Aug 1, 2017

A complete list of politicians who might lose their seats over citizenship

Is anyone safe from the potential ravages of section 44 of the constitution? Crikey intern Angus McCubbing provides a list of those who could go.

MP for Chisholm Julia Banks

Benjamin Franklin famously said Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days, and my journalism lecturer told me the same rule can be applied to news stories. However, some things simply refuse to go away. Scott Ludlam resigned on July 14, Larissa Waters on July 17, and Malcolm Roberts hasn’t tweeted about his citizenship status (probably a good idea given his track record of mental gymnastics) since July 25. But section 44 of the constitution is still endangering some MPs’ careers, with Julia Banks, Justine Keay and Nick McKim the latest to attract some unwanted attention. So who is still vulnerable? And who is safe?

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16 thoughts on “A complete list of politicians who might lose their seats over citizenship

  1. Roger Clifton

    Good grief, we actually need these citizens of the world!

  2. lykurgus

    Please Explain buggered off to the UK (having had it with us all, so that was it, she was going, it’s goodbye forever); then came back immediately because “England’s full of immigrants”. Why won’t she reveal what papers she obtained for said trip, or fate thereof?

    Probably shouldn’t bother putting ALP members on the list… their vetting goes back three generations.
    Or Matthias Cormann – he’s the only member of this government who hasn’t shit the bed yet. Unless you’re thinking it’s his turn.
    Might want to take Gichuhi off the list too – she was cleared a month ago (Kenyan Embassy said that her citizenship lapsed; some sort of opt-in requirement that she never invoked).

    And update your facts about Malcolm Roberts – they’ve changed. Again.

  3. lykurgus

    And for the love of Mike, CHECK THAT TWITTER FEED AGAIN!
    It wasn’t Tudge who had the dodgy paperwork – it was the other one!
    They don’t put everything in the lede.

  4. drsmithy

    That ABC article is a bit weird. It goes to lengths to explain the people who have been caught out by S.44 were, in fact, actual citizens of foreign countries, but then goes on to make the leap that this could be seen as the same thing as merely being eligible to take up a foreign citizenship, even though those two scenarios are vastly different from a legal perspective.

    For example, someone merely eligible to take up UK citizenship because their parents are British, has no rights as a UK citizen. They can’t vote, they can’t get welfare, they can’t get a UK passport, they need a visa to enter the country, etc, etc. It is a struggle to imagine how anyone could consider someone merely eligible to take up foreign citizenship (but not having done so) in any way beholden to them.

    Also, I went searching for “foreign resident Italian citizen” and couldn’t find any such thing, so I’m not sure what Antony (or Canavan, if that’s where it came from) are talking about there. He’s either a citizen (regardless of whether that happened because of something he did or his mother did), or he’s not.

    Finally, regarding the over-the-top “Putin making Turnbull a Russian citizen” example, I’d argue that if such a thing did happen, AND it was clearly communicated to Turnbull that it had happened, AND he subsequently made no attempt to renounce it, then he would and should also fall foul of S.44.

    1. lykurgus

      That wasn’t the only fashion in which Antony Verde* was flamboyantly wrong. He also said that renunciation is costly (it’s the same cost as applying – about 200 euro).
      He also fucked up the difference between Matteo Cavanossi and the two Greens. It was that he OBTAINED** citizenship as an adult (not having a nation hand it to him before he could walk and spending his life ignorant of it); not whatever pseudolegal fluff Verde said it was.
      And why the fuck he touches Sykes vs Cleary is anyones guess (it was about a state school teacher who didn’t resign before running)…
      “(iv) holds any office of profit under the Crown, or any pension payable during the pleasure of the Crown out of any of the revenues of the Commonwealth”

      Their decision on reasonable steps to renounce citizenship was…
      “it depends” on the individuals circumstances

      Verde always takes the scenic route to a simple thought; and it’s nearly always a wasted trip.
      He didn’t even slow down for the “maybe Matteo’s just lying” exit (Matteo did once assure us that coal didn’t have any carbon in it, so it’s not like Verde didn’t have a map).

      *Tony Green to you
      **the Tomato dropped him in it there; when Matteos dad was getting locked up for defrauding Nestle (around 2007; he was one of their accountants), he said that Matteo spoke with him about wether to do this very thing.

      1. Peter Wileman

        A state school teacher is disallowed – you wouldn’t want someone with certified intelligence in government for god’s sake!

    2. AR

      Doc – the Oz born child of a British born person can get a UK passport without any hassle.

      1. drsmithy

        Unless things have changed since I did it, to get a UK passport you would first need to become a UK citizen (by descent).

  5. mike westerman

    What gets me about all this is nary a word from the government on how to fix it. Surely a referendum to change the provision to exclude those not holding Australian citizenship and/or those swearing allegiance to a foreign power whether a state power or otherwise would clear it up and stop annoying us with ancient stupid stuff.
    I’d love it if the Federal Court got the shits and decided it was not going to do the government’s work for it anymore and “qualified” its previous interpretation to declare s44 means what it says!

    1. drsmithy

      There has been no word on how to “fix” it because they won’t know whether or not it needs “fixing” until Canavan’s court case is concluded.

      If the only losers are a couple of filthy Greens pollies, then there’s not a problem. If someone from two the major parties falls afoul, that’s a different matter.

      1. mike westerman

        Then I doubly hope the Federal Court delivers a swift kick – a black letter law reading of s44 would look like clearing out a fair number of them, regardless of “renunciations”

      2. Peter Wileman

        Geez, I hope the “filthy Greens” mention was meant to be sardonic.

        1. drsmithy

          Yes. Toungue firmly planted in cheek.

  6. Graham R

    And what about state MP’s? Do they have to follow the same rules as Federal MP’s? Are there a bunch of time-bombs ticking there also?

    1. AR

      You mean like the NZ born Premier of Queensland, the unlamented Joh?
      He at least did the country a service with the Joh-for-Canberra push which spared us the Lying Rodent for a few years.

  7. AR

    There is no way that dodgy letter C/O Oz House in London proves what the Abbottrocity desperately hopes.
    Just show us the hard copy of the formal letter, end of story.
    If you won’t, then you are lying, like your hero.

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