Nov 9, 2017

Hinch’s Senate Diary: the voters don’t trust government anymore and neither do I

The section 44 fiasco has annihilated voters' trust in government. And I can't say I blame them, writes Senator Derryn Hinch.

Derryn Hinch — Senator

Derryn Hinch


Pallbearers lead the casket out of the church after the State Funeral of Sir Ninian Stephen

Prime Minister Turnbull hardly covered himself in anything close to glory this week when he tried to hose down the dual citizenship debacle.

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15 thoughts on “Hinch’s Senate Diary: the voters don’t trust government anymore and neither do I

  1. electme

    Hinch seems ever unable to rise above the level of tabloid rhetoric, however much he strives for piquancy and gravitas. He even manages to make reportage of a state funeral for a Governor General read like an account of a chook raffle in a retirement villa…

  2. old greybearded one

    Derryn I understand why you don’t trust the government of Turnbull and the shadowy Abbott. I do wonder why you ever did? It was certainly not based on any evidence of truth telling.

  3. jmendelssohn

    Rather than watching the watchers at Sir Ninian Stephen’s funeral, Hinch really should have paid attention to the nature of the man who was being farewelled – and considered the circumstances of his life.
    Because of a continuing act of generosity to his mother – and then to him – the young Ninian had a childhood of comfort instead of poverty, and most importantly was given a good education. His distinguished and generous career would not have been possible without the ongoing support of that original benefactor.
    Hinch could perhaps then consider that a country that continues to punish its poor and rejects those seeking refuge, instead of enabling them to be the best that they can be, will never flourish.

  4. Itsarort

    The Song of Solomon eh? That’s exactly the reason why we have a Section 44 in our constitution.

  5. lykurgus

    His desperation to keep the “Some ALP Members Might Be Ring-Ins But Stop Looking At My Kiwi Papers” dream alive, is surpassed only by his credulity; or is the regular giving of your vote now a gesture of distrust?
    (Keay, Lamb and Gallagher jumped through more s44 hoops – and with less cause to do so – that he ever did)
    Or has he ditched the plonk for something stronger?

    We know why the ALP keeps telling Truffles, “Your Problem, Mate”; as the only party with ANY s44 compliance check whatsoever (a fact admitted to by Michael Kroger the other day), why should they clean up his plops?

  6. Pedantic, Balwyn

    Hinch has missed the irony in this whole debacle. The authors of the Constitution considered other members of the Empire to be one of them. They did not intend that Brits, Kiwis and Canaks etc. were excluded; only the foreigners from France, Germany, and so on ( obviously anyone from Indigenous stock, Asia etc was automatically excluded).

  7. Scott Grant

    Section 44 states: “Any person . . .(list of disqualifications) . . . shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a senator or member of the House of Representatives”. I would have thought that being nominated does not mean being chosen, so why do people keep pointing to “the date nominations close” as the cutoff date for achieving formal renunciation of alternate citizenship?

    1. Matt Hardin

      It is due to Sykes v Cleary. The High Court held that:

      The words “being chosen” [in Section 44] were held to refer to a process of choice, which begins on the polling day. More fully, “incapable of being chosen” extends back to nomination. The process does not include the” declaration of the poll, which is only “the announcement of the choice made”.

      (From Wikipedia on Sykes v Cleary)

      1. Scott Grant

        Thank you for the explanation. What a bunch of wallies! Someone should tell ’em their dreamin’ and that they have completely missed the vibe of the thing.

      2. Scott Grant

        When I was a child, there was an old lady who sometimes came to family gatherings. Her name was Agnes Robertson – you can look her up on Wikipedia. I remember her as a nice old lady who was kind to me. It was only much later that I discovered her significance in Australian political history. When I recently looked up her entry in Wikipedia I discovered her father was born in Scotland. I wonder if she would have fallen foul of this ridiculous constitutional foul up.

    2. lykurgus

      You might be referring to preselection (where the party endorses you, which can be done any time) – “nomination” is what the party files for you after the writs are issued. Renunciations may not be confirmed for months (or ever), so they enclose copies of your application (the date of which is deemed to BE the approval date, no matter how long it takes)

  8. Barry Reynolds

    Mr Hinch, give it a rest. You are part of the problem no matter how high the soap box you stand on

  9. PaulM

    It’s not just government that voters don’t trust, but politicians in general. The perception is that politicians think and act like the rules that apply to everyone else don’t apply to them. Even simple things, like not leaving your mobile phone on flight mode during a commercial flight, reinforce this perception.

  10. Jimbo from Logan

    I read that at least one of the ALP members in the other place submitted renunciation papers the day they won preselection. That the UK didn’t process that application and send a reply until later is out of the ALP’s hands, surely? If not, what’s to stop the LNP doing a little deal with UK Cons to make sure that such applications were slow-tracked before the next election? Once you’ve done all you have to do and can only wait for another party to do their bit, haven’t you taken all reasonable steps?

    1. lykurgus

      Essentially. Until the election writs are issued, nominations don’t even open (because the dates are on it).
      Parties usually file a bulk nomination – and these filings have to include proof of endorsement (ie. preselection) for the candidates (and the aforesaid renunciation submits, as proof of filing date thereof). So you want the preselects done early.

      Incidentally, expatriations (if/when the docs eventually do arrive) are backdated to the day you applied to renounce. Hinch would know this… if he has in fact undertaken it.

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