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Nov 2, 2017

Hinch’s Senate Diary: former undertaker Stephen Parry carried out in citizenship box

What's a senate maverick to do when he's 39,000 feet in the air and the High Court is handing down its citizenship rulings?

I fly a lot. Got so friendly with a TWA flight attendant on a White House press charter that I married her. Once, arriving for a flight across Fiji from Nadi to Suva, I was told they had overbooked. They asked if I’d fly in the co-pilot’s seat. For the whole trip over the mountains I studied the pilot for signs of a pending heart attack.

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14 thoughts on “Hinch’s Senate Diary: former undertaker Stephen Parry carried out in citizenship box

  1. Wayne Robinson

    Perhaps the simplest solution would be to cancel the double dissolution and run it again? All the candidates would be certain to check their eligibility under section 44, and we’d stop having to wonder which MP or Senator is actually a dual citizen.

    1. lykurgus

      Or just do what the ALP already does with its nominees – make them check, and THEN let them submit their form.
      Because all the candidates will NOT be certain to check. They didn’t the first time.
      Human Headline may have shown you the form he filled in, but did he remember to submit it?

  2. Wobbly

    Flight Attendant: Sir, I’m going to have to ask that you turn off your cellular phone.
    Toby Ziegler: We’re flying in a Lockheed Eagle Series L-1011. Came off the line twenty months ago. Carries a Sim-5 transponder tracking system. And you’re telling me I can still flummox this thing with something I bought at Radio Shack?
    Hmmm… Anyone seen Hinch and Richard Schiff in the same room?

    1. lykurgus

      Good thing his job demands neither qualifications nor performance standards, isn’t it.

    2. zut alors

      Yet another example of our MPs thinking there are rules for the hoi polloi which don’t apply to them, even when airborne.

    3. Mike Smith

      Turn it off? Haven’t needed to do more than put them into flight mode for years (which leaves WIFI and Bluetooth both running). Even for takeoffs and landings. For that matter, there’s news on the Virgin WIFI, and you’d think the high court decision would be on that?

  3. David Coles

    An independent audit isn’t as simple or effective idea as it sounds. You couldn’t just do it once. New candidates would have to be checked, all of them, because otherwise you would be continually having by-elections as elected people were rubbed out. Perhaps a better solution would be to keep the onus on candidates by adding a specific requirement to the relevant form under the Electoral Act requiring that candidates sign an appropriate statement or, if we are still worried, provide documentary evidence in a required form.

    1. Will

      Why not just create a government office that, upon receiving a signed declaration of intent from any political candidate, investigates and pursues irreversible resignation of any dual citizenship(s) on their behalf? A quick High Court challenge to confirm its effectiveness (i.e. as meeting the reasonable renunciation efforts test from Sykes vs Cleary) should suffice, leaving s.44 to do as at was intended (i.e. exclude candidates with prospectively conflicting loyalties).

  4. Michael

    David Coles @ 3.57pm
    The Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters is (I hope) considering a proposal along those lines which I put forward in a submission last year. Its focus was on potential candidates born outside Australia, but it could easily be widened to try to cover people who acquire foreign citizenship by descent. See http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/oct/25/tighten-up-political-system-to-stem-birther-controversies-aec-veteran-says.

  5. Michael

    On the broader question of an audit, people keep talking about getting the AEC to do it. That really doesn’t make sense: although the AEC (like many organisations) has a well-earned reputation for political neutrality, it has had no need over the years to build up or retain any special expertise in matters of foreign citizenship law. Indeed, for the entire length of its existence since 1984, it has been explicitly forbidden by the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 to look into the citizenship status of candidates when considering nominations. At best, the AEC might be able to perform some sort of oversight function, but the actual auditing work would undoubtedly have to be done by a team of specialists in the field.

  6. AR

    No, I do not just want an audit and certainly not an overseer agency. Anyone who nominated in bad faith/ignorance should be liable for all costs associated with their illegitimate occupation of a highly paid & well perked position.
    These clownish crooks received remuneration between $200-$400K pa depending on which chairs or upgrade positions they held.
    Illegitimately.
    Scott Ryan told PK on RN Drive on 2NOV17 that he regularly reviews submissions of pensioners, CES, and other claimant to be excused an outstanding debt.
    He asserted that he reviews each request on its merits.
    The illegible, over self entitled, poseurs cost the equivalent of 10 to 20 dole recipients.
    Each. Per year.

    1. bushby jane

      Ineligible, I believe rather than illegible.

      1. AR

        Of course, thank you.
        They are in fact far from illegible, their mean venality is writ large.

  7. Matt Hardin

    As a member of the legislature, Senator, I would say that you should set an example in following federal regulations. Your behaviour with respect to the phone and the “oh naughty me” way of of describing it is reprehensible. You should be ashamed of yourself. I can only hope that you are not being paid for this dreck.