Useless citizenship saga is indicative of Australian politics today

Crikey readers have some pretty straight-forward thoughts for those in parliament this week.

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There was one consistent message coming from readers yesterday, regarding the recent flare-up in the citizenship saga: FFS get it sorted, already. That’s not just a message for Bill Shorten, but the lot of them.

 

On Labor’s new trouble with the citizenship saga:

Les Heimann writes: Once again more useless elections sponsored by the High Court. Seems to me that our highest legal decision-makers have definitely followed the concept of being blinded. What is wrong with Madam X approaching say the British Consulate and specifying in writing — dated and witnessed — a renunciation of British citizenship and/or a benefit? Once the consulate receives and receipts this document that really must be the end of it!

Is all this too hard? No it isn’t and it is utterly wrong to allow another country’s administration to dictate who nominates for our parliament. It is complete nonsense to expect or demand that the so called “applicant” to “prove” he or she is a person that holds, or might hold, citizenship or might be eligible or is in receipt of some benefit from the country.

John Kotsopoulos writes: William Bowe is being a bit tough by describing Bill Shorten’s claims about Labor’s dual citizenship vetting process as boastful. His comments were mild in comparison to the outrageous predictions by Malcolm Turnbull. And at least Labor used a process, unlike Barnaby Joyce and some of his ilk.

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Former senator Katy Gallagher was in my view extremely hard done by. How was she to know that her attempt at renouncing her dual citizenship would be rendered ineffective by bureaucratic delay in Britain. In any case I find it incomprehensible that a person can unknowingly be caught up in a breach of our Constitution because of the legislation of another country that is arguably a historical relic.

In all the circumstances a smarter move might have been to pass legislation to retrospectively validate the nominations of all those who had made a bona fide attempt to renounce their dual citizenship or had been the victim of retrospective legislation. When I put this option in an email to a leading constitutional lawyer who was enjoying the sudden media attention caused by this fiasco, I was not favoured by a response. I wonder why. 

It’s still not to late to stop this lawyers’ picnic and the wastage of more of our taxes.

Ref writes: What is it about this issue that’s got all the parties in such a lather? Talk about a non-issue. How on earth did a seasoned politician like Shorten get wedged into guaranteeing that such an issue couldn’t arise in the Labor Party? For God’s sake, nobody cares! Change the law so dual citizens can be parliamentarians, as they do in other countries! This is so indicative of politics in Australia today, we get bogged down over the simplest issues. FFS fix it already!

 

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3 comments

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3 thoughts on “Useless citizenship saga is indicative of Australian politics today

  1. norman mccormick

    Is it possible that someone with a big arse, a big mouth, both dwarfed by his
    ego could possibly claim to lead the USA nevermind the “free” world ?

  2. Administrator

    The Australian Constitution forbids people with split allegiance from nominating.
    It takes that position, different from other countries, because we have very many immigrants with citizenship rights, benefits, allegiance or adherence to a foreign power.
    There is not a whole lot wrong with s.44. If you think it produces surprise results, then look at the eligibility criteria in other countries and you will see similar difficulties and hard cases. In any case, it is academic because s.44 is not about to change.
    The ineligibility of candidates has been caused by their failure of due diligence, despite abundant warnings in the Candidates’ Handbook, the High Court judgements and elsewhere. Successful due diligence requires taking remedial action in time, with documentation.
    We have this farce because the consequences for failure have been too weak. Why are the ineligible allowed to keep the pay to which they were not entitled? Why are their decisions not unravelled? Why might they be permitted to nominate again, and if they are so brazen, why would voters vote for them?
    Because Australian elections have been wholly corrupted by the political parties, the insider pre-selection processes, the pay-for-play donations that are not penalised as corruption, the preference trading and the phony polarisation that characterises campaigns.
    There is no policy closer to the Coalition than that of the ALP. There is no leader closer to Turnbull than Shorten. Just as Trump was the least popular Presidential Candidate ever, so Clinton 2016 was second least popular. We get these outcomes because that is what parties dish up.
    The saga that is truly indicative of Australian politics today is the continual lurching from distraction to crisis. Our governments simply do not solve the real priority issues. They slap a quick bandaid on an issue and loudly proclaim “It will never be allowed to happen again” with a handful of ministers crowded in the background doing their synchronised smiling act. Turnbull’s 2017 bandaid of s.44 issues was predicted to be worthless and so it proved.
    What should voters do with candidates who have voted in Parliament inconsistently with their duty to represent their electorate?
    What should voters do pledge loyalty to a Party Whip who may require unconscionable votes?
    In the past, we voted for them regardless. If we don’t want the same outcomes in future, that practice must change.

  3. Administrator

    John Kotsopoulos writes:
    In all the circumstances a smarter move might have been to pass legislation to retrospectively validate the nominations of all those who had made a bona fide attempt to renounce their dual citizenship or had been the victim of retrospective legislation. When I put this option in an email to a leading constitutional lawyer who was enjoying the sudden media attention caused by this fiasco, I was not favoured by a response. I wonder why.
    Because any legislation inconsistent with the Constitution is invalid.

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