Friday, July 28, 2017

One nation - or more?

Well, the current Australian Parliament has descended into quite a mess.

And it's all because of section 44 of The Constitution. Who would have thought? I don't even remember spending that much time studying that particular provision as an undergrad law student, although I do remember learning about the citizenship rule. Regardless, I bet law students (and their lecturers) across the country are having lots of interesting class discussions right now.

Malcolm Roberts from the One Nation party is an interesting case. I find it rather amusing that he is now having to 'defend' his allegiance to Australia, when the One Nation party has consistently made it their platform to spew the kind of divisive vitriol that has forced people like myself (i.e. migrant) to have to defend, time and time again, my own allegiance to Australia.

Just deserts.


Victor said...

On this aspect our Constitution, written at time when populations did not enjoy the international mobility that we do now, is rather out of date. I can see the argument that split allegiances would be undesirable in a Parliamentarian's role but some of the situations that have arisen lately appear ludicrous. However I do delight in any dilemma currently faced by Senator Roberts.

Ironically there was no such concept as Australian Citizenship when the Constitution was drafted. Those who populated this continent - apart from the shocking exclusion of the Indigenous occupants and (most/all?) other non-European unfortunates - were British subjects right up until 24 January 1949.

Victor said...

Sorry that date should be 25 January 1949. The Australian Citizenship Act took effect the next day.

Adaptive Radiation said...

It didn't occur to me that Australian citizenship wasn't in existence at the time the Constitution came into effect but, of course, it makes sense thinking about it.