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The Forum > Article Comments > Lying about citizenship: Australian politicians before the high court > Comments

Lying about citizenship: Australian politicians before the high court : Comments

By Binoy Kampmark, published 28/8/2017

To read the section any other way, would result in a 'ridiculous' interpretation, one that would also disqualify up to half the population from sitting in Parliament.

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So the constitution of a banana-republic declares that eating bananas is a national disgrace and everyone caught with a mouthful there claims that it's not a banana in their mouth, but peppers. However, by opening their mouth to say so, the yellow colour shows. Oh well, they stutter, there are also yellow peppers...

Politicians are politicians, what else can we expect from them, but what's wrong with eating bananas in the first place?
Posted by Yuyutsu, Monday, 28 August 2017 9:59:16 AM
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A perfect summary of Australian politics and politicians in four sentences.

And, how ridiculous does Canavan now look? First, it was all mummy's fault (good excuse for a grown man). Then, lo and behold, we find out that he had been an Italian citizen since childhood, courtesy of an arrogant Italian bureaucracy/government who takes it for granted that it has some hold over people born in another country. What our useless government should be doing is telling these foreign countries that Australians are Australians, and that this dual citizenship bulldust is history.

But, back to Canavan: who could believe the man ever again? Even for a politician, his trustworthiness is zero. The only two, it hurts me to say, in this charade who have been honest and done the right thing are the two Greens; but they also are not fit to be any where near a parliament if they were unaware of Section 44 and their background. Same goes for Joyce, who hasn't had the decency to stand down.

Decency from a politician! What a silly thought!

And, how can even that dropkick, Turnbull say he is: "very, very confident that our members who have been caught up in this will be held by the court to be eligible to sit in the Parliament and therefore eligible to be ministers."?

Is he saying that the Australian Constitution means bugger-all, and that his mates in the High Court will help him out.

Parliament should be suspended until this matter is cleared up, even if the High Court judges find something in Section 44, that is not really there at all, as they have once before.
Posted by ttbn, Monday, 28 August 2017 10:27:23 AM
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This may be incredibly naive, but what if anybody seeking political office did two things: renounced any other citizenship but 'Australian' on a Stat Dec; and wrote to the embassy of any country of which he/she MIGHT be a citizen to inform them of this.

After all, some countries may have a rule that the children of a citizen, wherever they are born, is forever a citizen; and of course, therefore, THEIR children; and theirs; and theirs; ad infinitum.

My dear old granny was born in England, in the Hull workhouse at Sculcoates. I suspect that her alien status has been my primary reason for not being Prime Minister already. Many other earlier relations were born all over the British Isles, like most Australians of course. Most arrived here as guests of the Crown - nothing serious, just thieves. Should I write to the Irish embassy ? If Scotland gains its independence, should I write to theirs ? As for the poor Welsh, I should remain resigned to working through the 'British' embassy :)

Joe
Posted by Loudmouth, Monday, 28 August 2017 10:36:21 AM
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What ought prevail is the intention of the writers of the constitution at the time of writing!

And, I believe, the only possible interpretation is that, anyone deemed a british citizen by dint of birth in the UK or any of her colonies, was and remains acceptable! And ought carry the day, even today, I believe, for all reasonable men!

And interpreted by virtue of pragmatic commonsense and who was the head of state, as applicable to that member at the time of the member's election.

And if it was our head of state, then that ought, I believe, to qualify the member to both contest and sit!

If that is not doable, given some monumental anomaly or mischievous, vexatious interpretation. Then we probably need to reboot to 1770 and start from there. In which case only a couple would qualify or all comers!

There are only two obvious choices, open this can of worms to leave it wriggling for all time and cripple parliament! Or put to bed right now and forever, with an, any reasonable man interpretation!?
Alan B.
Posted by Alan B., Monday, 28 August 2017 10:49:52 AM
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Alan
At Federation the flag was the British flag of the King of Great Britain , India and Hong Kong. All changes to the Queen of Australia, flag , to right of entry to Poms Africans Chinese Indians Pakistani and Welsh would be unconstitutional . Governor Generals should be appointed by the monarch from aristocrats as Australians until 1930 were unsuited. USA is governed by City of London and also needs aristocrats for the counties.
Posted by nicknamenick, Monday, 28 August 2017 11:21:07 AM
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Damage done to the reputations of individual MP's is a mere sideshow.

Two issues matter far more.

Firstly, the Coalition's majority is at stake. I suggest that the fair and reasonable course of action is to prorogue (if that is the technically correct term) parliament until the issue is sorted. Possibly some will be thornier than others, but until it becomes clear that the government has the confidence of the House of Reps, it should at the very least refrain from making new laws, ie not sit.

Secondly, and potentially more explosive, are the potential consequences should a number of Cabinet members be found to have been ineligible to be elected. I couldn't give a hoot about their pay and entitlements. The primary matter at issue is whether some or all of the decisions that these folk made as Ministers are invalidated. Should they be wound back to the date of the election, or the date of them becoming aware that they were ineligible to be elected? Or, perhaps some other date or dates, perhaps decades?

Will the decision to relocate a government department to Armidale be found to be invalid? How many other thousands of decisions, large and small, might also be on shaky ground? This, it seems to me, is the most serious question, because it potentially opens a Pandora's Box of litigation across a range of government departments.

If so, it also sharpens the focus of those who may seek to have invalidated Ministerial decisions and actions taken by as-yet unidentified current or former ministers who have not fully complied with 44(i) of the Australian Constitution. The result would be widespread chaos.

Once started, where can it be stopped? Could it reach back beyond the last election? Decades?

Delicious, important and weighty questions, all. Far more important than assessment of Malcolm Roberts' intelligence, knowledge or honesty. The lawyers' picnic has begun.
Posted by SingletonEngineer, Monday, 28 August 2017 11:57:08 AM
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Yes it will be decades . All legislation back to 1948 will need to have fresh Parliaments to debate everything and establish all government department activities. Compensation for illegal acts will not help the Budget.
Posted by nicknamenick, Monday, 28 August 2017 12:03:40 PM
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When we became a federation, 1900, our head of state was the British Queen, Victoria. She was also the Queen of Malta, the Falklands, PNG, Fiji, New Zealand and a still undivided India, Malaysia, Singapore etc.

The proud boast was that the sun never set on the British empire.

Now, we might have problems with some migrants from those countries, that can and are deported, if they fail the good character test. And need to be accepted as migrants, who except for our Kiwi cousins, need passports and visas.

Even so, Australia started as a convict colony and built by successive waves of immigration of people from somewhere else.

The constitution with section 44, was written at the turn of the last century and remains unrevised! Even though the flag and our and Britain's status changed. Including a relatively brief reign by a king.

And at that time of federation and the writing of the constitution. No citizen of any of the aforementioned countries was deemed a foreigner by accepted definition. Regardless of colour or creed

And to honor the intention and black letter law of the original document, that ought remain the case! Anything else would tell the world, we're full of it and ourselves?

However and to conclude, go back far enough and we all were foreigners, out of Africa!
Alan B.
Posted by Alan B., Monday, 28 August 2017 2:37:22 PM
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surely their should be an audit on ALL the pollies.
Posted by runner, Monday, 28 August 2017 2:39:00 PM
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@ Alan B:

The High Court determined years back that 44(i) applied to Brits.

Do you seriously suggest now that the High Court will now change its collective mind on the basis that you disagree?

I suggest that you read http://www.aph.gov.au/binaries/library/pubs/bp/1992/92bp29.pdf to see the drafting, case histories and academic interpretations regarding 44(i). This article is a little heavy, at 80+ pages, but covers the ground thoroughly.

See especially re the dual nationality of Mr Kardamitsis on P27.
Posted by SingletonEngineer, Monday, 28 August 2017 2:53:43 PM
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Well given the high court, though full of august wise, yet fallible men, can and does get some stuff wrong, once or twice every century?

And not on the basis who might or might not agree with their findings?

But rather, the words written in black and white in the constitution, whose meaning needs no interpretation, given the intent and meaning is in unmistakable unambiguous english, there for all to see.

Yes our status changed, but the words remain unaltered, and just didn't need to be redefined. What they meant then and who they referred to remains the same now as they day they were ratified into law.

No other "learned" interpretation is possible, unless of course they and the pollies jerking their stings? Want to open a pandora's box of contested places/legislation, for decades!

All these folk are former lawyers skilled at arguing black is white and winning! They can fix it, or like unaccountable despots, far kit?
Alan B.
Posted by Alan B., Monday, 28 August 2017 4:27:31 PM
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So Alan the immigration laws are unconstitutional but the Oz flag and monarch are lawful? You may need to select one as correct.
ROAD TRANSPORT (VEHICLE REGISTRATION) REGULATION 2007 - REG 6

Eligible vehicles
6 ELIGIBLE VEHICLES

(1) A registrable vehicle is eligible to be registered without conditions if:
(a) the vehicle complies with the applicable vehicle standards for the vehicle,
-
This was in 2007 for that year's cars . Cars from 2008 which were unknown models in 2007 can't be registered . This caused the end of Holden and Ford production and they will lose the majority in the house..

But if your car made after 2007 is registered and the list changes then countries can be changed to the alien list . NZ says Oz is alien in 1977 Act.
Posted by nicknamenick, Monday, 28 August 2017 5:33:17 PM
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What penalties are there for these transgressions?

Take this into account:
20 or more years ago, in my early 20's I once chose not to vote because I thought all politicians we're liars, dishonest and didn''t keep election promises (liar shouldn't have told me the Gateway Bridge would be free after a few years) and I was fined $120 for not voting, and I refused to pay that fine out of principle and instead served 3 or 4 days in the police watchouse (at $30 a day)

I decidided that wasn't going to pay it and that taxpayers themselves should cover the cost of my stay and provide for me since they supported creating a stupid law that forced me to vote for these lying politicians.

It's funny I actually almost forgot all about it, seems so long ago.
But the bottom line is this: I've already served time locked up for several days in the 90's for choosing not to vote for lying scumbags.

So what happens when I'm proven right?
And that politicians are liars and dishonest and do not even have the right to be politicians?
What happens now?
Do I get my 3 or 4 days back?
Or will any of these people serve a single day locked up for what they did, surely worse than I did not voting, (I'm now justified in my failure to vote by their failure to be eligible to sit in parliament)

And so, we go back to the status qao where I'm forced to vote for lying scumbags.
But the law has changed now, they won't issue warrants for unpaid fines for failing to vote, they will take my drivers license instead.

Screw this country, and the liars that run it.
If these people don't serve time in jail like I did for not voting, then there's no real justice in this country.

I told you all long ago, build a prison for the politicians who wrong us, until then the country's a bloody joke.
Posted by Armchair Critic, Tuesday, 29 August 2017 4:02:44 AM
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Dear Critic,

What will you get by putting people in jail? Even if they are politicians? Only a vicious cycle of violence.

Better forgive and forget, in the spirit of Nelson Mandela: let them go home to their families in peace.
Posted by Yuyutsu, Tuesday, 29 August 2017 6:11:38 AM
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Binoy's posts are as usual confused and meandering around his opinion that Canavan and Roberts are not being entirely honest. Of course, the high court will make the judgements on the documents presented not on snippets from the news.

It now looks like Katy Gallager from the ALP has been caught out.
Posted by Shadow Minister, Tuesday, 29 August 2017 12:58:28 PM
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Probably the British person who is the Australian head of parliament uses Co-codamol for headaches. in the UK is marketed as "Solpadeine Plus" and "Solpadeine Max". In Australia it is marketed as "Panadeine", and "Panadeine Forte".

She has a desk for British citizens but is Queen of an alien nation whose pollies lose $ for having British citizenship , a foreign land.
"Phillip, bring me the Solpadeine Max will you and a stiff brandy ".
She wakes up British and after breakfast becomes Australian then back to her alien identity. Its easier for Charles who's used to doubling up.
Posted by nicknamenick, Tuesday, 29 August 2017 8:04:07 PM
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Hey Yuyutsu,
A sense of equal justice; that they too must follow the rules.

I've shared my opinion on this type of thing before.
I believe that politicians and citizens are like 'them' and 'us'.
And I also believe that for their to be real democracy, then there must be a real balance of power.
And so, in the sense of 'them and us' as spoken about above;
I believe that if they make the rules for 'us',
Then we should make the rules for 'them'.

It's all pretty simple really.
Posted by Armchair Critic, Tuesday, 29 August 2017 10:28:22 PM
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Dear Critic,

Sorry, I do not believe in tit-for-tat.

This evil practice of making rules for others, along with this extremely cruel practice of throwing people in jail are THEIR (the politicians) kind of behaviour. Surely we don't want to become like them?!
Posted by Yuyutsu, Wednesday, 30 August 2017 1:14:36 PM
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Should the High Court judges be required to not have dual citizenship also,
as it seems they have real political power in overruling the government in major decisions.
Posted by CHERFUL, Wednesday, 30 August 2017 7:56:35 PM
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High court judges may decide that all Manus island guests must have Australian citizenship . However this could disqualify them from sitting in the camp or having PNG citizenship.
Posted by nicknamenick, Thursday, 31 August 2017 8:27:30 AM
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people trying to force their way into countries, probably wouldn't like it if 50,000 white people a month turned up and tried to push their way into their countries.
Posted by CHERFUL, Thursday, 31 August 2017 8:41:40 PM
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Yes and there were 75,404,000 boats carrying 80 people each with 56,952 swimming from Pakistan , just in the month of February.

Last year, 104,171 people who were granted Australian citizenship.
Posted by nicknamenick, Friday, 1 September 2017 8:24:33 PM
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Yuyutsu,
If we throw them in jail when they do the wrong thing we'll stop 'them' being like 'them' in the first place.
Problem solved.
Posted by Armchair Critic, Saturday, 2 September 2017 1:57:42 AM
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Dear Critic,

My priority is to preserve my own morals, rather than to fix theirs.

As I would hate being throw in jail, I wouldn't do it unto others.
Posted by Yuyutsu, Saturday, 2 September 2017 10:40:49 PM
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nicknamenick

Just before the government started turning the boats back, the number coming
on boats every month had risen to 28,000.

Now that equals 56,000 every 2 months, that means we would have had 336,000
coming every year, That amount of people equals a good sized regional town every year. Given the fact that there are already 200,000 coming on planes through the front door. It adds up to no small amount of people.

Add in the billions we spend on people in foreign aid. But that's the trouble when you
try to help people, they get here and then want to bring their whole tribe here. The whole time throwing their weight around trying to change our way of life and using our law courts against us.
Posted by CHERFUL, Monday, 4 September 2017 8:49:20 PM
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eh?
"The boats were arriving at the rate of 37 a month in early 2013 and, over the preceding five year period, there were 800 of them carrying over 50,000 IMAs."
That's a couple of truckloads a week. However , back at the topic , pollies can't be Poms and therefore it's illegal for dual citizens to vote. Prince William drifted in for Anzac Day , no pretence to be Prince of Australia or even of New South Wales just foreign Wales like his dual-wife father.
Turks are foreign but Australians under the constitution landed by boat and are now sons of Turkey they say. The army should be taken to the High Court.
Posted by nicknamenick, Saturday, 9 September 2017 1:33:04 AM
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