This whole dual-citizenship thing

So, following this thread, the whole thing of section 44 has become the big news and a colossal fuck up for those in power. Greens have lost 2, LIBs have now effectively lost 2, one confirmed today to be the Deputy PM himself, and potentially (and hopefully) Malcolm Roberts. There’s now suggestion that a good couple dozen of sitting MPs’ positions could be at threat. To balance things, Labor Deputy Leader is under threat because she’s descent of European migrants.

Evidently, the law is set to be clear on its requirement. The question is, should we have a stance on this, and if so, what?

One big thing that contrasts us from the US is that we do not restrict candidates to locality of birth, wherein anyone who wants to stand for office there must have been born in an area that is/was actively under US jurisdiction, which is why we’ll never see Arnie contest for their Presidency.

The sensible stance to take seems obvious: the rules should be changed in some way to either make this easy to check before a politician enters parliament or to just allow dual citizenship. The details of implementing such a rule change are where it gets tricky.

I’m kinda surprised there have been so many caught out. Fun times.

That’s not quite accurate. To run for president over there the qualifier is you have to be a natural born citizen, the meaning of which there has been a bit of debate over.


What we have with s44 is a classic example of “you have to draw the line somewhere”.

There are good reasons for wanting our MPs to be sole Australian citizens, even if half the rest of the country isn’t.

It’s a constitutional provision, so not much chance of changing it.

What we could support is checking of all MPs after election. Checking all candidates would be a bit impractical, so we could also support a government department maintaining a best-effort “could you be a dual citizen of country X?” checklist.

I’ll accept “partial/somewhat/technically” over “not-quite”. What I was suggesting is our constitution is more laxed in comparison.

Technically correct is the best kind of correct, after all. :wink:

There’s something like 4 or 5 places in the current policy platform that require referenda already, so it wouldn’t be the first time. Agreed that changing s44 would be difficult though, and that non-constitutional methods would be easier.

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It’s a flaw in Section 44 which allows the citizenship laws of other countries to reflect onto ours.

The workaround is to leave it, and political candidates have to be extra careful before an election to make sure they are not dual citizens (and hope that another country doesn’t start granting anyone automatic citizenship right before an election or quietly).

The real fix would be to propose a change to the wording a little bit, and put it to Referendum (hopefully to coincide with an election). Constitutions are not easy to change.

I don’t know if it’s a big enough deal going forward to warrant a PPAU policy, considering it’s so niche and everyone affected is more aware going forward.

There is a chance that the current government will end up fixing it anyway, but only because it has hurt their own so much.

I know that things can get messy sometimes, but I’m a fan of democracy.

If a person doesn’t knowingly keep allegiances secret, then let the voters decide whether a person’s dual citizenship should be an encumbrance on their ability to run for parliament.

If the voters get to decide if a candidate is too much in the pocket of all the other conflicting interests out there, like mining, tobacco, gambling, etc., then why can’t they decide if the candidate is too much in the pocket of another country?

To be clear, I personally don’t think people should have to renounce other citizenships.

I think that nationality is not the relevant factor. What’s relevant is the candidate’s position on issues and how they reached those positions.

I feel like we should let the free market decide, if people don’t want dual-citizens in parliament, then they won’t vote for hem.

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lol …


“We wish he wasn’t. You can keep him, really.”

EDIT: I am somewhat concerned about the idea that he might get away with it because he didn’t know. Section 44 is quite clear, foreign citizens can’t hold office, period. Ignorance of the law is not a defence.


New England thanks you.

edit: so does the Murray Darling

Heh, New England. I used to live there at one point. They wouldn’t know good representation from a hole in the ground. Remember when that seat was independent and the safest seat in the entire country? And then Tony Windsor had the audacity to deal with Labor, absolutely plummeting him in the polls even though it majorly benefited the area?

I think we’d need to be real careful about what sort of statements we make on this, particularly considering we’ve run at least one candidate who held dual citizenship and who would have renounced the secondary citizenship if they were elected. Perhaps they should have renounced it before the election, it was a little unclear at the time, but if the campaign was unsuccessful they didn’t want to sacrifice access to the entire EU (Brexit might make that a problem now anyway, but it’s a little unclear and the candidate is no longer a Pirate).

“That’s not how it works that’s not how any of it works.”

Also, at least two candidates - another discovered last month in the wake of the shenanigans that he’s got British citizenship. Goes to show.

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Warranted, but like any discussion on here, nothing is official unless it’s voted upon. This thread is just to field opinions, given it’s currently the big thing going on, even if at a glance it seems rather menial.

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Yeah, this was the 2013 election and we were a little less certain, but you’re right.

Especially when countries like NZ can do things with descent, which is what caught Barnaby Joyce out. It’s actually kind of understandable that it came as a shock to him given the situation (his father was born there and emigrated 20 years before he was born, plus the family were British subjects at the time).

With the NZ laws I’ve only just discovered that my mother qualifies under the same rule as Barnaby and I’m not yet sure if that then means it applies to me too (the websites aren’t loading for me here).

Allow for DC, but make it a requirement to make all reasonable inquiries disclose all known citizenships of other countries x days before an election perhaps?

There shouldn’t really be any concern about having Allegiance to Australia (on paper) because all MPs are required to take the Oath of Office anyway (but I wonder if the high court could kick an MP out of office if it can be proven that they broke or didn’t take their Oath?)

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Ignorance of the law may be no defence, but generally speaking, intent is required in the doing or not doing of an act that would constitute a breach of the law.

That’s a general statement I’ve just made, and is not entirely relevant to the matter at hand.

It was always clear, Ben - absolutely crystal clear. That’s why I never ran.