Stage one: legal studies
“Should MP’s with dual citizenship be made to resign”
There hasn’t been much excitement and interest in the constitution until now with the rise of dual citizenship occurring in the parliament. The thin majority of Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull's administration is under threat from a constitutional crisis. A progression of prominent MPs, including the deputy prime minister and another government minister may lose their seats in parliament after disclosures that their citizenship of different nations may exclude them under Australia's constitution.
The Australian constitution is clear in disqualifying anyone who holds foreign citizenship to serve in the national parliament.
As section 44 (i) states, any individual is disqualified if they are:
· 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 a citizen of a foreign power. (the grey area of this is entitled)
subsection 44 (i) has generally been interpreted by the high court of Australia as meaning that persons with dual citizenship are not permitted to stand for election and that a person must take reasonable steps to renounce their citizenship of the other country.
Requirements of section 44 states the person must only hold an Australian citizenship and the persons allegiances must be to Australia if seating in parliament. Anyone with a dual citizenship must be disqualified from seat.
With this it should be clear that an MP with a dual citizenship be made to resign. This where the problem occurs in the parliament where some MP’s declare that they had no acknowledgment of them having a dual citizenship. Many MP’s state that the constitution must be followed as required and the following dual citizens must resign their seats. With the matter being taken to the high court if the high court does stick to the constitution, everyone entitled to foreign citizenship was ineligible, it would wipe out a swathe of MP’s and senators who have never tried to claim allegiance to any other country, this means anyone with a dual citizenship would be gone. With this a new election would be made to replace the house that lost most of the seats.
Section 28 of the Australian constitution states that House of Representatives elections must be held ta least every three years. The Prime Minister decides the date for an election (this could be at any time during the three-year term). There are 150 members elected to the House of Representative, one for each of Australia’s 150 electorates. An average of 150000 citizens live in each electorate, with an average of 100,000 voters.
Preferential voting is used in the House of Representative because it is designed to result in the election of a person who receives the broadest support from the electorate, even though that person may not be the first choice of majority voters in the electorate. The political party which...