Saturday salon 15/7

1. Electric shock

The big story in Australian politics this week was the shocking state of the political debate on electricity. Giles Parkinson says, when you thought it couldn’t get any dumber, it did.

‘People will die due to renewables’, said Turnbull government MP Craig Kelly.

Commentators who don’t understand the grid should butt out of the battery debate, said Ketan Joshi, a communications consultant for the renewable energy industry.

At a meeting on Friday COAG Energy Council, adopted 49 of the 50 recommendations of the Finkel Review. Remember Alan Finkel was reporting to COAG, not to the Turnbull government. Only the Clean Energy Target (CET) remains unapproved.

There is a tendency to say that the CET is the most important recommendation, but arguably it is the least. At whatever level it’s set, no-one in their right mind will build new coal.

Alan Pears at The Conversation says The National Electricity Market has served its purpose – it’s time to move on. He says the action is now local and decentralised, the states should take the game back. However, he does see a role for the central market operator.

Seems to me the states are taking the game back, as their voters will hold them accountable, but the new configuration of the central operator is such that I think it could operate perfectly well with any number of diverse agencies, especially states that are signed up to its role. In Audrey Zibelman, the new AEMO CEO, we have a key executive who in a former role worked with a company supplying electricity to 13 states in the USA. Then in New York she supervised a transition to a decentralised grid. She must be OK because Alan Jones says she’s a lefty, and a warmist who should be “run out of town”.

Minister Frydenberg has been spending his time bad-mouthing the states, suggesting he is the fixer. He may be less relevant than he thinks.

He’s been blaming the states and renewables for blackouts and rising prices. The New Daily report today links to The Australia Institute study that fingers policy uncertainty and rising gas prices as the main drivers of electricity prices.

Meanwhile what is likely to save us from frying next summer is not coal, gas or renewables, but demand response, according to aforesaid Ms Zibelman.

2. Green gone

Spare a thought for Scott Ludlam, who unbeknown to him was still a Kiwi, and as such ineligible to be elected to parliament in Australia. He left NZ when he was three, arrived here when he was nine or 10, thought it was sorted when he was granted citizenship in his mid-teens.

There is a mystery now as to who was checking up on him. Apparently not a pollie or a journo.

He was well-respected, I think, and will be missed.

Meanwhile the Greens have worked out a modus operandi that allows Lee Rhiannon back into the party room.

3. Getting real about protecting workers

There is an argument that work on the modern world is too fluid for unions to have an impact in protecting the rights of workers.

In the Amazon thread John D linked to an article about calls for national labour hire regulation in view of what Rosie Ayliffe found when she came to investigate what happened to her daughter Mia Ayliffe-Chung who was attacked and killed in a backpacker hostel in Queensland in 2016.

This week the ABC’s Australian Story program ran Ayliffe’s story in Long way from home, part 1, to be followed next Monday by Part 2.

Earlier this year UTS professor Jock Collins The Conversation looked at the situation of the temporary workforce provided by international students. In 2016, Australia took in a record 554,179 full-fee paying international students. In addition there were about 250,000 temporary migrants on working holiday maker visas.

The Australian Story program was a gut wrencher, making it difficult to be proud to be an Australian. Governments are meant to protect the vulnerable.

4. Trump never fails to disappoint

Trump reckons it is perfectly normal to get your daughter to stand in for you at a G20 meeting when you’ve got better things to do.

Seems it’s perfectly normal too for his son to meet a Russian Lawyer to get dirt on your opposing presidential candidate. It’s OK, apparently, because he didn’t get any dirt.

Meanwhile Trump Jr. hired a lawyer to protect him from himself.

I’m sure President Trump was glad to get away to France, sending images back of him being close and persoanl with president Emmanuel Macron. Then we get this via Kate Halfpenny at The New Daily:

He tells French First Lady Brigitte Macron, “You are in such great shape. Beautiful.”

As Halfpenny says:

    You could almost see the speech bubble above his head: “For your age.”

It was creepy and ham-fisted but this about sums it up:

    This was Trump, as awkward as ever when unscripted, trying to be polite and getting it horribly wrong.

    In his mind—and he might not have had a nap before meeting the Macrons—he was probably just being nice to the pretty lady. No offence intended.

The Macron’s coped, and so must we all until he really goes away. Maybe a sinkhole will take a hand, as they are no respecter of persons.

Trump did hint he may change his tune on the Paris agreement, presumably because you can do more harm from within. Would you believe, the US is on the group supervising the UN Green Fund, where they can promote the use of coal in developing countries. There’s more at The Times.

5. Turnbull too

Turnbull has been carrying on too, telling everyone what a wonderful job he’s been doing, and upsetting his conservatives by claiming to be in the true liberal spirit of Menzies.

So far it’s not helping in the polls. In Newspoll he was stuck on 47-53 behind Labor, while Essential has the gap opening to 46-54. And his personal ratings, once stratospheric, are sinking towards Bill Shorten’s on Newspoll and have gone past him on Essential, where he’s now -12 to Shorten’s -8.

Today Turnbull is telling the faithful at the Qld LNP state conference that those who think coal has no place in our energy future are “delusional”.

Unfortunately almost no-one in politics is saying that. Meanwhile tomorrow the Qld LNP consider whether we should dump the Paris Agreement, and whether ABC funding should be withheld until it corrects its bias problem.

Be careful what you wish for, is my advice.

75 thoughts on “Saturday salon 15/7”

  1. On item 4.
    The Donald is well-known as a world expert on female beauty, so engaged as he was with the Miss Solar System Contest, Inc; where he was proprietor, financier, spruiker, compere, judge, and very much hands-on.

    Those Martians never stood a chance !!!!

    Great, great, fabulous, best ever, great.

  2. Hey Ludlam, Section 46 of The Constitution ,

    Until the Parliament otherwise provides, any person declared by this Constitution to be incapable of sitting as a senator or as a member of the House of Representatives shall, for every day on which he so sits, be liable to pay the sum of one hundred pounds to any person who sues for it in any court of competent jurisdiction.

    Hmm, who’s up for a class action ?
    9 years is about 3285 days.
    So 328,500 pounds each !

    The Law is the Law after all.

  3. it was a unit of weight, zoot. You’d be too young to recall. There were pounds, ounces, hundredweight, good old imperial tons, etc. plus a host of tiny ones my teacher didn’t force us to learn.

    Mr J is using the term in a Shakespearean sense: “a pound of flesh”.

    Well, I think he is…….

  4. Mr J is using the term in a Shakespearean sense: “a pound of flesh”.

    It was a Constitutional term, Section 46, it’s a good read try it.

    Now Larissa Waters is Goorrrnn!

    Others that should be frantically seeking Legal advice;-

    ” In the House of Representatives:

    Tony Abbott, Liberal Party (born in London, England)

    Bob Baldwin, Liberal Party (born in Gloucester, England)

    Darren Cheeseman, Labor Party (born in Christchurch, New Zealand)

    Paul Fletcher, Liberal Party (born in Devizes, Wiltshire, England)

    Joanna Gash, Liberal Party (born in Groningen, Netherlands)

    Julia Gillard, Labor Party (born in Barry, Wales)

    Gary Gray, Labor Party (born in Rotherham, Yorkshire, England)

    Dennis Jensen, Liberal Party (born in Johannesburg, South Africa)

    Sussan Ley, Liberal Party (born in Kano, Nigeria)

    Brendan O’Connor, Labor Party (born in London, England)

    Bernie Ripoll, Labor Party (born in Pézenas, France)

    Laura Smyth, Labor Party (born in Belfast, Northern Ireland)

    Alex Somlyay, Liberal Party (born in Budapest, Hungary)

    Craig Thomson, Labor Party (born in Wellington, New Zealand)

    Maria Vamvakinou, Labor Party (born in Lefkada, Greece)

    Tony Zappia, Labor Party (born in Platì, Reggio Calabria, Calabria, Italy)

    In the Senate:

    Eric Abetz, Liberal Party (born in Stuttgart, West Germany)

    Judith Adams, Liberal Party (born in Picton, New Zealand)

    Doug Cameron, Labor Party (born in Bellshill, Scotland)

    Stephen Conroy, Labor Party (born in Ely, Cambridgeshire, England)

    Mathias Cormann, Liberal Party (born in Eupen, Belgium)

    Chris Evans, Labor Party (born in Cuckfield, England)

    Alex Gallacher, Labor Party (born in New Cumnock, Scotland)

    Scott Ludlam, Greens Party (born in Palmerston North, New Zealand)

    Nigel Scullion, Country Liberal Party (born in London, England)

    Nick Sherry, Labor Party (born in Kingston-on-Thames, England)

    Ursula Stephens, Labor Party (born in Wicklow, Republic of Ireland)

    Larissa Waters, Greens Party (born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada)

    Penny Ying-yen Wong, Labor Party (born in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia) ”

    I believe an Act was passed changing ‘ 100 Pounds ” to $ 200 per day. I think just before the change to decimal in 1966.

  5. That Ms Gillard from Wales hasn’t been in the House for several years, Mr J.

    On that datum alone, the list you tender to the Court of Public Opinion appears to be flawed.

    PS: you may be able to recall Ms Gillard, she used to be in the newspapers a fair bit, for a while.

    PPS. Sorry to hear B. Cassidy of “Insiders” yesterday on radio, casting doubt on Acts passed in the Senate by one or two votes with the Greens ex-Senators voting for them. Point already covered here on the premier blog, several days ago. Do try to keep up, Mr Cassidy!!

    Mr A
    Immediate Past President,
    Pedants Anon
    Eastern Victorian Sub-Branch

  6. Terri Butler, Labor member for Griffith, and a lawyer, said on local radio this morning that you have to sign a declaration which covers the dual nationality thing. She said as a lawyer you shouldn’t be signing stuff that’s false.

    She wasn’t unsympathetic, but reckons the responsibility is finally on the individual.

    Seems Labor checks this kind of thing, because it is far from new. No doubt the Greens will do the same in future.

  7. Dual citizenship.

    This is getting a bit silly. Now it’s reported that Greens Leader Richard is scrambling to find documents to show he renounced his Italian citizenship.

    If a chap has the right to Itie citizenship, but has never exercised that right by taking up a Dago passport, surely that is enough??

    What about a child who arrives here, gets an Aussie passport at 18, never takes up the foreign citizenship rights conferred by place of birth, then the birth country softens up its own law, unbeknownst to the former child, now adult, and confers rights to be a citizen, which didn’t exist at the time they turned 18?

    Sounds like a person can become ineligible to sit in Parlt, at the stroke of a foreign lawmakers’ pen.

    Abrogation of our sovereignty.
    Next, Putin will grant Russian citizenship to selected MPs.
    No hacking needed.
    Just silly.
    Nobody laugh: he isn’t funny.

  8. Ambi, they were talking about it on the radio one night and some really silly examples came up.

    I recall reading about Prussian history where at one stage being a resident gave you the right to vote, if you were male, of course.

    If we wanted to make it more sensible unfortunately we’d have to change the constitution, and you know how hard that is!

  9. This Australian born Senator found out that she had been given UK citizenship as a birthright

    However the circumstances that faced Labor senator Lisa Singh, who was born in Tasmania in 1972, suggests it could also affect MPs born in Australia.

    “I was lucky the Labor Party did the work because, despite being born in Australia, I was shocked to find out that I was also a British citizen, through my father,” Singh told BuzzFeed News.

    “Because he had arrived in Australia from Fiji as a British subject – Fiji still being a British colony in those days – his British citizenship that he still held when I was born was conferred on me through birthright.

    “So I had dual citizenship that I never knew about.”

    The Larrisa case was similar except that she was given Canadian citizenship one week before Canadian law was changed to one where people who were born in Canada of non-Canadian parents had to renounce this citizenship instead of having apply for citizenship. (Her parents were both Australian in Canada for a short term study/work stay.)
    I know that I have the right to enter the UK on the grounds of my grandmother being a UK citizen. Some other countries are more generous with their citizenships.

  10. Good points, gentlemen.

    In our family, one person has ‘right of abode’ in England due to birthplace. Can hold passport, but very expensive. Can have right of abode – which includes the right to work there without a separate work permit or visa – but again quite a high fee. This right also passes to their children, both born here in Australia.

    Another family member was born in XYZ, family left XYZ when child was approx 1.5; at the time of this teenager turned 18 the law in XYZ said the kid had to apply for citizenship, otherwise the right would be lost forever. Didn’t apply.

    Some 25 years later, that Aussie citizen was to travel to XYZ for a work visit, then onward to ABC. Applied for a visitor visa to XYZ. Phone call from their rep in Australia: “Looking at your application, notice you were born in XYZ. But you didn’t take up citizenship?”

    Aussie adult, “That’s right.”

    Rep., “The law has changed in XYZ now. You are eligible for citizenship, even though you didn’t take it up at the age of 18.”

    Aussie, “I’m happy not to take it up, thanks.”

    Rep., “We see your itinerary brings you through XYZ on the way back to Australia from ABC. ”

    Aussie adult, “Yes, but only in transit. Only at the airport for a couple of hours.”

    Rep., “If your outward flight back to Australia is delayed and you are forced to stay overnight in a hotel, you would be an illegal immigrant because you hadn’t taken up the XYZ citizenship you had now become eligible to hold. A criminal.”

    Aussie, “What do you suggest?”

    Rep., “Take up the extra citizenship.”

    Strange, strange, strange. They didn’t throw in a set of steak knives!!

  11. Ambi: Dual citizenship can have a lot of advantages. An English friend says holding UK citizenship means his kids have better access to UK if they want it. My son has become a dual citizen because it helps with his work in the country where he lives while retaining his right to return to Aus. Some countries restrict the right of non-citizens to own land and so on.
    The ning nongs who wrote section 44 were either xenophobic or had this touching idea that renouncing the citizenship of your birth somehow made you a reliable supporter of Aus.
    Switching to Australia only citizenship doesn’t change your attitude to your country of birth or remove the pressures that can still apply. (Think, for example, threats to harm family living in your country of origin.)
    I would suggest that it is safer for the federal government to follow the states lead and allow dual citizens to hold a seat in the Aus parliament.

  12. Agreed, John.
    On both points.

    But I must apologise for making such a fuss abou this….

    After all, scarcely anyone now living in Australia was born overseas. Nor were their parents.


  13. I have a feeling if Abbott and Cormann got booted instead of Ludlum and Waters there’d be much more support for section 44 here.
    Is that feeling justified ?

  14. If someone from South Sudan wanted to ditch their Sudanese citizenship you wonder where they would apply given the recent split from North Sudan and the chaos in South Sudan. The same would apply for people from a lot of countries.
    Of course the ning nongs who gave us section 44 would have assumed that the white Australia policy would have lasted forever and would have preferred to restrict membership of parliament to pure bred Anglo Saxons of British origins.

  15. No.

    I’m yet to become convinced about that.
    Are you saying you’d support Abbott keeping his job under the same circumstances ?

  16. Of course the ning nongs who gave us section 44 would have assumed that the white Australia policy would have lasted forever and would have preferred to restrict membership of parliament to pure bred Anglo Saxons of British origins.

    John, my mob on my father’s side came from Silesia, which was then a province of Prussia. Actually that was my great grandfather, whereas my great grandmother came from Posen, which was also a Prussian province, and she was a rare specimen in being a Polish Lutheran.

    My point is, however, that German migrants were actively sought by the people setting up the colony of South Australia, because they were honest, upright and industrious.

    It is said that my dad didn’t learn English until until 1910, when he was 12. I think that was when SA brought in a law that all primary school instruction was to be in English. From memory.

    During the time of Bismarck, many Germans came to Queensland because they didn’t like his militarism and for other reasons. I’m not aware of any great issues of prejudice they encountered until World War 1. Apart from that, white people from northern Europe seemed to be accepted fairly well. Not so much the influx of Mediterranean people at first. “Reffo” was a derogatory term.

    There was a significant number of Chinese from the gold rush years onwards and I don’t think they were well-accepted.

    There is no doubt, however, that the ning nongs were racist and saw us as little Brits. And legally we were. This article says:

    Following federation, Britain’s role in the government of Australia became increasingly nominal in the 20th century. However, there was little momentum for Australia to obtain legislative independence. The Australian States did not participate in the conferences leading up to the Statute of Westminster 1931, which provided that no British Act should be deemed to extend to the dominions without the consent of the dominion. The Australian Government did not invoke the provisions of the statute until 1942. The High Court of Australia also followed the decisions of the Privy Council during the first half of the twentieth century.

    Complete legislative independence was finally established by the Australia Act 1986, passed by the United Kingdom Parliament. It removed the possibility of legislation being enacted at the consent and request of a dominion, and applied to the States as well as the Commonwealth. It also provided for the complete abolition of appeals to the Privy Council from any Australian court. The Australia Act represented an important symbolic break with Britain, emphasised by Queen Elizabeth II’s visit to Australia to sign the legislation, but only as a witness, and not as Assenting Monarch.

    We only abolished the right of appeal from the High Court to the Privy Council in 1975, and from State courts in 1986.

    I seem to remember Joh Bjelke invoking the Queen of Queensland against the evil of Gough, but can’t remember the details.

  17. Jumpy, Abbott should go, and should have gone, as Gillard said she would and did. But not because of a citizenship technicality. Rather because he’s more than a pest. He’s a vengeful loser wanting to destroy his successor.

    However, I’d rejoice if he got the flick, whatever the reason, although keeping him there is Shorten’s best chance of becoming PM.

    I have a sneaking admiration for Cormann. He put the last Hockey budget together when Hockey was off fighting a defamation case against Fairfax every week in 2015. He does Brandis’s job as leader of the senate in negotiating with the cross bench because Brandis is useless.

    He’s effectively holding the show together.

    So I wouldn’t rejoice at all if he got the flick on a technicality, although it would probably hasten the LNP’s decline.

  18. Jumpy, Abbott should go, and should have gone, as Gillard said she would and did.

    Not seeing Abbott taking Gillard as a role model given he has more in common with Rudd thought Shorten is where he is by shafting both Gillard and Rudd.

    Politicians don’t fall good or bad, they fall bad or worse.

  19. Politicians don’t fall good or bad, they fall bad or worse.

    And the ones in the ALP are always the worst of the worst.

    Yeah, we know; we’ve heard it often enough.

  20. And the ones in the ALP are always the worst of the worst.

    Oh most certainly not in my opinion, Bowen and Fitzgibbon are streets ahead of fake name rhiannon and whale watcher SHY.
    Id rank Malware Turncoat as an ALP wet.

  21. Savva has forever been of the Turnbuckle fan club.
    She’s wetter than him or Krudd.

  22. zoot at 1.09 pm

    I second your “No”. The archaic and impractical provision should not be used against any Member or Senator.

    Someone on radio said a few days back that all that would be needed to see the back of it, would be an amendment to the Electoral Act. No referendum required.

  23. Under white the Australian policy potential immigrants were excluded on the basis of race and skin colour. One of the tools to exclude people of the wrong colour without actually measuring colour was the infamous dictation test used to keep people of the wrong colour out of Australia.

    The Immigration Restriction Act of 1901, or the ‘White Australia Policy’ as it became known, stated that immigrants had to write and sign, in the presence of an Immigration Officer, a passage of 50 words in a European language as directed by the officer. The Dictation Test was usually first given in English. If the prospective immigrant passed, but was considered to be racially or politically unsuitable, the officer could then give the test in another European language.

    The Dictation Test was given 805 times in 1902-1903 with 46 people passing, and 554 times in 1904-1909 with only six people passing. After 1909, no person passed the Dictation Test.

    The most infamous case involving the Dictation Test was that of Egon Kisch in 1934.

    The Prague-born Jewish socialist had a valid visa for Australia, where he had come to address the Movement Against War and Fascism. However, the conservative Lyons Government was concerned that Kisch was a communist and attempted to stop him from disembarking in Fremantle. Kisch proceeded on to Melbourne, and when he was arrested, jumped from the liner onto Station Pier and broke his leg.
    Kisch was arrested again and sent to Sydney. When he disembarked, the authorities gave him the Dictation Test in Gaelic, as he spoke English and a number of other European languages fluently.
    His case was taken to the High Court and Kisch won. The Attorney-General, Robert Menzies, was humiliated in the High Court and parliament, and Kisch went on to address huge crowds throughout Australia.

  24. Mr J at 2.17pm

    I’m not as sure of that as you. Put yourself in 1898, 1899. Federation is being planned. Any threats on the horizon?

    Well, the Japanese military, the Russian Navy; and still strong feeling against the Chinese who flocked to the Victorian, NSW goldfields. Lots stayed on.

    (Many Chinese in 1850s had had to walk across to Ballarat, Bendigo from Robe port in South Australia. No welcome mat at Melbourne port, as I hear the story.)

    Industrious Europeans welcome, as Brian said.

    Ever heard of the Yellow Peril scare???


  25. Mr J

    If “Yellow Peril” rings no bells, try “White Australia Policy”.

  26. Thanks for that detail John D.

    My comment at 6.40pm was made before I saw your post on the WAP.

    I suppose some folk could claim the Dictation Test was designed merely to ensure literacy amongst our newcomers, and that the small number of tests administered was because it was applied entirely randomly. They would be talking through their hats!

    Apologies: I can’t render the above in Gaelic.

    Kisch worked for the Comintern, I believe, but I do still like the title of his memoir, Australian Landfall


  27. And yes, Politicians generally fuck everything up.

    Oh yes! Who can forget what a total dropkick FDR was. Why, if he hadn’t got in the way with his bungling, the invisible hand of the market would have brought the US out of depression much sooner.
    And closer to home how about that loser Curtin. Thank goodness he wasn’t PM during a crisis, he was totally incompetent.
    Mind you, that Donald Trump, a non-politician if ever I’ve seen one, is showing us all how it should be done.

  28. Ambigulous, Google translate doesn’t do Gaelic, but in Esperanto your paragraph reads:

    Supozeble iuj homoj povus pretendi la Diktita Testa estis desegnita simple por certigi alfabetigo inter niaj novuloj, kaj ke la malgranda nombro de testoj administris estis ĉar ĝi estis aplikita tute hazarde. Ili estus parolanta tra sia ĉapeloj!


  29. I’m tired of diversions and distractions for today, g’night everyone.
    I’ll sleep well, no need to wish that for me.

  30. zoot, ta.

    Ironic that Esperanto was to be the hope of a less divided world, but now English is a lingua franca.

    Who knows what will displace it? Googlanto??

  31. Ambi: The link said they first gave the dictation in English and, for people they didn’t want they gave it in another language if they passed and kept this up until they found a language where they failed.
    Our new citizenship English test also seems to be about excluding people who would make good citizens.

  32. Of course the founding fathers were racist. It was the default position of just about everyone back then. Phrenology persisted well into the 20th century.

    Check out Wikipedia on White Australia policy. It began in the 1850s with the Chinese, but began in earnest with the Immigration Restriction Act of 1901, as John said.

    Modern DNA tells us that there is more genetic diversity in a congress of chimpanzees than there is in humans across the planet. Or so I’ve heard.

  33. Someone on radio said a few days back that all that would be needed to see the back of it, would be an amendment to the Electoral Act. No referendum required.

    Ambi, I heard that too.

  34. Given that the last 4 Senators to fall foul of Section 44 were Ludlum, Waters, Day and Culleton i’m not seeing racism there.

  35. Time warp, Mr J.

    The record shows that various posters here have been discussing the reasons behind the original writing of one section of the Constitution.

    It was written more than a century ago.
    It has been applied dispassionately in recent years.
    It has not been an instrument of racist culling of Senators.
    No one here claimed it had been, as far as I can see.

    That section was not written under an LNP govt.
    And the various posters did not come down in the last shower.

    Enjoy your Sunday!

  36. Of course the ning nongs who gave us section 44 would have assumed that the white Australia policy would have lasted forever and would have preferred to restrict membership of parliament to pure bred Anglo Saxons of British origins.

    Enjoy your Sunday too.

  37. Jumpy, John was perfectly right in sentiment, except that Australia as a political entity didn’t exist prior to federation, so there could be no white Australia policy in any formal sense.

    The Wikipedia article, however, shows that ‘white Australia policy’ had been around in spades and federal parliament wasted no time in formalising it.

    You could start another technical argument as to what degree people from the British Isles were Anglo-Saxon as distinct from Celts, Picts, Vikings, Normans etc, but Anglo-Saxon is a broad term, and in its broader sense, John was right.

    However, the notion of excluding anyone who was “under any acknowledgment of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power” would have seemed sensible. But it went on a bit from there, and the founding fathers could perhaps be forgiven for not foreseeing all the complexities that might arise.

    Section 44 also excludes anyone who “holds any office of profit under the Crown”.

    This is now giving cause for pause over Andrew Bartlett, who was working one day a week at a university when he ran for election.

    The clause means that any teacher or nurse or any other public servant in state institution has to resign before they run for parliament. This is unfair, patently ridiculous and should be changed.

  38. This is unfair, patently ridiculous and should be changed.

    And a mechanism is provided to do just that.
    The drafters of Our Constitution, despite comments to the contrary, instilled avenues to change according to the democratic will of the day.
    They all voluntarily swear an oath too,

    I, A.B., do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Victoria, Her heirs and successors according to law. So Help Me God!

    Which is also modifiable or in reality totally erasable.

  39. An anecdote:
    An English born woman of my acquaintance, after moving here in the seventies became a naturalised Australian citizen.
    During the ceremony she was required to renounce her allegiance to the Queen of England in order to swear allegiance to the Queen of Australia.
    I think the word I’m looking for is “pythonesque”.

  40. I must have missed something, Jumpy, but I can’t see what holding an office of profit under the Crown has to do with swearing oaths to HM.

  41. Who is this Queen of Australia of whom you write, zoot. Does she reside in Australia, or in some other Kingdom? Has she passed our very stringent dictation test? Does she have a working knowledge of Don Bradman and State of Origin?


  42. I must have missed something, Jumpy

    It seems you have, the point is at any time in the last one hundred and six years Our Constitution has been changeable by design.
    It’s Democratically organic rather than a stringent anchor to the past

  43. Who is this Queen of Australia of whom you write, zoot.

    She’s the Head of Our State and the Head of State in the UK, separate States. With the advent of Democracy, both States are separate powers.

    Look, it’s pretty simple, adhere or be ineligible.
    Do due diligence.
    If they can’t understand the overarching Law of the land they shouldn’t be making Laws I have to live by.

  44. That’s not relevant to what I said I must have missed, Jumpy.

    You say:

    It seems you have, the point is at any time in the last one hundred and six years Our Constitution has been changeable by design.

    Pretty much everyone knows that, but almost everyone knows that in practical terms it is almost impossible. Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.

  45. Who is this Queen of Australia of whom you write, zoot.

    I’m not sure Ambigulous, but I am told that republican sentiment in the old dart is quite strong so it is possible that in the not too distant future we might have King Charles I of Australia as our head of state while the Brits are unencumbered by a monarch. That would be fun.

  46. Now Fairfax is reporting that Minister Matt Canavan may have to resign from the Senate over dual citizenship.

    Well, at least he’s white.

  47. Old Penny ‘ against gay marriage ‘ and Dougy ‘ mind ma tea ‘ are very quiet on the issue.
    Around the traps there’s chat they are goners too.

  48. Ambi, I’ve just heard that Canavan’s mum has Italian heritage, and when he was 25 she applied for Italian citizenship, and was granted same. What she also did was apply on behalf of young Matt, without telling him before or after until now.

    Thanks, mum!

    Seems he’s staying in the senate (didn’t know that was up to him) and he and the NP lawyers are going to take it to the high court.

    Even if he gets away with it, the circumstances are so unique that it wouldn’t mean anything to anyone else.

    Next we’ll have Putin granting citizenship to Bill Shorten.

  49. Jumpy, Tony Burke says the ALP head office are pretty ferocious on the citizenship tests. There was no schadenfreude from Burke, just amazement.

    He thinks that sooner or later there will be a referendum to clean this one up. His attitude is that dual citizens should have the same rights as sole citizens.

  50. The main requirement should be loyalty to the nation in whose Parliament they serve. (I think Mr J agrees.)

    Let’s not abolish dual citizenship.

  51. He thinks that sooner or later there will be a referendum to clean this one up.

    Not until there are Referenda in conjunction with every Federal election can that happen imho, even then, plebiscites every half term to ask the subject of such Referenda.
    Maybe we could have fixed four year terms then.

    I would have thought this section, as upsetting as its results are to some, would be well down the list of Australian voters priorities. So way down the track.

  52. But it is of enormous interest to currently sitting Parliamentarians, Mr J.

    And guess who decides what question(s) are put to referenda, and the wording thereof?

    Hint: it’s not me or you, buddy!

    It seems you think the public should have a direct say. I refer you to a film from many decades ago: The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer.

  53. The main requirement should be loyalty to the nation in whose Parliament they serve. (I think Mr J agrees.)

    No, that’s to Ambiguous, too cryptic, could mean anything to anybody. 🙂

  54. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought when MPs are sworn in they swear an oath of allegiance. (Sorry, no time to Google it)
    Surely this negates any necessity for them to renounce any secondary citizenship. Or should we just dispense with the oath?

  55. Maybe the Parties nominate two Referenda preferences in each campaign in order of their priority.
    Maybe then the winner would have a first order of business with unquestioned mandate, And a second work on Public support for later.

    Just an idea.

  56. zoot, no time to Google or scroll up ?
    I gotcha mate.

    I, A.B., do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Victoria, Her heirs and successors according to law. So Help Me God!

  57. I think it’s not going to be a priority unless it strikes the LNP in the lower house and they lose the bi-election.

    On Canavan, the high court is there to uphold the Constitution as writ, not to decide that it is an ass. So it seems clear to me. Substantively Canavan holds citizenship of another country, so he should go.

  58. My apologies Mr J.
    I wasn’t trying to be cryptic.

    I meant that Australian Parlt persons (and public servants, Judges, police etc.) should at all times be loyal to Australia.

    And I believe Mr zoot’s point at 8.26pm covers that. And so good of you to remind us of the wording at 8.33pm.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe Judges, police officers, and various others do swear oaths of a similar tenor. And so they should.

    Back in the dim, dark 50s when I was but a wee bairn attending primary school, we had a school assembly every Monday morning. The flag was raised, and we wee bairns recited an oath of allegiance to the Queen, the Nation; and promised to obey our parents, teachers and the law.

    That’s why there’s a whole generation of us who, as you have no doubt observed, are unfailingly lawful, polite, obedient, patriotic and always kind to small animals. We are indeed paragons. And eternally modest.

    Never intentionally cryptic. They taught us grammar too, eh?

  59. Di Natale says, if you are Italian you never blame your mum!

    SWo, he reckons that is Canavan’s exhibit A for the court.

    Bob Katter on whether Canavan knew, says, pull the other one!

    Malcom Roberts has an unusual beginning which may come back to bite.

    No sympathy there if he’s caught covering up.

  60. Mr B. Joyce, Federal Minister, at last caught up with posters here:

    If Libya made me a Libyan citizen, would I be one? I don’t think so! “, he said.

    But we may note that his outrage was sparked by the Canavan matter , not by the Ludlum or Waters matters.

    Could he be biased, one wonders?

  61. But we may note that his outrage was sparked by the Canavan matter , not by the Ludlum or Waters matters.

    Yeah I heard him say that, didn’t sound outraged to me.
    A little matter of Country of birth seems to be a factor of difference.
    I find it difficult to imagine Canavan had no clue though given this all happened when his Dad was going though the fraud thingy. Get out contingency plan ?
    In any event, he was Barnabys CoS so I’m not surprised he’d take more of a shine to him than some greens.

  62. Christoper Pyne pointed out that North Korea could destroy Australia by giving all of us North Korean citizenship.
    Some one has suggested that Canavan’s mother should be given an award for saving the reef.
    Someone else pointed out that Roberts be asked to produce documentation that proves he has given up his allegiance to the planet where global warming is not a problem.
    My take is that all the people affected by dual citizenship issues were elected democratically and should not be removed by what a group of UK citizens thought some time in the 19th century.

  63. But, but, John…..

    that makes you more a democrat than a partisan…..
    can that really be the case??

    Once again, you are making more sense than many folk down in Canberra.

  64. Ambi: You are right. I think a fair, durable democracy with good checks and balances is more important partisan gain except in extreme circumstances such as the rise of a Hitler.
    This is why i think sections 44 and 46 are a democratic abomination and to have someone like Pyne pointing out the implications..

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