Jul 19, 2017

Poll Bludger: section 44 is a sticky wicket in need of reform

Another one bites the dust. Unfairly, as it turns out.

William Bowe — Editor of The Poll Bludger

William Bowe

Editor of The Poll Bludger

The Greens' annus horribilis cranked up another notch yesterday as the dual citizenship debacle claimed a second senator in nearly as many days.

As with Scott Ludlam in Western Australia, a replacement for outgoing Queensland Senator Larissa Waters looks sure to be determined through a court-mandated recount of last year’s Senate votes that excludes the candidate or candidates deemed ineligible.

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9 thoughts on “Poll Bludger: section 44 is a sticky wicket in need of reform

  1. susan winstanley

    good coverage (much better than MSM goof-balling) and last paragraph is widely ignored and underestimated. Liberal and Labor have experienced party secretariats with the legal machinery and finances to screen their candidates, unlike minor parties Greens, PHON etc and Independents, who are mostly the ones to fall foul of s44, causing periodic disruptions upheavals and humiliations in the annoying Senate crossbench (and potentially, with the House Indies in minority governments). Pragmatically, the two major parties have no incentive to change the Constitution when this works so well for them politically. Just let the debacles roll on. Haw haw. This should be of concern to We the People and to the Free Press.

  2. Alan

    People should know their citizenship status. No excuses if running for parliment.

    1. Marilyn J Shepherd

      Larissa is an Australian by birth, she has two Australian citizens who were never Canadians and under Canadian law changes in 2009 and an accident of birth in Canada she is not a Canadian either.

      All the Canadian born citizenships of non citizen Canadians were revoked in 2009 when Jason Kenny adopted our regime.

      Larissa under the law has never taken out or sworn allegiance to anyone because she did not have to acquire citizenship because she is not a bloody migrant.

    2. Kevin_T

      To quote the Guardian: “Waters was born in Canada to Australian parents who were studying overseas and came to Australia when she was a baby, growing up in Brisbane. She has not returned to Canada since she was 11 months old.”

      I’ve got to say that until yesterday (perhaps Friday), if I were in that same situation, I would have believed that I was an Australian citizen.

      My father was born in New Zealand and emigrated to Australia when he was 3. When about 82 Dad had to retire as he could barely walk after a biopsy, and a couple of months later applied for a pension, but had difficulties because it turned out he was still a New Zealand citizen. My Grandmother was also born in New Zealand.

      I was born in Australia, and have never travelled outside of Australia’s borders, and until reading this paragraph about 10 minutes ago, I would have never considered that there was any possibility I could hold citizenship in any other country:
      “Because dual citizenship can be acquired by default, those with parents or even grandparents born overseas can be ensnared if the relevant country’s citizenship laws are accommodating enough.”

      Alan, I assume that you consider me completely irresponsible for not knowing that there was even a remote possibility that I could also be a citizen of New Zealand. I still don’t know whether that possibility actually exists.

    3. lykurgus

      Commonwealth members grant you certain priveleges they normally reserve for their own citizens (“the rights or privileges of a subject or a citizen of a foreign power”)* which is a technical breach of section 44… so having a three-generation lineage in this country STILL won’t save you. Not if the Court uses the same reading I just did.

      But the “big tent” parties access to heavy-duty legal support didn’t stop three Ministers from thinking that they could commit sub judice contempt of court and get away with it.

      *(it’s kind of the point of being a Commonwealth, but Germany isn’t a member, Eric)

      1. Barbara Haan

        If only it were possible to wipe the smile off the dial of Abetz. Give him the option of going back home to Deutschland or a short stint in an off shore detention centre. I can but dream.

  3. Gordon Sharp

    It seems to me that the whole issue of “allegiance to a foreign power” applying to citizens of Canada and New Zealand and other Commonwealth/Empire countries simply would not have occurred to or been intended by the framers of the Constitution because they were subjects of the one monarch. The loyalty of Her Majesty’s subjects in any of her domains was to her, not to the colony or domain.

  4. Itsarort

    These people are in the actual business of making laws. What can I say but, “Tough titties”.

  5. AR

    Greece is one of many countries which do not allow the repudiation of nationality which is why males have to be very careful when they visit lest they be conscripted into the military.
    I can think of at least three politicians (state & federal) in the past who would thus have fallen foul of s44 and just hope that Sen. Xenophon is not the next victim of this ‘hands across the sea’ refusal to recognise repudiation of the claims of “far away countries of which we know little”.

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