Citizenship crisis in Government

TOM O’BRIEN

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Crisis in the houses of photo: Pixabay

There will be no end to the citizenship saga in Federal Government until the High Court rules on section 44 of the constitution.

The citizenship status of seven MPs and senators are in question under section 44, including deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, Senator Nick Xenophon and One Nation deputy leader Malcolm Roberts.

Section 44 states that a member of Parliament can be disqualified if they have allegiances or are a subject or citizen of a foreign power.

Conservative Senator Cory Bernardi told reporters last week that Parliament should be prorogued until the High Court’s ruling.

Prorogue is the discontinuing of a session of parliament without dissolving it.

Griffith University lecturer Dr Paul Williams, believes there is nothing that can be done until after the High Court’s ruling.

“No one can do anything until the High Court interprets section 44 in today’s context,” Dr Williams said.

When asked about Mr Bernardi’s proposed suspension of parliament, Dr Williams said it would be an extreme action as the whole of Parliament is not affected.

“The Parliament won’t be suspended, at best you will see two more ministers step down,” Dr Williams said.

“Until the High Court rules on these, it’s at least I think appropriate for them to step down.”

As for more citizenship revelations surfacing, Dr Williams said that the flood has probably stopped, and will likely become a trickle.

Dr. Williams said the major parties could be open to a nuclear war type strategy, where if the LNP goes ballistic on Labor, Labor will do more dirt digging on the LNP.

This is part of the reason, Dr Williams said, for Bill Shorten offering an olive branch to the government to prevent further damage to either party.

Dr Williams said any changes to section 44 of the constitution would be a worst case scenario for the government, as this is a political issue not a constitutional one.

 

 

 

 

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