The current citizenship saga plaguing our parliament is diminishing its status even more.
Just as frustrating for me is that the people who seem to have acted with the greatest integrity (by resigning their positions) are the two Greens senators. Now that’s something you won’t hear from me very often!
Pictured: Former Greens Senators Ludlam & Waters, Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce, and Senators Canavan and Roberts -
the first tranche of Members of Parliament under a cloud over dual-citizenship
Some MPs have already been referred to the High Court but there are many others who refuse to provide the documents to support their claims of dual-national innocence.
One of them is Bill Shorten. His lack of authenticity and circular logic, on this and many other matters, mark him as wholly unsuitable to be Prime Minister.
There are others in the Labor ranks in the same boat but the J’accuse game seems to be mostly levelled against the government.
For some reason, the media put forward the notion that we are expected to believe every Labor denial but government members are expected to provide their documents.
However, the questions over eligibility and citizenship shouldn’t be limited to the major parties. Some of the minor party representatives are also caught in this web of constitutional intrigue.
Although Pauline Hanson vouches for the veracity of her Senator Malcolm Roberts’ bona fides, she referred him to the High Court. That will be an interesting case.
British-Australian Nick Xenophon is playing the role of bullied victim over his status whilst refusing to accept any personal responsibility for not checking before he began his 20-year parliamentary career.
That’s a familiar theme to those who pay particular attention to opportunistic politics but he might not be the last of his team with questions to answer in the weeks ahead.
For what it’s worth, a number of people have asked me about my status given my father was Italian-born.
Like a lot of sons of migrants, inquiries were made decades ago about my eligibility for Italian citizenship. However, because my father became an Australian citizen before I was born, I was never eligible for Italian citizenship.
Now, there has to be a limit to how far one needs to dig through the family archives to comply with our constitutional requirements but anyone born overseas, or with a parent born overseas, has to take some personal responsibility and make the appropriate checks themselves.
However that doesn’t seem to have been the case for many and parliament is diminished as a result.
Put simply, it is a farce and cannot be allowed to continue.
We need to restore the faith in our parliamentary system and that requires a comprehensive audit of all MPs and the suspension of parliament until the High Court has established the legal framework.
If we don’t take that course, and then some of those under suspicion are disqualified from serving - or even more importantly - found to be deliberately telling falsehoods, every decision of the parliament is brought into question.
When votes in the Senate and House are balanced on a knife-edge, we cannot afford to put it off any longer. The Prime Minister needs to prorogue parliament in the national interest.
Once again the Australian Conservatives are highlighting the principled way…a better way for all Australians.