Sunday, 19 August 2018

Useless citizenship saga is indicative of Australian politics today

Useless citizenship saga is indicative of Australian politics today
11 May

There was one consistent message coming from readers yesterday, regarding the recent flare-up in the citizenship saga: FFS get it sorted, already. That’s not just a message for Bill Shorten, but the lot of them.

On Labor’s new trouble with the citizenship saga:

Les Heimann writes: Once again more useless elections sponsored by the High Court. Seems to me that our highest legal decision-makers have definitely followed the concept of being blinded. What is wrong with Madam X approaching say the British Consulate and specifying in writing — dated and witnessed — a renunciation of British citizenship and/or a benefit? Once the consulate receives and receipts this document that really must be the end of it!

Is all this too hard? No it isn’t and it is utterly wrong to allow another country’s administration to dictate who nominates for our parliament. It is complete nonsense to expect or demand that the so called “applicant” to “prove” he or she is a person that holds, or might hold, citizenship or might be eligible or is in receipt of some benefit from the country.

John Kotsopoulos writes: William Bowe is being a bit tough by describing Bill Shorten’s claims about Labor’s dual citizenship vetting process as boastful. His comments were mild in comparison to the outrageous predictions by Malcolm Turnbull. And at least Labor used a process, unlike Barnaby Joyce and some of his ilk.

Former senator Katy Gallagher was in my view extremely hard done by. How was she to know that her attempt at renouncing her dual citizenship would be rendered ineffective by bureaucratic delay in Britain. In any case I find it incomprehensible that a person can unknowingly be caught up in a breach of our Constitution because of the legislation of another country that is arguably a historical relic.

In all the circumstances a smarter move might have been to pass legislation to retrospectively validate the nominations of all those who had made a bona fide attempt to renounce their dual citizenship or had been the victim of retrospective legislation. When I put this option in an email to a leading constitutional lawyer who was enjoying the sudden media attention caused by this fiasco, I was not favoured by a response. I wonder why. 

It’s still not to late to stop this lawyers’ picnic and the wastage of more of our taxes.

Ref writes: What is it about this issue that’s got all the parties in such a lather? Talk about a non-issue. How on earth did a seasoned politician like Shorten get wedged into guaranteeing that such an issue couldn’t arise in the Labor Party? For God’s sake, nobody cares! Change the law so dual citizens can be parliamentarians, as they do in other countries! This is so indicative of politics in Australia today, we get bogged down over the simplest issues. FFS fix it already!

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