Jul 17, 2017

What we lose when we lose Scott Ludlam

The resignation of the biggest tech-head in Parliament will leave the Australian public the poorer.

Josh Taylor — Journalist

Josh Taylor


When the press conference was called on Friday, immediate expectations were that Greens Senator Scott Ludlam would be there to slam the government's announced plans to crack down on encrypted communications.

The issue is entirely in Ludlam's wheelhouse, and no one in the Parliament is better across technology issues, and how they intersect with national security and surveillance than Ludlam. But the "important announcement" in the media alert seemed more ominous than usual, and late on Friday afternoon, from his home town in Perth, Ludlam announced he was resigning immediately after he discovered he never gave up his New Zealand citizenship before running for Parliament, thus making him ineligible to be a senator under the constitution.

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21 thoughts on “What we lose when we lose Scott Ludlam

  1. John Newton

    Josh did you see the letter in the SMH this morning that appeared authoritative, and suggested that it is impossible to relinquish a NZ nationality? If so , there goes the Human Headline too.

  2. zut alors

    Ludlam is a great loss. How typical that one of the few moral & intelligent MPs has been expurgated rather than any of the numerous numbskulls currently hogging the benches of both houses.

    Ludlam was three years of age when his family came to Oz, it’s perfectly understandable that he never gave NZ citizenship a thought. I hope he stands again in 2019 – even as an independent.

    1. frey

      “it’s perfectly understandable that he never gave NZ citizenship a thought”
      True, but he was required to declare when nominating, over three elections, that he was constitutionally and legally qualified to be elected. There should have been a point in that period that, when signing such an important document, you would ensure that you are accurate in what you are declaring.
      Agree with what you have said, but is it really understandable? Should it not have been a trigger to ensure that he did not have dual citizenship?

      1. 124C4U

        Until this situation arose I hadn’t given a thought to citizenship. I hold Australian citizenship after being naturalized. I thought this somehow automatically cancelled out any previous citizenship. Previously I have held two other citizenships, having never actually done any documentation to cancel these I guess I must have triple citizenship. Should I have been applying for a Senators job I would have made the same mistake as S.L.
        But now what happens with Brits and Seppos and I guess others, who were born there or their parents are born there?. They can reapply for reissue of citizenship at any time

  3. Simon Mansfield

    So we are meant to care about Scotty because he was the biggest supporter of that Kremlin troll Assange who directly helped put a toddler in charge of the “football,” and all because Julian didn’t like Obama and Clinton.

  4. frey

    “it could lead to a complete audit of candidates when they run for Parliament”
    Why should the responsibility fall to the government and not the candidate?
    How far does this audit extend regarding the candidate’s eligibility?
    and who would have the authority to exclude a candidate?

  5. paddy

    Perhaps the sharpest mind in the Senate.
    Gone in a flash of fine print.
    What a bloody sad loss. 🙁

    1. klewso

      Friday, I thought it was thunder, but no, it was the average IQ of our Senate dropping?
      Suddenly the likes of Hanson, Roberts, Brandis, Leyonhjelm and O’Sullivan don’t seem to stand out – for all the wrong reasons?

  6. Barbara Haan

    One of the few worthwhile politicians around. It’s time that holding dual NZ/Australian citizenship was challenged and quashed in the High Court.

    1. Mike Smith

      Yeah, let’s just take them over. :^) Or vice versa, their government looks better than ours

      1. AR

        According to our founding documents when Federation was promulgated, NZ has and retains the right to join.

  7. Peter Wileman

    Our head of state is at least a dual citizen. The Queen of Australia is of very mixed European parentage, with more than a touch of inbreeding. So what if Ludlam was born in New Zealand? At least he was bought up and lives in Australia

    What a loss, not only because of his calm understanding and support of modern matters but because it increases the percentage of out of touch fossils like Brandis and Abetz. God help this country that these old men continue at the cost of youth.

  8. Gordon Sharp

    Where, too, might this leave the forgetful Arthur Sinodinos? Born in Australia of Greek migrant parents. It is/was my understanding that Greeks could not renounce citizenship, and that the first generation of Greek migrant’s children retain Greek citizenship, so that the sons of Greek migrants did not visit the old country until they were too old to be liable for Greek national service. I have this from Greek-descended friends in Marrickville, so it must be true, and if it is so, is Arthur Sinodinos ineligible to be a member of the Parliament?

    1. Marion Wilson

      I have heard this of a man who was born in Australia whose grandfather had been a French diplomat. I don’t know where his parents were born.

  9. Inscrutable

    Agree that Ludlam’s departure is a great loss. He’s the only politician that asks really probing questions of internet security legislation.
    He’s the only green that I’ve ever voted for.

  10. Dog's Breakfast

    There aren’t many of either party that I would say are a loss to Parliament, but I would say that about Ludlam.

    As for Brandis, well there isn’t much he doesn’t know about being mean spirited, so I’ll have to take his word on that. Or not!

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