Saturday, 5 November 2016

How many MPs & Senators will fall short?

The Bob Day issue being referred to the high court may have a concertina effect. I have always argued s44 of our constitution is very important. Most people who fob it off are either ignorant of what the law is actually for or just plain silly. The law isn't a racial thing, sure s44.1 requires political aspirants to relinquish dual citizenships to show their allegiance to the commonwealth of Australia. The law s44 is actually a list of requirements placed on candidates to ensure the people of Australia get genuine representation. The law covers a range of issues as shown below.

 Section 44 of the Australian Constitution lists the grounds for disqualification on who may become a candidate for election to the Parliament of Australia. It states in particular:
44. Any person who -
(i.) Is under any acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power, or is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or citizen of a foreign power: or
(ii.) Is attainted of treason, or has been convicted and is under sentence, or subject to be sentenced, for any offence punishable under the law of the Commonwealth or of a State by imprisonment for one year or longer: or
(iii.) Is an undischarged bankrupt or insolvent: or
(iv.) Holds any office of profit under the Crown, or any pension payable during the pleasure of the Crown out of any of the revenues of the Commonwealth: or
(v.) Has any direct or indirect pecuniary interest in any agreement with the Public Service of the Commonwealth otherwise than as a member and in common with the other members of an incorporated company consisting of more than twenty-five persons:
shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a senator or a member of the House of Representatives.
But subsection iv. does not apply to the office of any of the Queen's Ministers of State for the Commonwealth, or of any of the Queen's Ministers of a State, or to the receipt of pay, half pay, or a pension, by any person as an officer or member of the Queen's navy or army, or to the receipt of pay as an officer or member of the naval or military forces of the Commonwealth by any person whose services are not wholly employed by the Commonwealth.  (Thanks Wikipedia for the laws listed above.)

 I have been doing a bit of research since the Bob Day issue was raised publicly. I think there are many politicians that are going to be found to be not compliant for various reasons. The law cannot be applied selectively. If applied to Bob Day it must apply to all MPs & Senators. That is its actual purpose. It was written into our constitution to ensure we have high levels of probity & integrity. Perhaps the state of our federal parliament is in such disarray as a direct result of the apparent non-compliance.