“Grubby” politicians change laws to prevent being kicked out of parliament

No wonder trust in Australia’s politicians and institutions is at an historical low. From 10 daily:

Labor and Coalition politicians stitched up a deal to protect themselves from being kicked out of Parliament.

In April, in the dying hours of the last Parliament, with the Federal Budget being debated and the election about to be called, Labor and Coalition politicians got the deal done.

Labor senator Deb O’Neill said the elimination of 15 MPs and Senators over citizenship issues had “plagued this Parliament and this democracy.”

But the solution agreed with the Coalition essentially sidelines the High Court, not just on citizenship but on every other Constitutional ground for politicians to be disqualified.

“Basically it’s another grubby deal between the Government and the Opposition to protect their own in the Parliament,” independent MP Andrew Wilkie told 10 News First.

Section 44 and 45 of the Constitution disqualify people from Parliament on a range of grounds, including foreign citizenship, being bankrupt, having pecuniary interests involving Commonwealth funds and being a criminal subject to up to a year in jail.

The changes, snuck through on April 3 and 4, effectively prevent any shrewd politician from being thrown out on those grounds.

No longer can Parliament directly refer ineligible MPs and Senators to the High Court for judgement. They must now be referred to the House of Representatives’ Privileges Committee or the Senate equivalent…

Without a High Court judgement, the suspect politician can remain in Parliament.

“I think that’s a very significant development in this country when parliamentarians think they can sideline the High Court,” Wilkie said.

It’s time to drain the swamp!

Unconventional Economist
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  1. HairyMaclaryFromDonaldsonsDairy

    This is why violence is increasing. Those muppets actually think they will get away with it but it will be what burns them in the end. When the biggest crooks in the land are making the laws – the only option an oppressed population has is violence.

    Its coming

    • they won’t care when they convince themselves that they need constant police protection on the taxpayer dime and just for extra measure roll it into their already very generous pension.

    • The muppets are getting away with it, because no one will know.
      The main media has not covered it much – you’re reading about it in an obscure economics blog.

    • Public can still make challenges post election. The High Court is still the court of disputed returns for Federal elections.

  2. GunnamattaMEMBER

    When the S144 issue first raised its head i was told that the Libs (then under Malcolm) had offered the ALP a ‘Gentlemans Agreement’ and had made clear that the LNP knew of questions about as many ALP members as there were questions vis LNP members.

    The proposed agreement was ‘we will say nowt if you say nowt’

    Australia’s political class is a rancid flyblown carcass which needs the crows to descend and peck at the soft bits and the ants to carry away the rotting flesh until the pure white skeleton bears silent reminder for future aspiring politicians to think about.

    • Interesting stuff! I did not know about that gentlemen’s agreement.

      How about a gentlemen’s agreement on getting the AEC to adequately fund the political parties? The founding fathers clearly did not want Aussie politicians to be puppets of a foreign power – but foreign powers are allowed to give money to Aussie politicians? WTF?

      How about a gentlemen’s agreement to have a referendum on allowing Aussie politicians to have dual citizenship (your brother gets married and that automatically gives you foreign citizenship because she was born in a certain place). School teachers are not allowed to be candidates in elections – so we just get more and more lawyers in parliament – and we should remove that restriction via a referendum.

  3. Ronin8317MEMBER

    You can’t bypass the constitution with a legislation, however it’ll take someone with deep pocket to challenge that in High Court.

    • Now you’re talking. After all they would get paid alot more if they worked in the private sector and if we pay peanuts…

    • They are the other 50% of the problem………. because they are in the politicians back pockets.

  4. Even StevenMEMBER

    So the only time Lib/Lab can agree on something is when it’s to save their precious hides. F’ing disgraceful.

  5. mild colonialMEMBER

    Parts of s45 surely can’t be qualified by the s44 40 days time limit. s45 looks like it is about parliamentarians not being able to profit from holding office.