Nov 6, 2017

Media hounds bay for blood over section 44, to their (and our) detriment

The hysteria over section 44 among journalists and politicians is the farce of the revival of nativism that has shaped so much of media and political discourse.

The media approach to the continuing section 44 fiasco is morphing from jeremiad to jihad.

After weeks of long lamentations over the failure of Australian politicians to “just do their paperwork” and high-minded declarations about the “highest law in the land”, we’re now moving to the “for god’s sake, do something!” stage where that something is an audit of existing MPs and senators -- whatever that may mean.

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33 thoughts on “Media hounds bay for blood over section 44, to their (and our) detriment

  1. Joe Black

    s44 won’t change, because it needs to be changed by referendum. There will always be a ‘no’ case run by idiots championing ‘patriotism’ or some-such – 50% of us will never get on board.
    So our pollies just need to do their homework properly – regardless of how stupid that may seem. This idea that Josh Frydenberg is the straw that broke the camel’s back is nonsense. Like everyone else who was caught out, this was his own oversight. The fact that his mum was a Hungarian Jew does not change that and Turnbull turning beetroot about the holocaust is worse than pathetic. Does Turnbull still think his angry blustering is a good look after the mess he made with his ‘they shall so hold’ stupidity?

  2. Draco Houston

    Yeah, forgotten in all this is the simple fact that the line of s44 they all fell to is a contrivance aimed at immigrants of all kinds. I can understand people not caring about fixing it because bugger the gits, but I’m yet to hear a compelling case for keeping s44 as is.

    1. Joe Black

      There’s no good reason for keeping it as is (in my opinion) but I think it’s unlikely to change simply because it’s a Constitutional issue and there will be a vigorous no campaign.

    2. lykurgus

      Actual security, not the BS “on-water-matters” type.
      Reps and Senators regularly get briefings that are subject to various clearance levels (and are free to seek almost any sort of briefing – usually of the “no pens, no paper” type).
      Remember when DPS used CCTV to monitor Faulkner (to find out who was briefing him and stop said briefings); and the sh*tstorm that followed? It’s taken that seriously.
      We don’t want that sort of access given to just anyone – I couldn’t get into the army without an ASIO check, because foreign parents (and I didn’t have a job that required a clearance).

  3. Rais

    “Morphing from jeremiad to jihad?” No it isn’t, Christopher. Not one of the people involved in the outing of dual citizens is Muslim and when people with a Christian background launch a compaign you can call it a crusade if you like, not a jihad. Crikey, you’re not bigots. Stop using the word jihad to refer to a campaign you disapprove of. If it’s ISIS, they pretend their illegitimate war is a jihad so you could be forgiven for echoing them.

    1. Marilyn J Shepherd

      I asked weeks ago how the honking media would behave if one of our Jewish mp’s was caught in this – so Warren doesn’t disappoint when he decides it’s a frigging jihad.

      A jihad is nothing more than a personal struggle against being a bad person, it’s nothing to do with the frigging constitution.

  4. zut alors

    I don’t believe in the dual nationality concept – if somebody chooses to live permanently in Oz (for whatever reasons) they should be willing to commit 100%.

    As for providing proof of their singular nationality to Parliament, is it any more demanding than filling out a passport application? If a political candidate finds the paperwork process too taxing then they are not fit for office.

    1. Marilyn J Shepherd

      Rubbish, we expect to be able to keep Australian citizenship if we are citizens of other nations so why not if we are here.

      1. Joe Black

        Marilyn, you’re absolutely entitled to be a dual citizen. Just not if you are elected to the Federal Parliament. It’s a question of our elected Parliamentarians not having conflicted loyalties. I don’t think there are any politicians arguing they should be allowed to be citizens of a foreign country – the problem is that s44 extends to the right to become a citizen of a foreign country even though that right has never been sought or taken up.

        1. Draco Houston

          You can have conflicted loyalties while not being a dual national.

          1. Joe Black

            Draco, absolutely you can.

    2. Draco Houston

      It means giving up freedom of movement and working rights etc in another country. Why should anyone have to give that up?

      1. Joe Black

        They don’t have to give it up. Nor do they have to stand for election to the Federal Parliament. Barring an unlikely change to the Constitution, they will have to decide which is more important to them. It seems most were/are prepared to renounce their right to be citizens of another country – they just didn’t get around to doing it properly.

    3. Marjorie Carless

      Totally agree. Obviously these people should check before they complete the application form. No wonder this country is in a mess if our MPs can’t even complete an application form without stuffing up.

  5. Hoojakafoopy

    Australia needs a citizen’s assembly to rewrite our Constitution and a referendum to enact a new one. In addition to abolishing s44, we need a bill of rights and a restructure of the electoral system to make it more democratic, in place of the 2 horse race we currently endure that bores most of the electorate into apathy.

    1. Richard Hooker

      I confess to harbouring no few reservations about whether such – shall we say substantial – changes to the Commwealth Constitution would negotiate the section 128 process in all its glory and rigour.

      Of 44 attempts since 1901 (many of them on relatively benign matters), 8 have successfully satisfied all of section 128’s requirements, so we’re currently batting at slightly better than 18%.

  6. Mike Smith

    birtherism, sure. But hypocrisy on the part of the LNP members who enthusiastically support detention camps for those who aren’t citizens.

  7. bushby jane

    Voters are already restricted for who to choose to represent them by political parties which have a preselection process. This has been demonstrated recently by Parry being replaced by Richard Colbeck, who had been demoted down the pecking order for no reason other than party politics. This is apparently democratic, but the simple act of checking your citizenship status for section 44 is not?
    Section 44

  8. archibald

    Our constitution was an act of the British Parliament. It was voted on by people who would be ineligible under S44 to enter parliament and pass laws in Australia. Sounds about right …

  9. Jimbo from Logan

    I’m not asking anyone to prove they’re Australian*, I’m asking some of the most privileged people in Australia to prove that they are abiding by one of the laws which allows them to be in a position of such privilege. And I’m only asking them to do that because quite a few of them have just proven they weren’t law-abiding.
    *I mean, we’re concerned that they may be dual citizens, not that they aren’t Australian citizens – that bit’s a given.

  10. brian crooks

    baaaany`r re election campaign is like the joke about the Irish rugby league team, their opposition forfeited so they played themselves and could only manage a draw.

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