Australians may not be eligible for election to their own Parliament
Australians are facing a major constitutional crisis with a legal opinion claiming that the entire population may be ineligible for election to their own parliament. And New Zealand is to blame. Already, several MPs with parental connections to New Zealand, have resigned or are waiting for a court ruling. The most senior being the Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce.
|Australian Deputy Prime Minister|
But is appears to go much further than that. This may be the deepest constitutional crisis since the Rum Rebellion of 1808-1810 when Governor William Bligh was arrested by the military and sent packing back to England. Yes, that was Bligh of the mutiny on the Bounty. The poor man couldn’t do anything right. The dismissal of Gough Whitlam’s government in 1973 was, by comparison, just a game of fiddlesticks. The 2017 crisis is the real thing.
According to Sydney barrister and mediator, Robert Angyal, a simple law change in New Zealand several years ago may have rendered all Australians ineligible for election to their own Parliament. The New Zealand Immigration Act grants automatically to all Australians the right to permanent residence in New Zealand. They only have to turn up at the border and they can stay as long as they like, work and enjoy all the benefits of New Zealand citizens, including the right to vote after one year, and citizenship after five years. They have that right, unless they are not of good character, which may exclude some politicians, but who would expect them to admit to that?
So, they have an extremely serious problem.
The problem being that Section 44 of the Australian Constitution states that any person who is a citizen of another country, or is entitled to the benefits of being a citizen of another country, is not eligible for election the Australian Parliament or Senate. So, the New Zealand law has slam dunked the Australian Constitution, the Government, and probably every law enacted in Australia since Australians gained the right to be New Zealanders. For Kiwis, this is better even than having the All Blacks beat the Wallabies, and this time it didn’t take balls to do it.
One course of action would be for all the members of the House and Senate to renounce their right to New Zealand citizenship. But another immediate problem presents itself. Who would they make the renunciation to? The Australian Governor-General who was appointed by a Cabinet that comprised disqualified MPs? That won’t work. Somehow, Australia must get rid of all its ‘elected’ federal politicians. Whoever accepts the declaration, would have to be a foreigner. One rather dramatic way would be to invite President Trump for a state visit. He could just disembark from Air Force One and say, “You’re fired!”
On the other hand, Foreign Betty might just be a better choice. She would do it ever so nicely, and the Royals have always had a closeness with Australia. Some went to school there, and her husband was once rumoured to have other children living there. Yes, it should be Foreign Betty. She is not an Australian or a New Zealander. Yes, Betty is the one. But listening to the declaration 226 times might be a bit much after the long flight. She could die at number 99 and what a pickle that would be! A better idea would be for old Betty to just, nicely of course, dissolve both houses and call for fresh elections. But no, that won’t work either. Australians would still be electing people who are disqualified.
Here is my suggestion. New Zealand can come to the rescue with a trans-Tasman political restructure. Since 2010, New Zealand has become skilled at fixing things broken, and I believe we can fix Australia’s constitutional crisis. We can offer to establish a new nation called Anzac. It would comprise two states; Aoteoroa and West Island. The federal capital could be sited on the Sunshine Coast, because it has better weather than Wellington, and Aoteoroan politicians would get more frequent flyer points.
|Australian Prime Minister|
The buildings that currently house the federal parliament and government offices, could be occupied by the West Island State Government. The current states of New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, Northern Territory and Tasmania would become district councils. All city councils in West Island would become community boards. It would be a very simple structure with lean, mean running costs and low taxes.
The above plan would enable Barnaby Joyce to keep his job while enjoying the benefits of being a real New Zealander. Malcolm Turnbull may have to resign due to shame because no doubt West Islanders would start calling him Malcolm Turncoat, and worse. However, if he was to survive the political turmoil and ensuing elections, he would have an easier workload as the Premier of West Island.
Meanwhile the main workload would be carried by Anzac Prime Minister Bill English and his deputy Paula Bennett, or at an outside chance Jacindarella Ardern and Kelvin someone.