Turnbull right to hose dual citizenship changes

Via Domainfax:

The Turnbull government has ruled out a referendum to end the dual citizenship debacle once and for all, but will introduce new rules to reduce the likelihood of further High Court cases.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull last year tasked a powerful parliamentary committee, headed by a Liberal senator, to examine the section 44 fiasco. On Thursday, it urged a referendum to repeal or amend the constitution – but that was kyboshed by the government within an hour.

…All candidates will need to publicly declare their family history when they nominate to contest an election – as well as any relevant financial information that could disqualify them under the law.

Why would a referendum “end the debacle”. The people would probably say no.

The least we can ask of Parliament is that those who occupy it have their first allegiance to Australia.

It’s not the UN.

Comments

  1. I think I have to disagree on this one. It seems absurd that half the population of Australia is ineligible for parliament, and that their eligibility can be determined by the administrative decisions of foreign countries.

    I agreed with you that the pollies who didn’t follow the rules deserved to get kicked out. But that doesn’t mean the stupid rules should not be changed, and this argument goes totally against your arguments about foreign interference in domestic affairs.

    • “It seems absurd that half the population of Australia is ineligible for parliament, and that their eligibility can be determined by the administrative decisions of foreign countries.”

      Cant they just validly renounce? Doesn’t seem that hard.

      • Exactly, renounce it and you can run.

        A friend ran for the democrats some years ago, he renounced his Swiss citizenship beforehand.
        He’s now living in Germany and certainly wishes he didn’t do that years ago.

      • Yeah you can renounce, but the foreign country then has to confirm it and some might take a few days, some could take years or refuse to do it at all. And what if a foreign power confers a benefit on you against your will, or without you knowing? So you want to let a foreign power invalidate our politicians or cause constitutional uncertainty whenever they like? In a crisis, this could be used as a weapon.

        It also creates 2 classes of Australian citizen, only 1 of which is eligible for parliament – that’s a dark path.

        There should be strict laws about financial inducements and conflicts of interest, but whether a politician who is an Australian citizen is acting in their interests is up to the electorate to decide.

      • HadronCollision

        @Gral – no it doesn’t create two classes.
        Anyone – barring the other ineligibility criteria – can run, just renounce.

        I personally think the rules should be changed so that if you win the seat/a seat, you have to renounce before being signed in.

        Then again as others have pointed out, if you bwant to hedge your bets to run for the hills when the SHTF by having multiple passports or you can’t just bring yourself to renounce, then no government and taxpayer money for you

      • @Gral – the US only allows citizens who wore *born* in the USA to become president. Our rules are a doddle by comparison!

      • Gonderb,

        Trump is allowed to be a dual citizen. The only requirement is that he be born in USA.

        Also, given that his mum is from Scotland, if Scotland got independence before 2020 and automatically made him a citizen of Scotland, he would have to step down as President if the US constitution was as contradictory as the Aussie one!

        Repeal s44.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        A friend ran for the democrats some years ago, he renounced his Swiss citizenship beforehand.
        He’s now living in Germany and certainly wishes he didn’t do that years ago.

        And that’s one of the the problems right there.

        @Gral – the US only allows citizens who wore *born* in the USA to become president. Our rules are a doddle by comparison!

        The US system is far more generous. You can have as many citizenships as you want, so long as you were born in America (and that’s only for President, to just be a pollie you don’t even need that).

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        @Gral – the US only allows citizens who wore *born* in the USA to become president. Our rules are a doddle by comparison!

        The US system is far more generous. You can have as many citizenships as you want, so long as you were born in America (and that’s only for President, to just be a pollie you don’t even need that).

      • America has a related rule –
        Trump is not a dual citizen. Schwarzenegger could have run but he was not allowed to as he is born overseas, even though he is a US citizen. In the US you cannot ever be president if you are an immigrant. Pity, we couild have had the Presidentator.

    • I agree that candidates should be allowed to have a foreign-born parent. And some nations do not allow you to renounce citizenship anyway. The Susan Lamb case shows the pitfalls of the hard and fast rules: your mother is dead and your father is estranged – you can not get the marriage certificate and therefore can not renounce British citizenship (which the constitution requires you to have because there are was no such thing as AUS citizenship till 1948!)

      If you want to become a politician and after being nominated, your sister gets married to a guy who has a foreign-born grandparent – which automatically results in your sister getting foreign citizenship along with yourself – you are “evil”!

      • HadronCollision

        This!

        And won’t someone think of the people with high flow shower heads!

    • Tassie TomMEMBER

      I agree with you Gral – not because of the dual citizens, but because every commonwealth or state public servant is also ineligible (except for members of the defence forces, for some strange reason). Teachers in public schools, nurses in public hospitals, Centrelink workers or workers in any other government department, police, park rangers – they all hold “office for profit from the Crown” and must resign before nominating or are ineligible.

      You’ve either got to be really rich or really poor to get into politics.

  2. The people would probably say no.

    That is what David Cameron thought when he put the Brexit referendum in his election manifesto – he won the election and thought “of course people will vote to continue flooding England with cheap Eastern European labour”.

    If you want to become a politician and after being nominated, your sister gets married to a guy who has a foreign-born grandparent – which automatically results in your sister getting foreign citizenship along with yourself!

    • Referendums almost never pass in Australia anyway. Only 8 out of 48 since federation.
      There is NO chance a referendum would get up on this issue. As the former head of the ARM, Malcolm Turnbull knows that.

    • Happy to stipulate that this motion like as not wouldn’t get up but why do you think it would be so one sided? Seems like as a minimum most people who have lost a member they voted for would be likely to vote in favour, along with dual citizens who’d like to stay that way.

  3. As far as I can tell, the rules when initially implemented allowed people from commonwealth countries to sit in parliament. I think it was because in those days Australians got Commonwealth passports rather than Australian ones. So people from the UK, Canada, India, NZ, Fiji, etc would have been fine. Not sure why there weren’t arguments on eligibility on that basis if that is true (happy to be corrected).

    • Correct. There was no such thing as AUS citizenship till 1948! Perhaps January 1950. Even today, politicians in the Westminster parliament are not required to be a citizen of Britain! But it is not as if thick-accented foreigners get elected anyway. Heck, Britain and NZ rank better than AUS on the corruption index and they allow dual citizen politicians!

      This is the latest load of fakery and virtue signalling. What we need to do instead is ban foreign dictatorships from giving money to Aussie politicians.

      • As most of the dual citizens’ other passports were from commonwealth countries, and so would have been eligible in 1901, it seems strange the ones with nz or other commonwealth citizenship didn’t appeal on the basis they wouldn’t have had a problem in 1901.

      • mild colonial

        It’s right there in s44, no whoring yourself to foreign powers. The high court was dismissing appeals made to it re s44 until Scott Ludlum caused the issue to explode. That WA lawyer snoop had been denied a number of times. Now is a good time to retest the allegiance, obedience and adherence to a foreign power bit.

    • Sue v. Hill established that whereas at the time of federation, citizenship of Britain also meant you were a citizen of Australia, at some time between the end of WWII and the passing of the Australia Acts, this was no longer true (the court declined to be more specific). Hence in 2018, being a citizen of a Commonwealth country definitely excludes you from eligibility, even though it probably didn’t when the constitution was written.

  4. Lucky Andrew Rob(b) is a patriotic Aussie with true Aussie ancestors – no way someone like that would whore themselves out to a foreign power!!

  5. drsmithyMEMBER

    Why MB thinks a freshly minted Australian citizen who has only lived here the minimum 5 years has more loyalty to the country than a third-generation Australian who happened to inherit another citizenship from his grandparents is beyond me.

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