Constitutional Wars

This is Section 67 of the North Korean (DPRK) Consitution:

Citizens are guaranteed freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, demonstration and association.

The State shall guarantee conditions for the free activity of democratic political parties and social organizations.

This is Article 50 of the Soviet Union (USSR) Constitution:

In accordance with the interests of the people and in order to strengthen and develop the socialist system, citizens of the USSR are guaranteed freedom of speech, of the press, and of assembly, meetings, street processions and demonstrations. Exercise of these political freedoms is ensured by putting public buildings, streets and squares at the disposal of the working people and their organisations, by broad dissemination of information, and by the opportunity to use the press, television, and radio.

This is Article 53 of the Cuban Constitution:

Citizens have freedom of speech and of the press in keeping with the objectives of socialist society. Material conditions for the exercise of that right are provided by the fact that the press, radio, television, movies and other organs of the mass media are State or social property and can never be private property. This assures their use at the exclusive service of the working people and in the interest of society.

The law regulates the exercise of these freedoms.

This is Section 44(i) of the Australian Constitution:

Any person who is under any acknowledgment 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 a 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.

If Spartacus were to ask, what is the difference between these 4 constitutional extracts, one might have once replied that the first 3 examples (North Korea, USSR and Cuba) were more honoured in the breach than in the observance.  Can that number still be limited to just the first 3?

If it has not been noticed, there is a common ingredient among those parliamentarians who have been disqualified under Section 44.  They were either born in Australia or came to Australia as very young children.  They also presumably signed statements that they were eligible to stand.

This makes one wonder as to the quality if civics education in Australian schools.  Somewhere, between refugees and gender theory, there must be space for some civics in the school curriculum?  Or perhaps not.

Perhaps instead, our budding politicians sit the Department of Home Affair (DHA) Australian Citizenship test as part of their nomination process.  Here is a sample test from the DHA web site.  Bonus points for anyone standing getting questions 13 and 15 correct.

Let’s think bigger though.

Australia is one of a very small number of countries that has mandatory voting.  Why not extend the requirement to pass the Australian Citizenship test to those registering to vote.  If you can’t pass this test, then sorry, you should not be able to vote.

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24 Responses to Constitutional Wars

  1. NB

    Thank goodness. Another excuse for another law.
    ‘Australian Citizenship test’.
    Q1: Do you believe in social justice, equal pay for women, fairness, lollies for everyone?
    If yes, go to Q2.
    If no, get out.

  2. Mak Siccar

    Although I was sitting, I just got the bonus points for Q 13 & 15. Everyone else misses out!

  3. OneWorldGovernment

    Australia is one of a very small number of countries that has mandatory voting. Why not extend the requirement to pass the Australian Citizenship test to those registering to vote. If you can’t pass this test, then sorry, you should not be able to vote.

    Excellent idea.

    And make it the basis for receiving any individual or corporate welfare.

  4. Ƶĩppʯ (ȊꞪꞨV)

    Slot civics in between tuck and tape lessons and fundamentals of safe spaces.

  5. gbees

    What is the relevance of Q2 in the questions? Is the Aboriginal flag an officially recognized flag of Australia?

  6. Tim Neilson

    NB is right.

    A “test” for voting rights would end up being like the old “dictation test” for migrants.

    Good morning Mr Conservative. Before we register you to vote, you must answer correctly all of the following 100 questions; number one, to four decimal places what was the average U235 content of uranium ore mined at Kakadu in 1998? …

    Good morning [unspecified gender] Green. Before we can register you to vote, please tell us what day it is. Don’t know? Well how about telling us what that circular shining thing in the sky is….

  7. Billie

    This is a result of encouraging multiculturalism and not encouraging pride in nationhood. People get confused and assume you don’t need to be “Australian” to benefit from the largesse extended.

    I note the polical class wants the constitution changed to accomodate them

    In fact it would be better to ensure peyundersrand their obligations

    As long as there is no consequences to breaking laws, people will do as they please.

  8. Fred Furkenburger

    A better test is “Do you pay taxes?” It might have a bit of an effect on the voting bloc who will vote for whoever will give them the “lollies” without trying to support themselves first!

  9. Mak Siccar

    Why not extend the requirement to pass the Australian Citizenship test to those registering to vote. If you can’t pass this test, then sorry, you should not be able to vote.

    A very good idea that will never be implemented by the political non-class in this country.

    As to ‘mandatory voting’, I’ll get on my hobbyhorse yet again and state that we don’t have compulsory voting in Oz, you simply get a wrap over the knuckles if you don’t get your name crossed off the electoral roll. Once your name is crossed off, you can do whatever you like with the ballot paper before you insert it into the ballot box. On another point, if an IQ test for voting eligibility is out of the question, then at least introduce optional preferential voting. I don’t want any of my preferences, however distant, to go to the GanGreens.

  10. None

    I’m horrified at that test asks about the Aboriginal flag and even more horrified that the Aboriginal flag which is a money maker for its designer -he copyrighted it and takes a cut every time it’s used- and also a falsehood given there was never and thete still is no Aboriginal nation but two hundred warring tribes- has been given any form of official status.

  11. A better test is “Do you pay taxes?” It might have a bit of an effect on the voting bloc who will vote for whoever will give them the “lollies” without trying to support themselves first!

    It would be interesting indeed to see how things would go if only taxpayers were able to vote.

    I think our political parties would behave in quite a different way.

  12. Dr Fred Lenin

    It’s good to see the decromatic socialist fascist states have those guarantees of thei peoples freedom ,the unelected fascist governments don’t take a bit of notice of it , but it’s there in writing ,just don’t try and excercise that right or you are in deep trouble . Gulags are the lefts way of curbing opposition ,works every time .

  13. Marcus

    If it has not been noticed, there is a common ingredient among those parliamentarians who have been disqualified under Section 44. They were either born in Australia or came to Australia as very young children. They also presumably signed statements that they were eligible to stand.

    And, in every case, their foreign citizenship was thrust upon them without their knowledge or consent.

  14. 2dogs

    Department of Home Affair (DHA) Australian Citizenship test

    Needs to add the question: What side of the footpath do Australians walk on?

  15. DaveR

    Amazing! (Dr Harry Who)

  16. nemkat

    And, in every case, their foreign citizenship was thrust upon them without their knowledge or consent.
    That’s for sure.
    Let’s take Barnaby Joyce. How unfair is it that his parents never consulted with him before he was born.

    And then, when he was born, no one ever told him, for 50 years, that his Granpappy was Head of the New Zealand Defence Force during WW2, and therefore on of the most important men in N.Z. at the time.

    I wonder why he wasn’t told?
    Shame?

  17. pbw

    Mak Siccar,

    at least introduce optional preferential voting. I don’t want any of my preferences, however distant, to go to the GanGreens.

    Yes, please. However, the mechanics of voting are at the mercy of the Parliament. Optional preferential was introduced in Qld in 1992. Possibly Wayne Goss thought that there was advantage to be had in optional preferential voting; in any case, he introduced it. Hooray. In 2015 it was removed. Boo.

    Here’s a report from the Qld AG on optional preferential voting. It seems to be from 2010/11.

    In my case, I don’t want my vote going to either Labor or LNP (in Queensland.)

  18. Richard Bender

    What is the relevance of Q2 in the questions? Is the Aboriginal flag an officially recognized flag of Australia?

    Yes it is.

  19. Bruce of Newcastle

    This is Section 67 of the North Korean (DPRK) Consitution:

    Citizens are guaranteed freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, demonstration and association.

    Quite so. This is an excellent protection for every citizen of the DPRK, and should be lauded. We have nothing like it.

    Of course DPRK only has one actual citizen.

  20. Up The Workers!

    If you IQ tested all aspiring voters, you would immediately wipe out 95% of the Labor(sic)/Brown Movement vote at a stroke.

    No literacy (cannot even spell their own Party name correctly); no numeracy (they made Wayne Swan Federal Treasurer); no logic (they pay $1.5 Billion in taxpayers’ cash in order Not to build a freeway) and no honesty (they made Juliar and Bull Shitten their Federal Leaders).

  21. Pete D.

    Couldn’t agree more. I do think however that Spartacus is being a little kind with words. “Mandatory” voting? Now I admit that “mandatory” and “compulsory” can have virtually the same meaning with a leaning to the authoritative legislation for ‘mandatory’. However if one use the term “compulsory”, the average person finds “compulsory” more offensive or demanding than “mandatory” and would be more inclined to question the “mandatory/compulsory” legislation. Get rid of this mandatory voting legislation and at least none of our elected leaders can say “We have a mandate to govern”. The other benefit is that half the Bill brigade would not bother to get out of bed on Saturday to vote. Wouldn’t want to miss valuable pub time. The poor old socialists would probably get about the same % of votes as the Greens. Please God!!!

  22. Austin Allegro

    I once raised the suggestion that compulsory voting should be discarded with a member of then Minister Shorten’s staff, after a function at which the Minister had spoken (quite well, actually, though I didn’t believe he meant a word of it). The acolyte was appalled – “But the party would be smashed!”, was his comment. He had naturally assumed I was a party supporter, as probably everyone he ever met no doubt seemed to think the same way. He didn’t give a damn about effective democracy, who really owned the vote and the ethics or philosophy of the state penalising you for making your own decisions about your rights and so on. it was simply about retaining power.

  23. Cementafriend

    Once sgain optional voting is raised. Amaxing how prople forget Hitler eas elected by optional first past the post (around 30%) ising thugs to stop us go and pressure & group think to have his style. With optional voting the unions snd the leftist socialists would have more poeer than they do now. I have seen bus loads of unionist arrive for double voting. I used to have a fax number similar to Albos parliamentary office and reveived fax about transport and organisation for manning and rigging vital election places.

  24. LBLoveday

    “If you can’t pass this test, then sorry, you should not be able to vote”.

    A good idea – then those who, like me, refuse to take part in the undemocratic, corrupt Australian election system would not have to vote or be fined for not doing so, without going to the lengths I did to get myself off, and remain off, the electoral roll.

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