Really?

George Brandis says Section 44 in its current form on citizenship isn’t suitable for a multicultural democracy.  Really?

Is that because in the multicultural democracy envisaged by Mr Brandis citizens can’t read?

The words in the constitution seemed pretty clear.

Does not seem to be a problem for the members of the Liberal or Labor parties (at least yet).

Why is it that every electoral or democratic reform proposal seems to be about further entrenching and empowering the political elite at the expense of everyone else?

Any more ideas?  Perhaps 6 year terms, increased Parliamentary pensions and gold cards that include a bookshelf allowance?

Just ignore the constitution if it gets in the way.  Let it be but a guide.

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57 Responses to Really?

  1. It makes perfect sense to an imbecile like Brandis, the same man who believes it is entirely appropriate for elected members of parliament to receive monies from lobbyists to enact favourable legislation.

    Sack them all.

    Vote Conservative.

  2. Infidel Tiger 2.0 (Premium Content Subscribers Only)

    I intend to apply the Brandis code to Australian tax law.

  3. Mike of Marion

    Brandis is confirming beyond any doubt that he is an unprincipled man who will go to any lengths to achiev HIS twisted aims irrespective of the Constitution/Law.

  4. teddy bear

    I have a new proposal.

    All Australian citizens from non white backgrounds must have at least 1 constitutionally enshrined member of parliament to represent them (This increases by 1 for every 5% of the population the nationality makes up), this person must be a dual national citizen of the persons country of origin or stated ethnicity. Constitutionally enshrined members of parliament must make up no less than 50% of sitting MP’s and no greater than 90%.

    I can see at least one benefit from this proposal, most of the current MP’s would be booted out to make way. It’s not like we could do much worse.

  5. gbees

    It’s not a multicultural democracy. What the hell is that? Multiculturalism is the death of western democracies. We are a multiracial society, under one constitution and everyone subject to the same laws. There is no need to change the constitution.

  6. Brandis is confirming beyond any doubt that he is an unprincipled man who will go to any lengths to achieve HIS twisted aims irrespective of the Constitution/Law.

    All true but don’t forget that Brandis was educated by Gillian Trigg, and don’t forget that he is from Queensland, and don’t forget that those from Queensland are here to help.

  7. Malcolm

    God he is an idiot. All you have to do is renounce the other citizenship. No Australia citizen is excluded from being elected provided he or she (there are only 2 genders) renounces the other citizenship. If the Government brings forward a referendum to change s44 it will be rejected. MPs and senators expect us to obey tax law (where ignorance is not an excuse) but think they should be excused from some minor due diligence to check eligibility to stand for office. If candidates are incapable of making such simple checks, and if necessary renouncing the other citizenship, are they really capable of being an MP?

    If they really want to amend section 44, how about adding these words:

    “A person who is found by the Court of Disputed Returns to be ineligible for election to Parliament shall be permanently barred from seeking election to an Australian, State of Territory seat”.

  8. Malcolm

    A person who is found by the Court of Disputed Returns to be ineligible for election to Parliament shall be permanently barred from seeking election to an Australian, State or Territory seat”.

  9. Leo G

    Just ignore the constitution if it gets in the way. Let it be but a guide.

    No, don’t ignore the Constitution.
    But don’t forget that it was designed to be “but a guide”- and not itself to be law.

  10. sabena

    Anyone now doubt the wisdom of the drafters of the constitution to require amendments to only take place after a referendum?

  11. True Aussie

    You don’t want anyone in parliament who has a way to escape this country should their choices help turn this place shit.

    All you have to do is renounce the other citizenship.

    There are some citizenships or rights to citizenships that cannot be renounced.

  12. J.H.

    No George…. That would be the ABC. Now there’s something that, “isn’t suitable for a multicultural democracy”…. or indeed any sort of Free and Democratic society actually.

    The more I look at George Brandis, the more I see George Costanza.

  13. Malcolm

    True Aussie – the High Court has provided a clear means to renounce ANY foreign citizenship. So any Australian citizen CAN renounce foreign citizenship and seek election.

  14. zyconoclast

    Anyone now doubt the wisdom of the drafters of the constitution to require amendments to only take place after a referendum?

    They predicted that the venal, nefarious and perfidious types like Brandis would come along.

  15. zyconoclast

    There are some citizenships or rights to citizenships that cannot be renounced.

    Tough.

    That is the fault of the country that will not relinquish your citizenship, not the Australian Constitution.

  16. True Aussie

    True Aussie – the High Court has provided a clear means to renounce ANY foreign citizenship.

    I didn’t know the High Court had any jursidiction over foreign countries

    Tough

    It sure is. Tough titties for the foreigners who want to stand for parliament. The right of the Auatralian population be free from foreign agents in parliament outweighs any right for someone with unrenounceable foreign citizenship to stand for parliament.

  17. Malcolm

    True Aussie – no the High Court held that where a foreign power did not allow a citizen to renounce his or her citizenship, then the candidate needed to take reasonable steps to formally renounce the citizenship, even if the renunciation is not accepted by the other country. Therefore no Australian citizen is unable to stand for election.

  18. Jonesy

    I would still like to see the letter from the Ayatollah addressed to Sam Dastardly accepting his Iranian citizenship renouncement

  19. Bruce

    Old George has come a long way since his days as an ectomorphic “Young Liberal” law student and Rhodes Scholar.

  20. Malcolm

    The state of the law as outlined by the High Court is:

    Where a foreign country allows renunciation of that citizenship, the Australian dual citizen follows that process

    Where a foreign country does not allow renunciation of that citizenship, the Australian dual citizen makes reasonable steps to notify the other country (and any necessary Australian authority) that he or she renounces that citizenship.

  21. OneWorldGovernment

    True Aussie
    #2537675, posted on October 30, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    True Aussie – the High Court has provided a clear means to renounce ANY foreign citizenship.

    I didn’t know the High Court had any jursidiction over foreign countries

    Tough

    It sure is. Tough titties for the foreigners who want to stand for parliament. The right of the Auatralian population be free from foreign agents in parliament outweighs any right for someone with unrenounceable foreign citizenship to stand for parliament.

    And the same rules should apply to anyone on an electoral roll.

  22. It’s not a multicultural democracy. What the hell is that?

    I wondered the same. Is Brandis now trying to redefine the meaning of democracy?

  23. Dr Faustus

    The intent and purpose of S.44 is very easy to comprehend and its purpose is every bit as relevant today as it was in 1901:

    “We were asking the High Court to look at the section in view of its purpose and history. The High Court instead took the view that the section should be read with a very strict, almost brutal literalism,” Senator Brandis told Sky News on Sunday morning.

    Unfortunately brutal literalism says this fat little owl holds his job until 2022.

  24. As someone whose family has all sorts of heritage – as does everyone in Oz, I believe that a declaration of “Oz citizenship as overriding any other possible citizenship” should be sufficient – and would satisfy the requirements envisaged many years ago. After all, in those days people born in Oz were automatically British regardless. It was the Brits who cut down our Britishness – not us.

    However I’m interested in the lovely Tanya P. Which citizenship has she renounced? Slovenian or former Yugoslavian, or Croatian or Serbian or ??. If just Slovenian, is that enough? Her parents would have been citizens of former Yugoslavia.

    Just thinking.

  25. An extract from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection:

    Children born to a permanent resident of Australia
    Children born in Australia automatically acquire Australian citizenship if at least one parent is an Australian citizen or permanent resident at the time of the child’s birth.

    I cannot see any proviso that another state or country can extinguish or diminish this citizenship right by declaring a person born in Australia to be a citizen of that country – for whatever reason.
    The problem here is not s44. The problem here is that Australian Constitution, High Court, laws of Australia, whoever, cannot and failed to protect a person born in Australia from the other country (in this case socialist New Zealand) usurping the citizenship right from that person.
    What a joke this country is.
    Just imagine New Zealand do this to American, or German, or French or any other bonafide citizen of a country!

  26. Infidel Tiger 2.0 (Premium Content Subscribers Only)

    Section 44 is brilliantly crafted and reflects very accurately the views of the electorate.

    We will never ever tolerate duplicitous foreign filth sitting in our Parliament.

    We have enough of our own, thank you.

  27. amortiser

    For George Brandis’ information we are a constitutional democracy. Multiculturalism is not mentioned at all in our constitution. Race is mentioned in s51 and with a bit of luck it will be removed by referendum in the future.

    The Constitution is the law which covers what our elected representatives, the Crown and the judiciary can do. The politicians can only enact laws in areas that are provided for in the Cosstitution.

    It is a limiting document and people like Brandis regard it as not the law that controls and limits them but a mere administrative inconvenience.

    This citizenship decision is hopefully a sign of pushback by the High Court. It has ruled on what the constitution actually says rather than implying words and meanings that are not there.

  28. Oh come on

    Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. Who gives a shit? There are vastly more important things that need the public attention that’d otherwise be wasted on pushing through a referendum on s.44!

  29. Damienski

    That’d be George “Denis Denuto” Brandis. It’s the vibe.

  30. RobK

    Although I have no legal training, it appears to me Brandis is just making stuff up as he goes along.

  31. benaud

    A little off topic but JohnL you realise that New Zealand is a far more Capitalistic country than Australia. It generally is considered to have the third or fourth freest economy in the world. It has almost none of the trade protections and industrial policies that Australian governments have.

  32. GoWest

    The constitution (unsuccessfully tries to) stops a Large number of foreign nationals in our govt using high migration rates to bring in their mates mates.

  33. cui bono

    Labor doesn’t want the govt to pursue the ineligible 5 for their pay and entitlements. This suggests Labor has some ineligibles of its own. They would have agreed all this with Pyne over the weekend. That burrow is a bipartisan dead-end.

  34. H B Bear

    Brandis is lucky he is a minister in the election winning machine that is the Waffleworth Coalition Team (thanks Chrissy) otherwise he really would stand out as a hopeless, useless prick.

  35. Up The Workers!

    How is it that the most corrupt, untrustworthy and pathologically dishonest Party in the Nation, the Australian LIARS’ Party (i.e. Mediscare, gerbil worming, rising sea levels, SSM and so-called “Stolen Generations”) hasn’t yet “fessed up” to any dual citizens in its ‘rank and vile’ Parliamentary membership?

    It surely cannot be due to a superior standard of literacy amongst the knuckle-dragging, low-browed membership – given that despite a hundred years having passed, they are still demonstrably incapable of correctly spelling their own Party name.

    “LABOR”(sic) – They have no place for “U”!

  36. Stephen

    Have we ever had a bigger dill as AG?
    We have had some doozies i Evans, Murphy but this tool takes the cake.

  37. Up The Workers!

    Is the object depicted in the above photo:

    a). George Brandis;

    b). A character from South Park; or

    c). A vandalised bollard; or

    d). All of the above?

  38. DM OF WA

    That Brandeis is an idiot is forgivable; that he is an arrogant prig is insufferable.

    Nevertheless he raises a valid point. Eligibility of an overseas-born citizen to stand for election should not depend on the arbitrary and changeable laws of foreign powers. It should be sufficient for a citizen to denounce any allegiance to all foreign powers at their swearing in as member of parliament.

    In some cases it may be difficult bordering on impossible to renounce foreign citizenship under the laws of that fireign power. In some cases citizenship is entirely based on descent.

    And does anyone seriously think that any formal process of renunciation of foreign citizenship makes a person a more patriotic Australian? Ultimately citizenship is not a legal status but a condition of the heart.

  39. Baldrick

    Is the object depicted in the above photo:

    a). George Brandis;
    b). A character from South Park; or
    c). A vandalised bollard; or
    d). A Sontaran; or
    e). All of the above?

  40. rickw

    A wobbling sack of shit.

  41. A little off topic but JohnL you realise that New Zealand is a far more Capitalistic country than Australia. It generally is considered to have the third or fourth freest economy in the world. It has almost none of the trade protections and industrial policies that Australian governments have.

    It used to be. Just wait until new socialistic government kicks in!

  42. Roger

    And does anyone seriously think that any formal process of renunciation of foreign citizenship makes a person a more patriotic Australian?

    In many instances renouncing the benefits of a foreign citizenship is an indicator of commitment to Australia.

  43. Rabz

    However I’m interested in the lovely Tanya P. Which citizenship has she renounced? Slovenian or former Yugoslavian, or Croatian or Serbian or ??. If just Slovenian, is that enough? Her parents would have been citizens of former Yugoslavia.

    Thanks to labor’s awesomely awesome “vetting processes” I’d guess we ain’t going to be finding out any time soon.

    As for Blandis, quit your bleating, piggie. I don’t remember any of you foreigners, whores and quislings asking me if I wanted to live in a “multicultural democracy” – it was just foisted on us.

    So don’t be surprised there’s a lot of voters out there who couldn’t give a toss that this has come back to bite you on your big fat arse. Sucked in.

  44. Aussieute

    A more important issue here that it all begins … ALL aspiring politicians sign a legal agreement with our country clearly stating that they are NOT a citizen of another country.

    If they cannot get that simple act right how the hell can they claim to have any skills to be a parliamentarian?

    “I didn’t know” is no excuse. Make them all look into their family history and do some simple due diligence. Ignorance is NO excuse under any law.

    How they do that small thing is how they do everything. Stuff the rest of us.

  45. Pedro the Ignorant

    . . . multicultural democracy.

    Keep digging, Brandis, you tool.

    The doctors wives, Melbourne Apex gangbangers and the surly swarthy mobs in SW Sydney will love you forever, but the majority of the rest of the country think you are a snivelling sellout.

    Turnbull Coalition Team. Godalmighty.

  46. Mother Lode

    This is the corpulent turd (coprolent?) who lobs a grenade into the free speech debate, then stands back while the vital issue is besmirched by a he likes of Fauxfacts and the ABC.

    Now talks of how something explicitly set out in the constitution to ensure our politicians have unambiguous loyalty to Australia is in fact a mere technicality?

    Last night I had a nasty kebab and cheap beer, and I still dropped a shit more loyal to Australia than that ludicrous fuck – who still seems to be clinging to an anal sphincter as if adhesion to Turnbull’s ring was the hallmark of dignity.

    Fuck the fuckng fuck off you fucking befucked fucking fuck.

  47. Rob MW

    Dear George,

    It’s not very hard, even for a dildo seeking an invalid pension, to check one’s ancestry and to renounce any foreign citizenship that may arise from such a rudimentary and simple inquiry before nominating to become a candidate for election to the Commonwealth of Australia parliament. If the pronoun ‘dildo’ can do it, then so can any person with a very basic understanding of the fucking rules, you know like learning road rules before driving or Mal’s rules for the prevention of stupidity……opps…….too late.

    Regards,

    Rob MW

  48. cynical1

    Old George has come a long way since his days as an ectomorphic “Young Liberal” law student and Rhodes Scholar.

    Yes, and by the looks of it, most of the trip was spent at the trough.

    Him and Rudd could do a remake of a “Two fat ladies”.

  49. Dr Faustus

    Fuck the fuckng fuck off you fucking befucked fucking fuck.

    So, not wholly satisfied with the No.1 on the LNP Senate ticket?

  50. Alan Moran

    Brandis is right. Why should we interpose a condition that people go to some effort to ascertain their family background only to then say “I renounce all other allegiances”?

    Is it not better to have an automatic statement that people must sign on becoming a candidate along the lines of, “Should I have any allegiances other than to Australia I hereby renounce them”? Job done!

  51. Diogenes

    This whole saga is sill as clear as mud.

    If as has been reported, the HC has held that if a country allows renunciation you must follow that process, if not a simple declaration will do. If this is the case how the hell will any male entitled to Iranian or Greek (to name just 2 – the list on Wikipaedia gives 27 countries with compulsory military service) citizenship be allowed to stand for parliament without doing compulsory National Service (looking at you Sam & Nick) ? At what point do you need to renounce ? Will my grandson need to renounce Iranian citizenship, because my grandfather was Iranian , and Iranian citizenship doesn’t expire ?

    It is totally within the remit of the parliament to change the ELECTORAL law to allow the spirit of Section 44 to be upheld. As I have suggested – a simple declaration as part of the nomination process that you hereby renounce all foreign citizenship entitlements, surrender any foreign passports (which are forwarded with the declaration to the appropriate Embassy by the AEC) … together with a penalty that if elected, if you go back on your declaration, you have to repay all salaries, allowances and entitlements … should do it.

  52. Senile Old Guy

    Brandis is right. Why should we interpose a condition that people go to some effort to ascertain their family background only to then say “I renounce all other allegiances”?

    If the first part of your response is “Brandis is right” then you are doing it wrong.

    Why should we have a condition which requires people to actually check their eligibility to run for parliament before they run for parliament? Perhaps to demonstrate that they actually have some of the requisite abilities to govern the country?

  53. Dr Faustus

    Is it not better to have an automatic statement that people must sign on becoming a candidate along the lines of, “Should I have any allegiances other than to Australia I hereby renounce them”? Job done!

    Job done for lazy, or devious politicians.

    Renunciation of citizenship is a bi-lateral process. The state you are renouncing has an important interest – if no more than simply ticking you off its list of citizenry – and usually has to participate for a renunciation to be legally valid.

    The net effect of a unilateral statement is: ‘Trust me, if it turns out I have somehow forgotten my citizenship and allegiance to [insert potential conflict of interest here] and it is not legally cancelled by my Australian citizenship, I really, really won’t take advantage of it down the track‘.

  54. Diogenes

    SOG,
    It is easy for Poms & their ilk (the Welsh , Scots & Irish) . For everybody else, how many generations back do we need to go, at what expense ? Then shifts in borders and changes to laws complicate matters. And as I said the HC says you need to follow the process of country x to renounce. Country x says you need to military duty first – is it fair or reasonable to make me do military service in Iran as as nearly 60 yo, just so I can give the Ayatollahs the finger, and serve in the aussie parliament ?

    AFAIK my dad was Hungarian, it even says so on my birth certificate – baaaarp wrong ! Legally he was Romanian when born , and under Romanian law of 1947 by fleeing to Germany in 1944 and then becoming an Aussie in 1956 he was stripped of his Romanian citizenship. Then, bugger me, in 2002 a law change restored his citizenship, which gave me, at age 43 an entitlement that I never had before .

    Dr Faustus,
    to the part of of your post on’crossing citizens off the list’

    AFAIK Iran doesn’t even know I exist, yet they will claim because my grandfather was Iranian, so am I, and so is my grandson !

    Romania may be aware I exist due to political activities of one of dad’s uncles. Am I on their list of citizens to be struck off ? I highly doubt it.

  55. Dr Faustus

    Diogenes: As you say, Iran and Romania may have no idea you are a potential citizen – so, their loss.

    However, the point I was making is that citizenship rights create an interest for the state concerned and a unilateral declaration of renouncement by a wannabe pollie would not necessarily break any future claim by the renouncee on foreign citizenship, nor any claim on them by a foreign government.

  56. CameronH

    I would like to see this strengthened with only people who were born in Australia being able to have voting rights and a person not being able to stand for parliament unless both their parents were also born in Australia. Lets get real, most of the people who have connections to other countries will be on the first plane out if the s#$t hits the fan.

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