Citizenship breaches a big disgrace
While I agree with Andrew Bolt’s comments (Bill Shorten’s brazen hypocrisy, Opinion, 13/11), I think there are some fundamental points that have been missed in the debate.
The first is that, as far as the legal requirements for the job of an MP are concerned, those with dual citizenship are working illegally.
As an employer, my business has a legal obligation to ensure all employees have the right to work in Australia.
We hope people are honest before starting work with us, but we nonetheless have a thorough process in place that requires evidence, including a copy of each person’s passport ID page, along with a visa where necessary.
Additionally, as a service provider to third parties, we are rigorous in these and related matters, such as copies of certifications, drug and alcohol testing, police clearances, and so on.
If employers like us don’t comply, the Australian Government penalises us heavily.
MPs are paid by the Federal Government, not by a political party. So why doesn’t the government as employer have an appropriate human resources process in place that includes an Australian citizenship audit?
Bill Shorten, or whoever, should have no say as to who has or who has not the right to sit in Parliament. There should be a rigorous process before we “employ” an MP.
If somehow an MP gains their high paying job improperly — which a number have have done, whether knowingly or through negligence — then that MP should be dismissed and prosecuted.
Clearly, the human resources arm of the Federal public service has not had sound processes in place. It’s a disgrace and there should be no more excuses in fixing the situation up.
Every MP should be compelled to submit to a rigorous process of verification, one that requires solid evidence they meet the mandatory citizenship requirement for the job taxpayers are paying them for. Peter Court, Subiaco
I would have thought it was obvious that Jacqui Lambie holds dual citizenship. Surely Tasmania isn’t considered part of Australia.
Paul Hazzard, Bayswater
Section 44(c) a wise rule
It is claimed by some that the constitutional provision that bans dual citizenship of Federal parliamentarians is absurd and unfair.
No one could seriously doubt that Barnaby Joyce, John Alexander, Scott Ludlam, and others like them are loyal Australian citizens.
However, wise rules are framed, not just to cover commonplace and self-evident situations, but to ensure that the unexpected does not cause problems.
When deciding on matters such as foreign affairs, international trade treaties, immigration, defence and security, no parliamentarian should ever be in a situation where they could be accused, even if falsely, of having divided loyalties.
The present situation may seem unduly restrictive, but the wisdom of Section 44(c) needs to be recognised.
Don Robertson, Daglish
Citizenship a distraction
It’s time this fiasco and farce about dual citizenship was put to bed and we got on with much more important things.
A huge percentage of Australians couldn’t care less if someone’s parents were from England, New Zealand or Timbuktu.
All of the politicians being persecuted were either born in Australia or have lived most of their lives here. Perhaps some of them have served in our armed forces, or represented us in sport, or in other commendable areas.
They have put their hand up and been properly elected. Their only agenda is to help make Australia a better place in which to live.
A much more important issue is to get rid of terrorists and their sympathisers in this country. Their only agenda is to destroy us.
Don McKenzie, Stratton
The fall-out from the spate of politicians deemed to be ineligible to sit in Parliament has spawned calls for Section 44 of the Constitution to be changed. That is a silly knee-jerk response.
The Commonwealth Electoral Commission just needs to do its job properly.
The commission has the responsibility to ensure that all persons applying to stand for Parliament establish and attest that they satisfy the requirements of Section 44. Nathan Hoffman, Dianella
Bolt’s column on Monday.