus on #PH4PM," she said on Saturday.
"I want us to focus on supporting Aussies who are most in need of help."
As unlikely as it seems for One Nation to dominate against Australia's two major parties, the sentiment still scares me.
Why? Because it is one of the first signs of Australia jumping on a global trend of crude nationalism that is seeing fear govern people's votes.
People are fed up with mainstream politics and politicians. They want a change - and that's more than fair.
This need for change has seen people like Donald Trump who "speak their mind" and seemingly "tell it like it is" become the world's next political heavyweights.
But that change cannot come at the cost of alienating groups of Australians based on their belief, religion or ethnicity.
Whether the person at the helm is Malcolm Turnbull, Bill Shorten or even Pauline Hanson, it is our responsibility to encourage our leaders to do better, to challenge them on all of their views, not just to accept the ones we agree with and ignore the rest.
We must demand our government work to become more responsive to the people they serve.