Eligibility to sit in the parliament
There's a big constitutional issue coming up soon regarding the eligibility of a person to sit in the parliament, if you're interested. IMHO one of the biggest issues there can be in a system of representative government.
In an extraordinary sequence of events, SEVEN senators and MPs have been referred to the High Court in the space of a few weeks, and several others have been scrutinised in the media.
This article covers the upcoming hearing quite well even if you are unfamiliar with Aus law.
September 8th, 2017 8:46am
That was a long article that took too long to make its points. But comprehensive and perhaps that was necessary.
It's clear that if you have dual citizenship with Australia and X, to sit in Parliament you have to at least try to renounce citizenship with the other country if they have a process to do so. Some countries do not allow renunciation and in that case renunciation through the verbal statement in naturalization ceremonies is sufficient. If you are a non-naturalized dual citizen from birth probably you don't have to do anything.
It also notes that after the previous court decision, several members of Parliament were very surprised to find out they were supposed to renounce UK citizenship, and they immediately ran down to city hall, filled out a form, and paid a fee to do so, all something that they could do in a couple hours. A lot of people didn't think Britain was a "foreign power" since it wasn't when the law was written, but the court ruled that it was now a foreign power. So it was understandable that people were surprised by the ruling.
Those rulings were years ago and now the rule is well known.
Several Parliament members have dual citizenship and are refusing to renounce. It is very clear that they are illegitimately serving and should be removed from office immediately because they retain allegiance to a foreign power and openly refusing to release it.
There's no Constitutional Crisis here. Just some people afoul of the law.
September 8th, 2017 9:16am
For the Americans among us, this is an issue with the AUSTRALIAN parliament, not the BRITISH one.
September 8th, 2017 9:24am
As an example, one of the members did not have dual citizenship when they were born. Their mother was an Italian citizen, but in 1980 Italian citizenship passed down only through the father. Subsequent to that the Italian courts changed the citizenship rules to work for both parents and made it retroactive, making the Australian an Italian citizen. Obviously the member was not aware of this. When made aware of this, all the member had to do was go down to the Italian consulate and swear an oath of renunciation to the officer there and they would no longer have Italian citizenship they didn't want.
Instead this person is saying they don't want to renounce their Italian citizenship and the Australian law which has been in place for decades is unfair to them.
This person does not have a reasonable case. Furthermore they are spending far more resources on a hope of an Australian Supreme Court battle than the hour it would take to go deal with what is an administrative matter.
September 8th, 2017 10:09am
My take is they hope to get the public to view them as an unfortunate victim of a cruel bureaucratic state and reelect them out of pity.
However it is clear they are playing the system, shedding crocodile tears, and simply don't want to play by the same laws that they as a Parliament member require the public to follow.
September 8th, 2017 10:11am
I don't have any sympathy for them. Section 44(i) and Sykes v Cleary are clear: they needed to take all reasonable steps before they were elected. The facts suggest they failed to do so.
September 8th, 2017 5:31pm
Yeah, she'll be right mate, no-one's going to bother checking ... Barmy Choice - what a fucking clown to have running things while Turnbull's away.
The senators don't matter in the scheme of things because if judged ineligible they'll just get lookalike replacements but Barnaby will trigger a by-election which is by no means a shoo-in for the National (previously Country) Party.
"I'm a Country Member" said slowly was why they renamed that party - a party that really should be dubbed the Rural Socialist Party in charge of providing welfare for the squattocracy and their unbridled access to all water flowing past their properties and a big fuck you to anybody downstream.
September 9th, 2017 5:33am