Citizenship is meaningless if it does not include the right to represent the community in parliament. Australia citizenship is arguably worthless since our constitution imposes restrictions on citizens who can contest elections.
But every policy must address a real problem. What is the evidence to date to back up this policy? How many Australian parliamentarians have been caught spying for communists? Indeed, such people are known to keep their intentions secret. A parliamentarian spying for North Korea is not going to take out N.Korean dual citizenship.
But there’s the other thing we seem to forget: that Australians are required to fight for our foreigner Queen. We can have a British Queen but an Australian who has British citizenship by decent is unfit to govern Australia?
And why is it that migrants like me become instantly fit to govern Australia but someone born and brought up here is not? When I came here as a permanent resident in December 2000, citizenship was on offer to me within two years. I decided to take it in 2005 after handing my Indian passport back to the Indian embassy. Therefore, within a few years of my landing up here, I became eligible to represent Australians.
But many of those who recently evicted from the parliament were born and brought up here. They paid taxes for the upkeep of Australia the whole of their life. They know all about this wonderful land and its people (I don’t even know the Australian national anthem). Many of these wonderful people have put a huge effort throughout their life to take this great country forward.
But they are not fit to represent Australians. I am.
Petty bureaucratic mania has overtaken Australia. When a law is divorced from its purpose it becomes whimsy. In Urdu we say of a person incapable of original thinking, a person with the mind of a petty clerk, that he is a lakir ka fakir, a worshipper of the written word.
Otherwise sensible people in Australia have lost their head. What else would explain a desire to audit everyone’s citizenship status? Why stop there? Were all previous parliaments kosher? We should audit all previous parliaments and annul all laws passed during the previous century that may have been contaminated by these enemies of Australia.
We elect our representatives to think on our behalf, not to worship the Constitution. The Constitution has been very badly drafted in this case. The law is a farce. Instead of fixing it, our representatives are wasting precious parliamentary time in political point making. Stop it, please.
Except where a citizen has been convicted of serious crimes, including of treason and spying for the North Koreans, he should be eligible to represent Australians. That’s the only approach consistent with the history of democratic development.