Audit the Parliament

s44 of the Constitution continues to give and give and give.  It seems that there will have to be some sort of audit of our elected Parliamentarians to determine if they are eligible to have been elected under the Constitution.

We are now being treated to all sorts of interesting arguments as to why this can’t or shouldn’t happen.

Step up Mathias Cormann:

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann told ABC’s 7.30 that the separation of powers meant the government, or executive arm, could not impose an audit on the parliament, or legislative arm, over a matter properly in the realm of the High Court, or judicial arm.

I’m going to call “Bullshit” on this. But first let me digress by commenting on the post title. Audit the Parliament sounds much more catchy than audit the MPs. The executive arm would not be imposing an audit of the Parliament – it would be auditing the process whereby people are elected to the Parliament. There is now sufficient doubt in the integrity of that process. The High Court has no investigative power and relies on the executive branch to undertake investigations. Ensuring that the people elected to Parliament are eligible under the Constitution to be in the Parliament is not an executive coup d’etat.  If the executive were to begin rounding up opposition MPs to increase its own majority, that would be problem. This isn’t. To the contrary the executive has found that its own members are in breach of the Constitution.

Step up Paul Kelly:

The truth is nobody has a clue how an audit would work, who would conduct it, the basis of its authority, whether it would be established by legislation or executive action and exactly what it would achieve.

Okay. Here is a working model of how it could work. There may be others – this is just a suggestion.

Candidates for public office get to sign a document (IIRC a stat dec) that states they are eligible for  election. That document is administered by the Australian Electoral Commission. I cannot think of a single reason why the AEC wouldn’t then conduct the audit. It does seem a bit strange that you would solicit information but never actually check up that people have told the truth when providing that information. If only other government agencies worked on that principle.

So I can imagine questions along these lines:

  1. Were you born in Australia? If no – provide evidence that you have renounced your foreign citizenship, or have made a reasonable effort to do so, or that your country of birth has stripped you of citizenship due to you becoming an Australian citizen. If yes go to question 2.
  2. Were both your parents and all your grandparents born in Australia? If not, are you automatically entitled to foreign citizenship? If yes, please provide evidence  that you have renounced your foreign citizenship, or have made a reasonable effort to do so.

Now it’s not hard. In answer to Paul Kelly’s questions:

The truth is nobody has a clue how an audit would work

See my modest suggestion above.

who would conduct it

The Australian Electoral Commission

the basis of its authority

No doubt the AEC has an Act that it administers and the Constitution

whether it would be established by legislation or executive action

Moot question given answer above

and exactly what it would achieve.

It would restore public confidence that MPs are actually compliant with the law of the land. A trivial concern to be sure, hardly worthy of time and effort, I understand, but perhaps our friends in Canberra could indulge us. You know, the little people who pay the taxes, that allows them to live the lives of idle luxury that they seem to enjoy so much.

Update: I have neglected the case where MPs may have voluntarily acquired foreign citizenship. But that too isn’t hard to find out.

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106 Responses to Audit the Parliament

  1. cynical1

    Tomorrow would be perfect.

    Nov 5th.

    Bonfire night.

    Did Guy Fawkes have offspring?

  2. entropy

    I think Paul Kelly is more worried about the outcome of an audit, hence all the little faux concerns.
    As for potential outcomes, I foresee anything from a swag of by elections to the dissolving of the current parliament and a general election, at which the liberal party will be decimated, and rock up to the next parliament in a tarago. That slime Pyne would probably be the driver though.

  3. Leon L

    Mark Steyn has got it right.
    All elected members and senators swear an oath of allegiance on taking office.
    This satisfies S44. Its judicial invention that they don’t.

  4. Clam Chowdah

    What about secret allegiances?

    That old crone from the Greens seems like a candidate, considering her penchant for jumping on Soviet ships in the 1970s.

    😉

  5. Brett

    An audit might restore some slight semblance of faith in the Parliament at a time when a cloud of illegitimacy hangs over the Government; and even someone as inept as Turnbull must know that. The only logical reason he is resisting is that he knows the game will be up if the audit is held. The man has comprehensively and probably irreversibly destroyed the Liberal Party in ways that Labor would not have dared to dream. Turnbull is the true Manchurian candidate.

  6. Mike of Marion

    Indeed, is Turnbull legit?

  7. Tel

    The truth is nobody has a clue how an audit would work, who would conduct it, the basis of its authority, whether it would be established by legislation or executive action and exactly what it would achieve.

    I agree, and it’s in those type of situations that we look to the Executive for leadership.

    Think if it had been Prime Minister Gillard and there was some question about exactly how much authority she had… would she have sat blubbering excuses?

  8. dauf

    Of course they are just worried (or know) that there are others. It seems they may have made a deliberate decisions to survive as a government by not ‘fessing up’ and just dealing with a series of by-elections.

    The best solution, is a new election clean the joint up. Ensure each person caught cheating has to pay back earnings under false pretences and it will never happen again. Why not abolish the senate wile we are at it, or at least go to a first past the post senate election system to make the place more workable.

    Hopefully that would see the end of our ‘mr useless’ PM and we could start again with some people a tad more interested in the country than themselves (sorry, must be dreaming)

  9. Delta

    The absurdity of this citizenship business is that the High Court has chosen to take a black letter law approach to section 44 of the Constitution.

    So .. Any person who –

    (i.) Is under any acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power, or is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or citizen of a foreign power:

    … shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a senator or a member of the House of Representatives.

    And the absurdity is that politicians could find themselves entitled to these rights after they have been in parliament.

    Two examples from my own experience:
    I was born in the UK and came here as a small child. I have UK citizenship and Australian citizenship, the latter for which I had to apply. My children, born here, are Australian citizens. They could get UK citizenship (as well) but they have to apply, otherwise they don’t get it but from all the press reports, if they enquired about their status they would be told by the UK that they are British. Give me a break! There is no record about them in the UK.

    But it gets sillier. UK citizenship laws have changed over the years most recently I suspect to align them with the (ever pervasive) EU. In past years, the the ability to get UK citizenship had all sorts of curious restrictions such as if the child was a daughter, she could get citizenship through her British born mum if she applied before she turned 18 (or it may have been 16) or through her British born dad at any time – but and here’s the big but, mum and dad had to be legally married at the time of her birth!

    The first example caught out a friend of one of my daughters would has a UK born mum but left it too late apply.

    And the second example caught out a niece where my older brother (also UK born) was not married to her mum at the time. The UK law (probably EU directive) was later changed (2009 I think) and she was able to get a UK passport. So the question here would be, prior to the change in UK law was she British, and if so what British rights and privileges did she have that would have made her fall foul of S44? But now she is British and would fall foul of S44!

    Stuff and nonsense. It’s a classic “the Law is an Ass” (as administered by the justice system). The only answer whilst the black letter interpretation of s44 remains is to clean out parliament – maybe a new election with time for all members to formally renounce any entitlement to foreign allegiance without having to wait for formal acknowledgement from some bureaucrat in a far off land. Surely a statutory declaration should suffice?

    Hmm. I wonder if there are there any countries that refuse to allow their citizens to renounce citizenship? Oh well if this matter cannot be tidied up, maybe it’s time to call on Kim Jong-un to grant irrevocable retrospective citizenship on all Australian politicians.

  10. Econocrat

    What about a Joint Select Parliamentary Committee, with the power to require evidence from MPs and engage external experts to advise on the citizenship laws of other countries?

    Such a committee could hear evidence in camera (avoiding the ‘witch hunt’ issue), and simply report back to the Parliament on which Senators or Members should be referred.

  11. The Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate run Parliament, the Peoples’ House.
    Therefor they should vet the status of all politicians who seek to enter.
    Simple if it wasn’t for the fact that the recently departed President found out he was British!

  12. stackja

    Audit MPs and their ‘friends’. Which ‘friends’ are dual citizens?

  13. I am Spartacus

    And while they are at it, can they (AEC) please audit the eligibility of any retired politician who was elected after Sykes v Clearey to ensure they were properly elected and if not, withdraw their pensions.

  14. Tel

    Hmm. I wonder if there are there any countries that refuse to allow their citizens to renounce citizenship? Oh well if this matter cannot be tidied up, maybe it’s time to call on Kim Jong-un to grant irrevocable retrospective citizenship on all Australian politicians.

    We have been over this though, the High Court set the bar that you have made reasonable efforts to comply with whatever renouncement procedure is in place.

    For example, Iran has a very difficult procedure which at a minimum involves two years military service (if you are male) but actually attempting to do two years service in the Revolutionary Guards would leave you open to prosecution when you get back to Australia, because our relations with Iran are somewhat poor right now. Seems that the High Court is willing to accept this is unreasonable.

    On the other hand, the UK has a dead simple procedure, you just get in contact with them, send a letter and pester them until they reply. It’s a bit slow, but others have done it.

  15. marcus classis

    Then there’s this mob called the Australian National Audit Office.

    They might know something about audits.

  16. A Lurker

    The ordinary citizen has to abide by the laws that the law-makers hand down to us otherwise there are consequences that range from fines to jail time.
    The law-makers in turn need to abide by the laws of the land.
    No ifs, buts, or maybes.

  17. Megan

    Think if it had been Prime Minister Gillard and there was some question about exactly how much authority she had… would she have sat blubbering excuses?

    AHAHAHAHAAHAH!

  18. Robber Baron

    Mike of Marion
    #2542482, posted on November 4, 2017 at 7:46 am
    Indeed, is Turnbull legit?

    Mike, if we were in the USA, you might be labeled a “Birther.”

  19. Econocrat

    marcus classis
    #2542517, posted on November 4, 2017 at 8:41 am
    Then there’s this mob called the Australian National Audit Office.

    They might know something about audits.

    Aaaah, the ANAO is actually pretty crap at putting the boot in. We’d probably get some waffle about how policies should be reviewed, and additional training should be provided.

  20. Up The Workers!

    If a bank makes a blunder and pays millions of dollars into the common-or-garden-variety savings account of one of their peasant victims (a.k.a.’customers’), the customer is deemed to be at fault and must immediately inform the bank and pay back every last cent or be subjected to aggressive lawfare and prison.

    How is it then, that when an elected Parliamentarian (of whatever Party) is so pathologically dumb that they allegedly are utterly clueless as to their own citizenship and nationality, it is apparently the fault of the electorate, and the dull-wattage pollie gets to keep all the mind-bogglingly massive unearned Parliamentary salary, lurks, perks, schemes, scams, allowances, junkets, rorts and out-of-pocket expenses they have illegitimately claimed – WITHOUT ever having to refund it all to the taxpayers it was pilfered from?

    Can the beneficiaries of bank gross stupidity and incompetence in future claim the well-established “Parliamentary precedent” and unilaterally just keep possession of all the millions mistakenly transferred into their accounts?

    If not, why not?

  21. nilk

    I have dual nationality (Aus/US) and I have been previously asked to stand for Parliament. It was written on the forms that you could not be of dual nationality, and since I rather like being a seppo by birth, I declined the invitation.

    It’s not rocket science, and for all these people in Fed gov bleating about how they didn’t know, how on earth would you not know? Given our multiculti credentials, 98% of the populace is happy to crow about what other countries they belong to, hence Italian-Australians, Chinese-Australians, German-Australians, Iraqi-Australians &c.

    I’m crying bulldust. Just audit them. Birth cert, and certificate of renunciation if required.

  22. Leo G

    We are now being treated to all sorts of interesting arguments as to why this can’t or shouldn’t happen.

    It would be a treat to hear the Solicitor General honestly explain the practical benefits of undisclosed foreign allegiances among parliamentary members. For instance, power brokers value tractable MPs- and an MP might be very tractable through the hands of a power broker who knows their secret.
    A pity s44 has nothing to say about acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience or adherence to a domestic power broker.

  23. RMD

    If all Australians were British Commonwealth citizens ergo British citizens until 1949 then I, who have no ancestors who came to Australia after 1850s, but was born 1940 would not qualify.

    A literal interpretation of the 1901 Constitution is illogical since now, all Australians who have not taken an oath of citizenship, could be deemed ineligible to become a parliamentarian. It is nonsense.

  24. peter cavanagh

    You gotta love the smokes and mirrors , you have all fallen for the focus on citizenship that will be sorted in any case when the bone lazy press gallery members get off their backside and do the research, both sides will suffer. Section 44 has the terrifying clauses as to insolvency and dealing with governments and these clauses will make citizenship a side show , lawyers that had even a residual interest in a law practice are likely to be found to be not qualified and an examination of the parliamentary pecuniary interests register shows many are close to the wind particularly as director and loan guarantees are not listed.

  25. Defender of the faith

    After the Parry episode we are entitled to assume that anyone now in breach and accepting taxpayer salary is in effect committing fraud. So the AEC ought to engage the AFP just as it has (rightly) in respect of the AWU and Getup. It’s already clear that while some cases were understandable (Waters as I understand it was made Canadian by a charge of its legislation), others (Roberts literally acted on his British citizenship) knowingly signed up as MPs by lying.

  26. H B Bear

    Waffles displaying all the political nous that made him a Potentially Great PM. With a satisfaction rating of negative 20% or something let’s just give the finger to the proles again eh?

  27. Motelier

    Sinclair, you proposed these two questions.

    So I can imagine questions along these lines:

    Were you born in Australia? If no – provide evidence that you have renounced your foreign citizenship, or have made a reasonable effort to do so, or that your country of birth has stripped you of citizenship due to you becoming an Australian citizen. If yes go to question 2.

    Were both your parents and all your grandparents born in Australia? If not, are you automatically entitled to foreign citizenship? If yes, please provide evidence that you have renounced your foreign citizenship, or have made a reasonable effort to do so.

    Interesting exercise to do.

    For me :-

    Yes – Brisbane very late 1950’s

    Mother – Yes, Toowoomba 1932
    Father – Yes, Toowoomba 1917

    Maternal Grandmother – yes, Toowoomba 1911
    Maternal Grandfather – Yes, Toowoomba 1909
    Paternal Grandmother – Yes, Toowoomba 1872
    Paternal Grandfather – No, London 1880, emigrated late 1890’s

    There are other issues at play however.
    When a politician receives payment for services from a foriegn power what happens then? Think the Persian dwarf

  28. Rabz

    Bring it on.

    If only to get rid of utter scum such as Pilbeserk, Doogie the Unintelligible, Wendy Pong and the Sino/Persian Dwarf.

    There’ll still be plenty of human garbage remaining, but hey, it’s a start.

  29. Mike of Marion

    Robber Baron
    #2542526, posted on November 4, 2017 at 8:49 am

    In Turdball’s case, I’ll accept that tag~~

    Maybe the bastard was shot on the wall and hatched by the sun.

  30. Me Bunny

    Wouldn’t the simple answer be that following the next election and others after that the elected member, as part of their oath, declare their citizenship of Australia and renounce any other citizenship whether known or unknown. Thereby placing it on public record. In fact,why don’t they all do it next week?

  31. candy

    Seems very sensible plan by Prof. D.

    And after all workers have to comply with their contract with employers to receive their salary, welfare recipients must comply with the contract with the Government to receive benefits.

    Parliamentarians should comply with the documents they signed. Why are they different? Surely an audit would give them a feeling of doing the right thing, above board and all that.

  32. manalive

    It’s up to electors, it should and probably will be a future election issue.
    The questions regarding foreign citizenship entitlement can and should be asked of all those standing for office prior to an election by the electors themselves. Those standing would be pressured to state ‘no foreign citizenship status’ in election material.
    I’m wondering if any members of our High Court hold foreign citizenship entitlements.

  33. Boambee John

    Aaaah, the ANAO is actually pretty crap at putting the boot in.

    I always had respect for the ANAO.

    Then I was involved in one of its audits. Expressions about “ar$e”, “two hands” and “in the dark” come to mind.

  34. OneWorldGovernment

    Now that we have proven the letter of the law how about locking up the mongrel sh*ts that abuse our society.

    OR

    Kill the f*ckers that are animals.

  35. john malpas

    What about the rest of us.
    are all those citizen ceremonies meaningless?

  36. OneWorldGovernment

    manalive
    #2542577, posted on November 4, 2017 at 9:52 am

    It’s up to electors, it should and probably will be a future election issue.
    The questions regarding foreign citizenship entitlement can and should be asked of all those standing for office prior to an election by the electors themselves. Those standing would be pressured to state ‘no foreign citizenship status’ in election material.
    I’m wondering if any members of our High Court hold foreign citizenship entitlements.

    I’m all for eliminating dual citizenship from electoral roles.

  37. DD

    This mess, now owned by “little Malcolm the spy catcher’s friend”, raises the question of the competency and honesty of every Member and Senator. The competency to follow the instructions and complete a form and a Declaration honestly. Any Member or Senator that fails this simple test is less use in our Parliament than a nodding dog on the back parcel shelf of a Leyland P76.
    A false declaration is no small matter: consider the retired judge from NSW and his false declaration that a friend (later found to be dead at the time) had been driving his car when it incurred a $77 speeding fine. This led to 2 years in prison.

    Too many Members and Senators have been found wanting and their actions have besmirched the good names of all those who now sit in Parliament. These men and women should not need to be audited regarding s 44. They must all volunteer the necessary documentary proof to the Clerk of their House. How can the citizens of Australian treat any of them with any seriousness whatsoever if they continue to wriggle, squirm and prevaricate from what they all know is the right thing to do.
    Channel Hilary Clinton on the ABC it works for her- “This has been to a court and the matter is settled, time to move on, nothing to see here.” Really? Pull the other one, it whistles!
    Are they infants to be held in class until all the guilty confess?

    Get on with it!
    PS Read the House of Reps nomination form at this link:

  38. manalive

    Maybe the reason many of these jokers are in parliament is because they were hopeless lawyers.

  39. Senile Old Guy

    Mark Steyn has got it right. All elected members and senators swear an oath of allegiance on taking office. This satisfies S44. Its judicial invention that they don’t.

    BS. The High Court interpreted the Constitution as it was written and intended to be interpreted. Anyone can swear an oath, while telling lies. Criminals do it all the time.

    The absurdity of this citizenship business is that the High Court has chosen to take a black letter law approach to section 44 of the Constitution.

    And that is what should be done with the Constitution. Don’t like it? Change it. Don’t break the law.

    The ordinary citizen has to abide by the laws that the law-makers hand down to us otherwise there are consequences that range from fines to jail time. The law-makers in turn need to abide by the laws of the land.

    Exactly. If I break the law, I can be fined massive amounts of money or be imprisoned. Why should the people who make those laws get a free pass?

    And, to shaft me a bit further, I get taxed large sums of money, while being paid less than them, for the privilege.

  40. Malcolm

    Well if the fraud rate for social security or taxation was anywhere near what we have in politics than there would be a comprehensive audit. The fact is that these false politicians have defrauded the people by tens of millions of dollars. Seven people have been kicked out of 226 MPs and Senators. That over 3% a fraud rate unheard of in taxation or social security.
    And what is the penalty? If someone defrauds the social security system of $5000 they are hounded to repay it. But a fraudulent senator gets forgiven his or her debt.

  41. struth

    I have dual nationality (Aus/US) and I have been previously asked to stand for Parliament. It was written on the forms that you could not be of dual nationality, and since I rather like being a seppo by birth, I declined the invitation.

    Good call.
    A very precious thing to give away.

    If I had U.S. citizenship, I wouldn’t be here now.

    So it actually is on the paperwork, as plain as day when they apply?

    Then stupid is not an excuse.
    It is fraudulent to stand for election when you know you are or even maybe a dual citizen.

    But remember, these are the facts.
    It is not just a dual citizen that is a problem, but just being “in allegiance” etc.

    Our constitution as we all know, can not be changed without a referendum.
    The people were never asked by referendum to allow the Australia act.
    It is therefore unconstitutional.
    We are a British commonwealth country according to our constitution, and even if the British disagreed it wouldn’t matter.
    If you come from anywhere in the British commonwealth, you are not regarded as coming from a foreign power, according to our constitution.

    This is all the consequence of elitism, and bypassing the people in that the elites wanted to give themselves more power, and, even if there were good reason for it, went about getting it the wrong way.
    In My view there was no good reason for it.

    Now we have the mess we have today.

    The elite’s corruption in the Australia act, means now dual British commonwealth citizens are treated the same as dual Iranian, or chinese, or North Korean citizens.
    That they are is totally unconstitutional.

    Yet I am well aware that what I am saying means diddly squat.
    It is still the truth.

    Other truths…..

    Section 42 already states that members make an oath of allegiance before taking office , and they do.
    Section34 (ii) explicitly states that a citizen from any commonwealth country (and they only have had to be only “naturalized” in that country for 5 years, is eligible to hold office.

    There is good and bad as to what is happening here.

    The good is that the more people here that there is a constitution the better, as it was purposefully taken from being studied in schools under Whitlam.

    The bad part is, this will be the time on our slide into socialism that we will plainly see a defiance by our elite to adhere to it, being plainly obvious.
    They unlawfully changed the conditions of the contract between the people and the parliament (the constitution) and now don’t want to play by the rules they created.

    The audit must happen.
    Yet I am fairly sure we must all realise by now, that the result will be corrupted and tie the courts up for ages.

    There is no excuse for sitting in Parliament as a dual citizen, as Nilk proves to us.

    They should be charged, and monies repaid, and as the constitution states, pay anyone willing to sue, a hundred pounds (sect 46) for everyday they sat.

    This is no laughing matter and should be upheld .
    It isn’t whether you agree or disagree with the law.
    You may consider it stupid.

    That is not the point here.

    They must abide by it, and the second they don’t, and we let them get away with it, well, kiss your arse goodbye.

  42. RobK

    While an audit seems to be the go, why not a drug test as well. That would improve the confidence of many. Companies don’t want drugs in their drivers; Pollies on the public dime are driving the country.

  43. Roger

    The time for an audit has passed.

    We have parliamentarians knowingly sitting when they are disqualified.

    Call in the AFP.

    This is probably the end of Maladroit’s government, btw.

  44. struth

    When a politician receives payment for services from a foriegn power what happens then? Think the Persian dwarf

    He is to be removed from office and can be sued 100 pounds per day he sat, by ANYONE.

    A foreign power.
    Not a foreigner.

    This is why the wording was so important and constitutions were drawn up by statesmen with a few brains, back in the day.

    He cannot receive payment for duties from a foreign government, which is a power, or any organisation that has a flag, a military force etc……………..you know, like the U.N.

    Our politicians committed a crime against our ultimate law, the constitution, by taking our taxes and donating them to Clinton, because she was a member of a foreign power at the time.
    Not just an ordinary citizen.

    It’s like hitting your head up against a brick wall, because we have the means to take these pieces of shit down, but it’s like no one wants to really believe how corrupt our pollies are.

  45. Crossie

    Finance Minister Mathias Cormann told ABC’s 7.30 that the separation of powers meant the government, or executive arm, could not impose an audit on the parliament, or legislative arm, over a matter properly in the realm of the High Court, or judicial arm.

    I’m going to call “Bullshit” on this.

    So do I.

    A statement such as Cormann’s shows why he is not worthy to sit in parliament let alone be member of the government, such wilful ignorance is disqualifying.

    Australian Electoral Cimmission regulations could take care of it, no mess, no fuss. Regulations of all sorts are inflicted on the little people of this country, that is the voters and taxpayers, with the only veiled reaction from MPs to cop it sweet.

    So here’s my advice to the Canberra mob – suck it up, princesses.

  46. struth

    Sweet cheeses, my hear and here are going the same way as their and there.

    I do apologise.

  47. max

    If an MP affirms he/she is not a foreign citizen how can that be confirmed, unless the person affirming also does the confirming ? It’s confidential information.

  48. Malcolm

    If an MP affirms he/she is not a foreign citizen how can that be confirmed, unless the person affirming also does the confirming ? It’s confidential information.

    If a person claims to not owe any tax, how can that be confirmed, unless the person affirming also does the confirming? It’s confidential information. Yes – that’s why they have tax audits!

  49. There is no episode of Yes Minister or Yes Prime Minister that covers this crapola or similar.
    I think our pollies are so stupid, so incompetent that they are frozen about what to do.
    It is the public service that makes the decisions in Canberra, but they haven’t come across this problem (and there are no episodes of YM or YPM to guide them) so they aren’t forthcoming with a solution. “Your call Prime Minister” is their response I suspect, hence the freeze.

    I think, if someone with video editing and dubbing skills produced a Yes Minister parody where the question of dual citizenship was addressed and then posted it on-line, Canberra would take notice.

  50. A Lurker

    While an audit seems to be the go, why not a drug test as well. That would improve the confidence of many. Companies don’t want drugs in their drivers; Pollies on the public dime are driving the country.

    IQ testing would be useful, also EQ testing for disorders like narcissism, sociopathy and psychopathy.
    Also rule out any those who have allegiance to malignant ideologies – like Islam and Communism/Marxism.

    After that there wouldn’t be anyone left in Parliament – or perhaps just a scarce handful. Certainly enough to run the joint – and think of the savings!

  51. nilk

    BS. The High Court interpreted the Constitution as it was written and intended to be interpreted. Anyone can swear an oath, while telling lies. Criminals Politicians do it all the time

    FIFY

  52. TC

    How can you have allegiance to a foreign power that you have never sought allegiance to ? I was born in Australia, and until sometime in the 2000’s believed I could not have duel citizenship , the fact that I never sought citizenship of my fathers Country when I was informed that I could , should be enough to show that I never felt any allegiance to that country. My allegiance doesn’t change because of a change in Australian law or a foreign government law.

  53. Infidel Tiger

    Section 44 is plain and clear.

    Any attempt to repeal it would lose by at least 80% in a referendum.

    The Australian people will never ever tolerate duplicitous foreign filth.

    Furthermore, I would propose that dual citizenship be made illegal.

  54. JC

    Meanwhile IT, that Scottish dickhead, Doug Cameron and the Asian bloke from SA are sitting pretty in the senate because their party is lying.

  55. old bloke

    who would conduct it

    The Australian Electoral Commission

    Precisely, and do it now. The Governor General should have a quiet word with the Prime Minister, prorogue Parliament and conduct a full audit, or I’ll do it for you.

    I’m puzzled though as to why Shorten also doesn’t want a full audit, knowing that any members he loses will be replaced by other ALP candidates, and any coalition members who go may not be replaced by other coalition candidates. Here is his opportunity to win government, take a few coalition seats via by-elections, why therefore doesn’t he act?

  56. Infidel Tiger

    Meanwhile IT, that Scottish dickhead, Doug Cameron and the Asian bloke from SA are sitting pretty in the senate because their party is lying.

    Prove it and they’re out. There are no exceptions.

    It’s as clear as crystal.

  57. Motelier

    The best part is that according to the HC ignorance isn’t an excuse.

  58. Stimpson J. Cat

    Furthermore, I would propose that dual citizenship be made illegal.

    I second this motion.
    It’s time to choose.

  59. JC

    Prove it and they’re out. There are no exceptions.

    It’s as clear as crystal.

    The Liberal Party appears to be running an internal audit and cleaning up the mess. Meanwhile the Lairs Party reckons they’ve had a proper procedure to screen out those with dual citizenship.

    I wouldn’t believe those lying fucks for a minute.

  60. candy

    Here is his opportunity to win government, take a few coalition seats via by-elections, why therefore doesn’t he act?

    Because he said first up all his people were legit and vetting was stringent. If it turns out not to be true, a bit of a disaster for him.

  61. stackja

    ‘Credibility’ of the ALP who gave us the Loans Affair and the Carbon Tax.

  62. John Constantine

    Is packing the Australian political class into a disused mineshaft auditing them, or aditing them?.

    Because I strongly support one of these propositions.

    (and pack their bags of Chinese bribe money in with them)

  63. Motelier

    We have to keep the pressure up on all pollies.

    If not it wii be swept under the carpet, nothing to see here, we’re all good here, only to be used by a political party to create instability in the future when needed.

    As I posted upthread, my paternal grandfather was born overseas, the rest in Aust. AFAIK that excludes me from having any foriegn allegiance but it is so easy to check.

    I have zero sympathy for any pollies caught up in this mess. The checks are simple.

  64. Snoopy

    Subcontract the audit to the Mormons. Horses for courses.

  65. old bloke

    Because he said first up all his people were legit and vetting was stringent.

    I don’t believe him, and vetting isn’t stringent. The AEC simply has to verify that the candidates were born in Australia, and their parents and grandparents. If the candidate is a dual citizen, or qualifies for dual citizenship, they can’t stand for election.

    Shorten has waved papers in Parliament showing that he has renounced his British citizenship, but has he renounced his Irish citizenship which he acquired by default through his maternal grandfather?

    This may be why he’s echoing Turnbull’s “nothing to see here” attitude instead of going for the jugular and, quite possibly, gaining government.

  66. struth

    This is just the thing Aussies can sink their teeth into.
    Whatever you say about Aussies, they hate ALL politicians.

    Applying the constitution to cause havoc to these elite criminals would give Aussies a reason to take action.

    The left will be looking at the right and vice versa in the world of the political hacks, and the pollies have dived into their bunkers jamming up the phone lines.

    What’s not to love?

    The ordinary politically lethargic still hate this pile of human excrement enough to get a bit tuned in to kicking them if they perceive they can.

    Go forth Aussies…………………………

    They can take ourrr money but they can-ny take ourrrr frrreedom!

    Chaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrge!

  67. stackja

    USA has had divided loyalties but the USA Constitution rules them.

  68. iampeter

    That document is administered by the Australian Electoral Commission.

    Yea this is where the real issue is IMO. Professionals who work on defense projects often undergo very serious security checks in order to get clearance to do so. These checks are so serious that in one instance I know of a family that was pretty much destroyed because of the information it uncovered, so its not a joke.

    Yet at the same time we are supposed to believe that our government apparatus wasn’t clear on the citizenship of our Deputy Prime Minister?

    The Deputy PM’s incompetence aside, this doesn’t speak very well to whatever process is in place verifying the information these people are providing.

    Not only is an audit imperative but how can government continue to be sitting as we have absolutely zero mechanism to verify even the most basic facts about these idiots?

    To think these imbeciles are the ones that should be determining immigration laws in our country. Good god!

  69. Oh come on

    live the lives of idle luxury that they seem to enjoy so much.

    This seems an unfair criticism. Most politicians work very hard once in office to feather their nests, forward their personal and party agendas at the expense of the taxpayer etc.

  70. Roger

    It’s confidential information.

    Nonsense; citizenship is by definition a public matter, just like marriage.

  71. serene tiger

    I am just wondering … is this law applies only to federal politicians or ALL politicians? e.g State politicians…? We have a State election coming up with Palachook as incumbent …

  72. Tel

    If a person claims to not owe any tax, how can that be confirmed, unless the person affirming also does the confirming? It’s confidential information. Yes – that’s why they have tax audits!

    That was Irwin Schiff’s argument… a person has the right to privacy and cannot be forced to testify against themselves.

    Problem with that argument is Irwin Schiff died in a federal prison. Apparently government guns do beat legal logic. Irwin Schiff put that to the test so you don’t have to.

  73. Roger

    I am just wondering … is this law applies only to federal politicians or ALL politicians? e.g State politicians…? We have a State election coming up with Palachook as incumbent …

    The QLD parliament is governed by the Consitituton of Queensland; a person is eligible to be elected if they are an adult Australian citizen living in QLD.

  74. EvilElvis

    Oops! An audit is required and it falls under the AECs banner. What do you mean I have to put down my pink crayon that I use for drawing up GetUp friendly electoral boundaries?…

    Dump the pollies, dump 80 percent of the public service and get on with your lives. All this is heading for is a new beaurocracy to vet candidates at our expense. The very expensive, incompetence train will roll on…

  75. Diogenes

    Sinclair, you proposed two questions to determine eligibility & asked who should carry out the audit?

    As this can get very complicated – It could be administered by the AEC, but the investigation is crowd sourced, with questions flagged by the public being resolved by the AEC with the Embassy of the Country in question.

    Original doco to the AEC who extract and publicly make available
    date of nomination –
    Where born eg town/ village, province, country &
    DOBs of parents, grandparents and great grandparents if known – names are not required.

    eg for Senator Diogenes :
    dob Aug 1959
    current nominated 31/12/2017
    previous nominations (if required)
    Born Australia – if born OS – “renounced mm/yy” – or “no entitlement citizenship law 2016″

    M : Hamburg, Germany , March 1933 – No entitlement (and reason eg 1994 citizenship law)
    F : Komandó, Háromszék, Hungary*, Nov 1930 – Renounced Hungarian Embassy letter dd/mm/yy
    MGF : Isfahan Persia …. – renounced Iranian embassy letter …
    MGM : Hamburg, Germany … (see mother)
    PGF : Budapest , Hungary 1899 … (see father)
    PGM : Riga , Lithuania/Russia 1905 … no entitlement Russia -law 1947 , Lithuania no entitlement

    Then somebody like Mark A , who I believe is familiar with Hungarian history& geography looks at it & and goes ” ‘ello ‘ello ‘ello , Háromszék is actually in Romania”, and does a quick search – Trianon 1920 given to Romania, 1940 Vienna 2 handed back ,Armistice – Vienna 2 cancelled. So on the face it at the time of Pater Diogenes birth he was legally Romanian not Hungarian as he claimed’. He completes the enquiry form and the AEC contacts the Romanian Embassy with the dates and places (still no names) and ask for an opinion. Is Pater Diogenes actually Romanian, if so , would his son also be Romanian ? Should the question be resolved in the negative a notation is put on the page , that the embassy has confirmed that Pater Diogenes & therefore Sen Diogenes have no entitlement to Romanian citizenship

    Or perhaps some else, goes, hang about, the Russkis changed the law 5 years ago, looks at the wiki page to see if Sen Diogenes’ PGM fits the circumstance and if so contacts the AEC.

    *this is what my birth certificate & dad’s death certificate, and his immigration & UNHCR paperwork all say

  76. NB

    This is getting silly. Does the legislation governing what the AEC can do require or permit it to check the statements on the stat decs? If not, then there is no argument here. If so, then I suppose it would have been doing that, and we’d have heard something of the failure to detect dual citizenship.

    If you want the AEC to check things it is not authorised to check, maybe you should include whether people believe in ‘science’, and throw them out of parliament if they are not AGW believers. Surely saving the world is more important that silly old compliance with the constitution.

    If the legislation administered by the AEC does not require or permit it to check whether the answers on the stat decs are correct, one might speculate as to why. Could it be that those who wrote the legislation, and those who have had the power to change it since it was enabled, think that members of parliament are not babies? Maybe the legislation contemplates the idea that members of parliament are able to determine their own citizenship status. Maybe the state decided that people, including, god forbid, parliamentarians, could exercise some personal responsibility and suffer the consequences if they failed to exercise that responsibility adequately. Of course, if you’d like the bureaucracy to grow ever larger, and further remove responsibility from people, than I guess the AEC could check the answers to the stat decs, and every government department could check every statement made in every stat dec. Because, after all, stat decs made by individuals (remember that word?) are really just statements made by or on behalf of the collective, or something.

  77. Oh come on

    Struth: as was pointed out here earlier, I believe the Whitlam government amended the stipulation in the constitution that stated anyone anywhere could sue using pretty much any means an MP deemed ineligible to stand for office 100 pounds for each day they sat in parliament illegally. And yes the parliament can do this without a referendum as the clause specifically states that that 100 pound/day penalty stands until parliament makes other arrangements. Which the parliament has done. IIRC, the new fine is $200 if found to be ineligible plus $200/day for every day the MP sits in parliament *after* the action has been taken. I believe there are also restrictions on who can take such action, where it must be filed and who receives the award.

    So, as you can see, the new penalty is much less punitive and more restrictive than the constitutional arrangements. We won’t be having any citizen-citzenship sleuths bankrupting ineligible MPs. Of course, parliament could simply revoke the Whitlam law regarding s.44 and the original constitutional arrangement would apply again. However, chances of that happening are down there with pigs flying, goldfish walking etc.

    Additionally, as contemptible as I find our ruling class, I do not think it ought to be constitutionally possible for an MP to be deemed ineligible and bankrupted as a result of an action brought by some camel jockey from a sharia court in Somalia.

  78. Diogenes

    He completes the enquiry form and the AEC contacts the Romanian Embassy with the dates and places (still no names) and ask for an opinion

    Forgot to add …
    the AEC places a notation , that it is making enquiries with the Romanian Embassy so as to forestall 3000 enquiries of the same nature .

  79. serene tiger

    “The QLD parliament is governed by the Consitituton of Queensland;”

    Thanks Roger 🙂

  80. Dr Faustus

    Finance Minister Mathias Cormann told ABC’s 7.30 that the separation of powers meant the government, or executive arm, could not impose an audit on the parliament, or legislative arm, over a matter properly in the realm of the High Court, or judicial arm.

    Anyone running this argument (or the complex, ‘extensive genealogy’ shtick) is a scoundrel dissembling to protect the guiltily disqualified.

    An audit can be carried out by anyone with access to the public records and suitable expert resources to opine on foreign citizenship. It could be the AEC, the Clerk – or a private individual (as was the case with the two Greens).

    The results (if any) would then be used to present a case to the High Court to decide on the constitutional issue and (if necessary) disqualification.

    No ‘imposition’ is required. If the parliamentarians don’t want to participate they don’t have to – within the limits of contempt of the High Court.

  81. Oh come on

    I am just wondering … is this law applies only to federal politicians or ALL politicians? e.g State politicians…? We have a State election coming up with Palachook as incumbent …

    This is something that annoyed me about the reporting of the situation when Larissa Waters and Scott Ludlam resigned. It was widely claimed that state politicians did not have the citizenship requirements that federal politicians do, as if this was decided at a national level. No. The states have their own constitutions. These may have more or less strict citizenship requirements or no citizenship requirements at all.

    Honestly, people have completely forgotten that Australia is a federation. Fair enough I suppose – the states have been largely irrelevant for decades. Guess which flag flies on the central and highest flag pole atop the very seat of state power in WA, the WA parliament building? The Australian flag! Not the WA flag. Anyway, that’s another matter.

  82. Oh come on

    He completes the enquiry form and the AEC contacts the Romanian Embassy with the dates and places (still no names) and ask for an opinion. Is Pater Diogenes actually Romanian, if so , would his son also be Romanian ? Should the question be resolved in the negative a notation is put on the page , that the embassy has confirmed that Pater Diogenes & therefore Sen Diogenes have no entitlement to Romanian citizenship

    Very few embassies would bother complying with such requests, nor are they under any obligation to do so. I suppose they could charge a whopping fee for providing such a service, which wouldn’t be worth the paper it’d be printed on, anyway.

  83. Tel

    Very few embassies would bother complying with such requests …

    Easy, just put in an application for citizenship. If you get rejected or get nothing back then you have proof that no such option exists. If you get back an offer of citizenship then you promptly renounce it.

  84. A Lurker

    Given that all my parents and grandparents are true-blue Aussie born and bred I should run for Parliament.
    I certainly would have Australia’s best interests at heart, which would make me more qualified than the majority of those who sit in that building.
    On the other hand – you end up becoming a politician.
    So I’ll think I’ll pass.

  85. Dr Faustus

    Meanwhile IT, that Scottish dickhead, Doug Cameron and the Asian bloke from SA are sitting pretty in the senate because their party is lying.

    I would be near certain that Ying-Yen Wong will turn out to be Australian only. The Malaysian constitution does not allow dual citizenship, and the Malaysian Government is pretty active on revoking citizenship (particularly of people of Chinese origin).

    When this issue first broke she was flirting that she wouldn’t disclose her renunciation details – clearly hoping for the big gotcha when the Government-side amped the pressure up sufficiently so she could fling her paperwork down in a self-righteous fury and play the raaacist card…

  86. Crossie

    . “Your call Prime Minister” is their response I suspect, hence the freeze.

    Isn’t it sweet how they defer to Malcolm and are so terrified of offending him but felt comfortable stabbing Tony in the back?

  87. Dr Fred Lenin

    It is easy to check citizenship ,the AEC would have the right and the power to check eligibility ,they are doing little at the moment so it would cost nothing as they are already on the public payroll . Those found to be illegL should pay back every cent they received from the job ,and be forbidden the right to stand for office ever again . Future candidates who deliberately give false information on citizenship should be jailed for a minimum of twenty years without parole ensure the law is obeyed .
    The question of legality of laws passed by this illegal parliament arises. Perhaps they should all be declared null and void ,and peopke affected by them compensated from the parliamentary pension fund , and fur[true pethe sums being deducted from existing and future parliamentary pensions . As soon as this question arose they were all aware of the ramifications and are therefore complicit in the illegality and should pay the penalty . The alps refusal to check their mob should incur a double penalty for the crime , wonder if giliard was legal ?

  88. Oh come on

    Easy, just put in an application for citizenship. If you get rejected or get nothing back then you have proof that no such option exists

    Not necessarily easy at all. You need any number of supporting documents to do this, or else they simply refuse to accept the application. That’s not a rejection that proves anything other than you didn’t file the application properly.

  89. Mullumhillbilly

    As Rocketman for Life of the UN-recognised republic of Outbackistan, I hereby extend automatic citizenship to every person elected to any government position in Australia since 1980. Anyone not wishing to avail themselves of this privilege may renounce by the very reasonable process of presenting themselves at the capital city of this country, after travelling at their own expense, while wearing red underpants on their head. I extend an especially warm welcome to that fat fuck who pretends to be a lawyer and looks like a Babuschka doll.

  90. Turtle of WA

    Here’s a hypothetical.

    Say someone got a group together to pay some tinpot country to declare every member of parliament in the Greens and Labor, and all Lib Mods, citizens of their nation. What is stopping this?

  91. dauf

    one would assume any pension ‘entitlements’ are goooone

  92. Tintarella di Luna

    Sinc the nomination form is not a stat dec. Furthermore there is no information to candidates that the AEC provides that clearly explains the implications of S.44 of the Constitution including the fact that even if you are born in Australia, have never ever sought to become a dual citizen of the country of birth of your parents you are still liable to come under the law of a foreign power — I think William Deane was right in his dissenting judgment in the matter of Kardamitsis and Delacretaz:

    He argued that both men had done all they could to relinquish their dual citizenships and warned it would be “quite wrong” to interpret the Australian Constitution according to the various citizenship rules of foreign countries. See this article in the Oz in August this year

  93. Andrew M.

    Sinc, you’ve got to be kidding. This is confected outrage that leads to no substantial improvement even if you get exactly what you ask for.
    The bottom line is, foreigners have been in charge of our defense spending, trade regulations, and banking sector for at least 30 years. Just as a start, if you’re not going to advocate disentangling Australia from the Monroe Doctrine, the TPP FIRB restriction, and the G20 FSB, you’re not serious about reducing the influence of foreign powers on our democracy.

    Enforcing current law is fine but don’t pretend this dual citizen witch hunt is in any way important or urgent. It’s a side show.

  94. Delta

    Tinta #2542949,

    I think William Deane was right in his dissenting judgment in the matter of Kardamitsis and Delacretaz:

    Yes I agree too. It’s the only sensible way to address the issue. It should be decided by whether the politician has taken reasonable steps to relinquish any foreign citizenship and to hell with whatever other countries say or do. And politicians swear an oath of allegiance, don’t they or does that mean nothing?

    It’s patently absurd to use the citizenship rules of foreign countries and apply them to s44 of the Australian Constitution. Foreign citizenship rules change and that was the point that I made above about UK citizenship rules which have changed significantly within the last 15 years or so. It’s interesting that Sinc’s question includes whether a person’s grandparents were born overseas because I think at one time a person may have been able to obtain UK nationality through a grandparent! But why should their regulations matter?

  95. Snoopy

    Any ‘solution’ which doesn’t result in Doogie, Wendy Pong, Brendon O’Connor, Burka and the rest of those scum being outed as lying liars is totally unacceptable.

  96. egg_

    Anything that gives Doogie a lead parachute is worth it.

  97. You’ve got this completely wrong Sinc.

    Read this: http://insidestory.org.au/another-reason-why-i-wont-stand-for-parliament/

    And since we are talking about abiding by the Constitution, Cormann is correct – the Executive cannot impose an audit on the Legislature. Nor can the Judiciary.

  98. Leo G

    Finance Minister Mathias Cormann told ABC’s 7.30 that the separation of powers meant the government, or executive arm, could not impose an audit on the parliament, or legislative arm …

    Is that why Ministers (ie the executive arm) allowed to sit in Parliament as legislators? Should it be the job of the High Court to evict them if the doctrine of responsible government is unconstitutional in Australia?

  99. Bigpeteoz

    Any attempt to change the culture, the rules by which public servants evade responsibility, will be futile.
    The AEC is not interested in doing any actual responsibility towards compliance with Section 44, like a true public sector “enterprise”, it it full of time servers and bludgers, who wish to sit there and say “computer says no”.
    Go to their website to read the tripe they go on with.
    Some words they write are as follows “Demonstrate a culture of quality, professionalism and agility to support electoral integrity.”
    They only wish to see that people vote correctly, and if they don’t, then attempt to fine them.
    The AEC does not wish to do any thing regarding political or constitutional compliance.
    A bunch of swamp dwellers.

  100. Up The Workers!

    “Audit the Parliament”?

    Donald Trump expressed much the same sentiment when he promised t0: “Drain the Swamp”.

    The same intent could also be expressed by saying:

    “Empty the Parliamentary Colostomy Bag!” (And then flush twice – just to be sure, to be sure!)

  101. J.H.

    It would seem laws and compliance only apply to the Taxslaves….. The political elite are exempt from them because only little people need laws to keep them in order. The political class have now evolved beyond the founding cornerstone of Western civilization. They no longer need to be equal before the law or indeed the eyes of God. For they are the State and the State IS God.

    …. and there we have it, in full living colour. The fall of every principle of Western Civilization….. It took next to no time at all to happen and if you weren’t looking, you would have missed it.

    Kinda sad really.

  102. MattH

    If not the ANAO then surely ASIO would know already?

  103. Sinclair Davidson

    Cormann is correct – the Executive cannot impose an audit on the Legislature. Nor can the Judiciary.

    David – I don’t think so. As I said this would be an audit of whether a stat dec was correctly and appropriately signed. If your argument is that MPs can make false declarations with no adverse consequence they you should say so. Take that to an election. Are MPs immune from police investigations too?

    So no. I’m still calling Bullshit and I think you and your friends in Canberra to to think just as creatively about resolving this problem as you do about increasing the tax and regulatory burden on the nation.

  104. S44 stops traitors and other undesirables from entering Parliament, and S46 gives people of Australia the teeth to enforce it, “until the Parliament otherwise provides”. The current debacle shows Parliament did not “provide otherwise” at all. It simply tried to remove our teeth. Is there any question annulment of S46 was unconstitutional? If S46 is in force, and everyone is entitled to sue those disqualified under S44 for over $17,000 per day in office, just watch due diligence then, and “before elections”, not after being caught. An audit would be unnecessary.
    A referendum is certainly needed. If High Court had tested S44(i) fully, those “entitled” to foreign citizenship includes those born British and therefore entitled to register for British citizenship even if it was renounced. That’s more privilege than I have. Born Australian but alienated by law Parliament had no power to make; an Executive that used racial discrimination to actuate; and a Judiciary that found its own fantasy for evidence to rule on.

  105. Peter the Scottish-English-Irish-Manx Aussie

    What about the state Parliaments in Australia? What citizenship laws govern the admission under oath of elected parliamentarians?

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