Politician citizenship whistleblower explains his motivation

The man behind the political citizenship saga says more heads will roll.

Politician citizenship whistleblower explains his motivation

The man behind the citizenship saga that has shaken Australian politics has spoken out about his motivation for bringing about a constitutional crisis for the Government.

West Australian lawyer John Cameron was surprised at how quickly the citizenship scandal snowballed and fully expects more heads to roll.

Mr Cameron said he began digging into the backgrounds of Australian politicians in 2011, so he could take down Tony Abbott and Julia Gillard. When the evidence he found against the two failed to move High Court judges, he decided to go after the ‘low lying fruit’ instead.

"When I started I was after Gillard and Abbott but I wasn't having much joy getting the evidence; or I wasn't getting much joy in the High Court accepting the evidence that I had from the British border authority," said Mr Cameron.

"So it was easier to go after Scott Ludlam as one of the low-lying fruit because it was accessible through New Zealand."

This led to the resignation of the now former Greens senator, and subsequently resulted in the status of many other politicians from all parties being questioned. Five months later, Barnaby Joyce, Scott Ludlam, Fiona Nash, Malcolm Roberts and Larissa Waters have all been ousted.

Mr Cameron expects more heads to roll in the coming months.

"There are those in Parliament who think that they are above the law. A correction is required," he said.

"There's a crying-out need for an independent commission on corruption, as this case has demonstrated.

"And if nothing else comes out then it will have been worthwhile."

What do you think of Mr Cameron’s actions? Should he be praised? Or is he a troublemaker for no good reason? Do you agree with his motivation?

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    COMMENTS

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    Ayin
    30th Oct 2017
    10:47am
    People who seek to set the "Law" for the rest of us should at the very least be equal to that "Law" or above it. I also think an independent body to oversee our "Elected Entitled" would be a great move.
    Sen.Cit.90
    30th Oct 2017
    11:37am
    Can't argue with that comment Aylin, I agree.
    Triss
    30th Oct 2017
    11:55am
    Good idea, Aylin.
    chris
    30th Oct 2017
    4:25pm
    I agree Ayin, The interference in government is counterproductive. Other nations must be having a laugh at us. I don't think we in Aus have much to complain about. Mr CAMERON NEEDS TO GET A LIFE
    GeorgeM
    31st Oct 2017
    1:26pm
    Agree, Ayin. The law is very clear, and the fools who ignored it should not be allowed to prosper. Mr. CAMERON DID A GREAT THING for this county.

    Also, a Federal ICAC is absolutely necessary, as many go after such positions of power to then feather their nests through arranging post-Office plum jobs in addition to fat, undeserved pensions for life.
    The pom
    30th Oct 2017
    11:35am
    This whole episode has done nothing good for the country. Politicians who thought they were Australian and had no real ties to any other country having to jump through hoops because some character wanted to show how clever he is.
    Triss
    30th Oct 2017
    12:00pm
    The rules are quite clear, The pom, it's up to all candidates and parties endorsing candidates to make sure that they are eligible, ignorance of the law is not an excuse.
    Placido
    30th Oct 2017
    3:53pm
    Well the constitution has been interpreted as it was written, all aspiring politicians should be aware of 44, it has other implications that pollies need to be aware of. They are not allowed to do business with the government while elected.

    One very clear point stands out here.

    Neither the ALP or the Liberals have had any members with issues re citizenship, both parties do rigorous examination of individuals credentials during the pre-selection process.
    GeorgeM
    31st Oct 2017
    1:31pm
    Placido, agree with your comments. Except, I think ALP and Liberals haven't had proper scrutiny, as the article suggests Mr. Cameron was unable to obtain information about Gillard and Abbott. While those two may be OK, there could be many who are keeping silent and not revealing their true citizenship status with privacy laws protecting them. A complete Audit is needed of all MPs to establish all who are violating the law and prospering at the taxpayer's expense.
    GeorgeM
    31st Oct 2017
    9:17pm
    My suggestion for a complete Audit has just been vindicated, with a Liberal Senator, Stephen Parry, now slowly raising his head and admitting that he may be a dual citizen.

    A complete Audit should also result in cancelling all Pensions and any Perks for current and past Politicians who broke the law and got elected. Imagine the aid this will provide for Budget Repair! Morrison should seriously pursue this!
    Old Geezer
    30th Oct 2017
    11:36am
    I agree with 1 in 3 now born overseas then there would be more people disqualified than there would be qualified.
    Happy cyclist
    30th Oct 2017
    12:25pm
    Old Geezer, being born overseas is no bar, the problem is when they have to not taken necessary steps to renounce all but Australian citizenship before running for office.
    Old Geezer
    30th Oct 2017
    4:27pm
    I know of a fellow who joined the Australian Army and travelled all over the world with the Australian Army. He retired but couldn't get an Australian Passport because he was born overseas and came to Australia as a baby. He was never told so by his parents. He also found out neither of his parents were born in the country they left to come to Australia. He was also adopted by his parents and even today does not know where he was actually born.

    That shows how stupid that section of the Constitution is today.
    gravy
    1st Nov 2017
    3:05pm
    Oh dear OG you don't really understand what Section 44 of the Constitution is about do you. Perhaps you need to do some more study before you make such erroneous comments. Section 44 is ONLY about those who get elected to Federal Parliament not those who just live in Australia.

    Your Australian Army story is about other laws in this country and the person could have taken out Australian Citizenship if they wished and then obtained their passport. Also by being adopted they become the children of the parents who adopted them and any previous citizenship was annulled and only their adoptive parents citizenship was/is then in effect.

    Don't mix up what you are talking about by slipping in irrelevant information to the discussion.

    When the Constitution was framed it was likely most of the population and the Constitutional Framers were either immigrants, children of immigrants or grandchildren of them.

    The Constitution requires those who wish to be elected to the Federal Parliament to ONLY be Australian Citizens and they are required to ensure this by divesting themselves of all other allegiances to other countries OR to take All Reasonable Steps to do so. Being born elsewhere or having citizenship of another country by parental rights does not exclude ANYONE from being elected, it only excludes those who do not rescind, or take all reasonable steps to do so of, any other citizenship before they become elected.

    The ones who lost the High Court action failed to carry out due diligence and the requirements of Section 44 were known to them before their election.
    floss
    30th Oct 2017
    11:37am
    Keep going get rid of the lot especially the ones now in power they are a lazy bunch of bludgers that are reliant on the big end of town to run the country and look where that took us.
    Bow Maker
    30th Oct 2017
    11:40am
    Another lawyer with to much time on his hands.
    Triss
    30th Oct 2017
    12:16pm
    Long may it continue, Bow Maker, and perhaps we can release the taxpayers from the corruption of ex MPs pensions, expenses and business class holidays.
    GeorgeM
    31st Oct 2017
    1:32pm
    Agree, Triss, hope Mr. Cameron gets more power out of this to continue his good work.
    Triss
    30th Oct 2017
    11:53am
    And what about the ex politicians, some of whom have been dipping into our pockets for their pensions and perks for 20 years and over?
    John Howard approved CentreLink to go back 50 years to retrieve any over-payments and now it's time for Malcolm Turnbull to do the same with pension and perks overpayments to dual-citizenship ex MPs.
    Patriot
    30th Oct 2017
    11:58am
    100%
    Soapbox Diva
    30th Oct 2017
    12:47pm
    Agree with you, Triss. All politicians whether retiring or being voted out of office, should get the same entitlements as the ordinary Australian. If they are pension aged, they should get the same pension as an ordinary Australian. If they are still working age, they should look for a job. None of these perks: free office, staff, travel card, etc - unless they give the same entitlements to every Australian (a 100% Australian at that - no dual citizenships!) Be consistent right across the board!
    Rosret
    30th Oct 2017
    1:30pm
    mmm Superannuation. I hadn't thought about that one. Another legal mine field.
    libsareliars
    30th Oct 2017
    4:37pm
    Agreed Triss.
    Anne Ozzie
    30th Oct 2017
    6:53pm
    Totally agree with that. Refund the pension money! spend it on the pensioners
    GeorgeM
    31st Oct 2017
    1:35pm
    Agree, Triss. Also, all found breaking the law should have all perks cancelled going back to when they first got elected.
    For example, Barnaby's election is not just invalid from 2016, rather from 2004 when he first got elected. The media is very silent about that - wonder why?
    Patriot
    30th Oct 2017
    11:57am
    This was not a Constitutional crisis as the Constitution is Quite Clear on the issue.
    It simply was a personal crisis for some politicians who blatantly ignored section 44 or just were ignorant.
    When the cops pull me up for a traffic violation, "Not Knowing" the law is not an excuse and it should not be an excuse for them. They simply were caught out!!!
    DC
    30th Oct 2017
    11:57am
    I do not agree with the stated "motivation" of this gentleman. Apart from causing this country immense political problems it is the taxpayer who now has to foot the bill for various elections again. We surely have bigger problems in this place than inherited dual citizenship's.
    For instance JB was born here and that should be the end of it not were his father etc was from!!!
    Triss
    30th Oct 2017
    12:12pm
    This is what many people complain about, DC. Government refuses to take responsibility for anything. The relevant party has to endorse a candidate therefore the party has also been too lazy to check credentials. The taxpayers should not have to pay for by elections, the parties should be paying out of the millions of dollars they raked in at the last election.
    I disagree with those same politicians being allowed to go straight into campaigining for another tilt at parliament.
    DC
    30th Oct 2017
    11:57am
    I do not agree with the stated "motivation" of this gentleman. Apart from causing this country immense political problems it is the taxpayer who now has to foot the bill for various elections again. We surely have bigger problems in this place than inherited dual citizenship's.
    For instance JB was born here and that should be the end of it not were his father etc was from!!!
    Angelique
    30th Oct 2017
    12:01pm
    "....... it will have been worthwhile." Worthwhile for who? Certainly not the country, just will make this lawyer feel smug and self-satisfied.
    Eddy
    30th Oct 2017
    12:13pm
    Now the High Court has made their ruling I would like to give my take on the issue. I know where my parents were born and, while I always regarded myself as Australian, I had a suspicion that I may have dual citizenship, which for most purposes that was of no significance. However if I was nominating for federal parliament it has great significance by virtue of S44 of our Constitution and I would have taken steps to clarify the issue and , if necessary, renounced any foreign citizenship. Those in high office who were not born in Australian, or had foreign born parents, and ignored S44 deserve all the embarrassment heaped upon them by having to resign and apologise. No doubt most of them will return to Parliament chastened and purified.
    If the government wanted a referendum to change S44 to only require Australian citizenship and an oath of loyalty then I would most likely vote Yes.
    From the historical context we should be cognisant that when S44 was written in the 1890s there was no Australian (nor British or NZ or Canadian or Indian et el) citizenship, we were all British Subjects. So who were these 'Foreign Powers' in the minds of the writers of S44 of the Constitution. Probably France, Germany and Russia and possibly USA and Spain but certainly not Britain, NZ, Canada, South Africa et al, they were all British
    I am sure that if S44, as it is applied today was applied, to many or most of our political leaders of the 20th century they too would have fallen foul of a Court of Disputed Returns.
    So apart from sticking something uncomfortable up a few conceited backsides this whole exercise will achieve very little in political terms.
    Triss
    30th Oct 2017
    12:18pm
    Well said, Eddy.
    gravy
    1st Nov 2017
    3:30pm
    This Section of the Constitution has been before the High Court before. The "All reasonable steps" part of the interpretation came out of a previous action.

    In the Sue v Hill 1999 judgement it was accepted that prior to 3 March 1986 that a person who held British Citizenship could be a member of our Federal Parliament but once the "Australia Act (Cth of Australia)" was signed into law Britain became a foreign power and any Federal Parliamentarian who held British Citizenship was then precluded from being a member of it.

    So most of the 20th Century Fed Pollies who held British Citizenship would have not been barred from serving, only those who were serving or served after 3 Mar 1986 had to concern themselves with this Law. Who framed the Law? Our Fed Pollies did! Who have they got to blame for this? Themselves!

    Do I think Section 44 is a big problem? No, we have to have some standards of eligibility and requiring our Federal Reps to only have Australian Citizenship, or to the best of their ability try to have it, is not an onerous ask.
    Mrs P
    30th Oct 2017
    12:22pm
    May I please raise another question? What is the status of adopted people who were born overseas? Or that of Australian born children being adopted by one or both parents being born overseas? I was born in Australia to two Australian parents, however, at age 21 and by my request my stepfather adopted me so that my real father's name didn't have to go on the certificate of marriage. My new birth certificate says my stepdad is my father and he was born overseas. Another conundrum I would think for many.
    Happy cyclist
    30th Oct 2017
    12:31pm
    You raise an intriguing point Mrs P. I would guess that in adoption where your birth parents cease to be considered your parents, that you also cease to carry on their citizenship and you take on the citizenship of your adopted parents. But that is just a guess. It would be interesting to hear the legal answer.
    Eddy
    30th Oct 2017
    12:38pm
    There may be a lawyer in Perth, a Mr John Cameron, who may be able to help you, and given his great interest in the subject I suggest he should act pro bono.
    Puglet
    30th Oct 2017
    2:47pm
    I am not a constitutional lawyer and like you have wondered about adoptees, or children born via surrogates etc. as I understand it a person born in India automatically becomes a citizen. So, it is possible that babies born in India to surrogate mothers are citizens of that country even though at least one parent is from Oz! The Constitution states that the candidate must have taken ‘reasonable steps’ to find out if they have dual citizenship. So in my very unlearned opinion this phrase covers these issues.
    Not a Bludger
    30th Oct 2017
    12:32pm
    No question here - this lawyer is a troublemaker and in it only for his personal self agrandissment.

    The High Court has unanimously ruled and the situation is now crystal clear.

    Every politician should now be required to make a statutory declaration with evidence as to his or her citizenship status.

    If a problem was subsequently found, the full force of the law should be applied and all payments to them including allowances,travel etc repaid.
    Eddy
    30th Oct 2017
    12:49pm
    When a candidate nominates for federal parliament they are required to sign a declaration that they meet the requirements of S44 of the constitution regarding citizenship, criminal history and bankruptcy, and there are penalties for making a false declaration. But, do not hold your breath waiting for any of the 'Citizenship 7' being charged with making a false declaration and bought before a court.
    Eddy
    30th Oct 2017
    1:50pm
    There is one thing about this whole sage that intrigues me, the replacement process to fill the vacancies created by this ruling.. For those Senators who have been disqualified the High Court has ruled for there is to be a recount of the last election with the name of the disqualified person removed. Why not the same process for the House of Representatives, why is their to be a bi-election in New England. Surely it would be consistent for there to be a recount but with Mr Barnaby's name removed from the ballot paper. Now that would really put the cat among the pigeons.
    Puglet
    30th Oct 2017
    2:54pm
    Eddy I think it is because there is no provision for by-elections in the Senate so it has to be a ‘recount’. Barnaby Joyce has admitted he ‘knew’ he was a dual citizen and didn’t stand down. At least Canavan stood down (or was stood down). Barnaby was a cabinet member and continued voting for legislation even though he was there under false pretences. I don’t think this carry on is over - long way to go yet!
    Eddy
    30th Oct 2017
    4:17pm
    True Puglet, but the inconsistency is still there. The constitutional process to fill a casual vacancy in the senate is for the State Government to nominate a replacement, not a recount of the previous election. If the constitutional process is not followed in the senate why not the same process for the House of Reps.
    This is unfair on the disqualified senators, they could have disposed of their foreign citizenship to be re-nominated by the state government same as My Joyce is in New England through a bi-election.
    ghoti
    30th Oct 2017
    4:41pm
    Not a Bludger:

    How do you know that "this lawyer is … in it only for his personal self agrandissment"?

    You call him a troublemaker; I think he has done us all a service by exposing sloppy behaviour by some of our politicians.

    The Constitution is the basis of our Rule of Law and must be respected.
    Puglet
    30th Oct 2017
    4:50pm
    Eddy sorry I misunderstood you! It’ll cost the taxpayer an arm and half a leg for Barnaby’s by-election. If there was a recount Tony Windsor would claim the seat. Now that would be interesting!
    gravy
    1st Nov 2017
    3:51pm
    Eddy you asked "For those Senators who have been disqualified the High Court has ruled for there is to be a recount of the last election with the name of the disqualified person removed. Why not the same process for the House of Representatives"

    As Pulger stated it is because of the rules of making up the Senate & the House of Reps, basically it comes down to how each part of Parliament is enacted.

    The House of Reps has a process to deal with the vacancies that requires a By-election to be held to fill a vacancy so a count back will not be nor can be carried out. It is because the House of Reps is to represent the constituents and not a State's interests.

    The Senate is slightly different kettle of fish. Senators are supposed to be there to represent the States and Territories interests. If a person who is a Senator dies, retires, becomes unable to continue carrying on the duties then the State via the State Govt, they represent selects another person to become a Senator from the same Party that the one leaving comes from. In this case they were not entitled to even enter Parliament so the previous selection process does not occur and therefore a count back from the last election is carried out.
    Old Man
    30th Oct 2017
    12:39pm
    I have no comment about the Perth lawyer because I don't know his motivation. He has, however, disclosed some irregularities by politicians who may not have set out to flaunt the Constitution but could be accused of laziness by ignoring the methods used by the major parties to ensure that the Constitution is not breached.

    Certainly, if a person is born overseas then they should be aware that they should need to take some action to confirm Australian citizenship and renounce any other citizenship. I am still confused as to how someone born in Australia can be accused of having allegiance to another nation without making any effort to seek citizenship of that nation.
    DC
    30th Oct 2017
    2:10pm
    I agree with your last sentence 100%. i am troubled by the High Courts decision irrespective of the constitution which as I understand was written when just about everybody was a British subject anyway?!
    pedro the swift
    30th Oct 2017
    12:55pm
    I would never want someone running this country and making important decisions regarding it to have "dual" citizenship. I feel they could never be trusted. That said I don't know how if one is born and raised here with Aussie birth cert. they can be judged to be a foreign citizen even if a parent came from o/s.
    To enlist in the ADF one has to be an Australian citizen so why shouldn't that also apply to pollies.
    i don't think that AUS. should allow dual citizenship for anyone , anyway. If you want to become naturalized etc. then you should not be allowed to hold citizenship of another country.
    Jim
    30th Oct 2017
    5:01pm
    To serve in the ADF you did not have to be an Australian citizen if you were born in the UK and came to Australia pre 1975 when the rules were changed by Whitlam I think. I was born in the UK and I was required to register for national service in 1967 for national service I did not have to take out Australian citizenship, I was not called up, but I friend of mine who was born in Scotland did get called up, he was not required to take up citizenship, many years later he decided to visit his homeland for the first time since he and his family migrated to Australia, he acquired a UK passport because it was easier to travel on a UK passport, when he attempted to return home to Australia he was denied boarding at Heathrow because he didn't have an Australian passport, the issue was quickly sorted out by the Australian embassy, indicating that after serving his adopted country Australia that he couldn't be denied entry back into Australia, he subsequently took out citizenship to prevent a repeat, he always considered himself Australian, but it appears you can put your life on the line but you can't serve your country in parliament, seems a bit unfair to me.
    Janran
    30th Oct 2017
    8:16pm
    That's a bit harsh, Pedro. If 1 in 3 Aussies were born overseas or their parents were, they'd like to keep their dual citizenship so they can more easily visit their relatives and native country.

    But if you want to represent Australians as a politician, fair enough YOU HAVE TO DENOUNCE ANY ALLEGIANCE to another country.

    I can't understand why the Libs didn't instruct the other half of their Coalition, the Nats, about making sure their paperwork was in order before seeking preselection to office.

    It seems the Greens were the only ones to accept the law graciously. The Nats (with Turnbull's help, by emphatically saying the Solicitor General's advice meant that the High Court "would endorse Bananaby's entitlement to office") and Pauline Hanson's mob of freaks, have acted appallingly!

    It is Turnbull who has created this huge mess and expense, by not forcing Bananaby to leave the Cabinet, until his name was cleared by the High Court. he should not have been allowed to vote in any of that legislation, so now it must be redressed at our expense.
    Andy
    30th Oct 2017
    1:01pm
    go man go, get rid of those crooks, I like you want the big heads.
    Rosret
    30th Oct 2017
    1:28pm
    If Mr Cameron was voicing his concerns during the Abbott /Gillard era then the politicians should have been on notice. Both the Liberal and Labor party go to extensive lengths to check their nominated candidates.
    I am not sure why there isn't a form and a background check before they are even allowed to stand for parliament.
    It has wasted the public purse and generated a legal mine field.
    Will the Labor party demand a recount on all bills recently passed? Should they be granted a recount given Barnaby Jones was elected by the people anyway?
    Should the Labor party wait until the by-election and then determine any bills passed in the last Liberal term of office?
    I must admit that I had my concerns during the Gillard/Abbott era too. However they only need to send a letter to England stating their allegiance to Australia and denounce citizenship and its all fine.
    What a pity Mr Cameron had not been taken seriously and this could have been all fixed quietly.
    None of those elected who breached the Constitution are a risk to Australia and its disappointing some sort of moratorium couldn't have been granted to sort out the matter and then make sure every election from this point on is scrutinized more thoroughly.
    There must be a government body which checks the validity of the candidates.
    Why are they not accountable for the errors?
    Triss
    30th Oct 2017
    2:13pm
    I agree with you, Rosset, there should have been a great overhaul of MPs back in 1999 when Heather Hill was disqualified.
    Paddles
    30th Oct 2017
    4:16pm
    Rosret

    Your contribution to this thread would, perhaps, generate more admiration if you showed that you were referring to the same person at the centre of this brouhaha.
    The man is Barnaby JOYCE...............
    Triss
    30th Oct 2017
    4:58pm
    Come on, Paddles, you know who Rosret meant, everyone is entitled to a typo now and then.
    Rosret
    30th Oct 2017
    7:29pm
    Sorry Paddles I do know its Joyce - I am just woeful at typing the word I am actually thinking. I think the RAM chip in my poor brain is getting faulty.
    GeorgeM
    31st Oct 2017
    9:22pm
    All good points, Rosret. All past & current politicians need to be Audited, and besides disqualifying current law-breakers, all should also have all Pensions and Perks cancelled since when they were first elected. Maybe use Centrelink's Robo-debt recovery system to chase these law-breakers!!!
    Brissiegirl
    30th Oct 2017
    1:35pm
    Brandis wants to change the constitution, that's "curve fitting" the rules to suit his multi-culti diversity bent. I'd prefer to see dual citizenship held by citizens of this country ended, because it encourages divided loyalties. Americans cannot have dual citizenship/passports and immigrants there are required to pledge total allegiance to the USA. I thought Sam Dastyari's birth certificate says he's Iranian and that's a country that says if you are born Iranian you are regarded as Iranian forever and it wouldn't surprise me if Gillard and many other Labor politicians had dual passports. As for the ones born here, they are undoubtedly Australian, imo but they shouldn't be allowed to hold dual passports just because their parents/grandparents were foreign.
    Placido
    30th Oct 2017
    4:00pm
    Wrong! The ALP examines this area very carefully, dual citizenship- no pre-selection for that person.

    The libs are very careful here too.
    Puglet
    30th Oct 2017
    5:13pm
    Dastyari spent about 25,000 dollars renouncing his Iranian Citizenship. It required lawyers and a trip to the Middle East and was a very complex business. Julia Gillard renounced her Citizenship before she was selected as a candidate. As Placido says because the were caught out before Labor insists that dual citizenship is renounced before people’s candidature is confirmed. Anne Aly was, born in Egypt and that caused a few headaches. BTW Julia Gillard showed the media and members of the LNP her documents so there is no debate. None of them are eligible to travel on any passport apart from an Oz one.
    Finni
    30th Oct 2017
    1:39pm
    to many politicians think they are not answerable between elections, if this keeps them .
    honest.
    Problem now is that they will not now make any decisions, and the ones made all ready will most likely be illegal so this is now going to cost us all more money
    I agree with Aylin and we also need a national anti crime commission for politicians to keep them in line and the honest ones should not object, as they have nothing to hide
    Also the public should be able to recall parliament or dismiss parliament in these situations
    Finni
    30th Oct 2017
    1:39pm
    to many politicians think they are not answerable between elections, if this keeps them .
    honest.
    Problem now is that they will not now make any decisions, and the ones made all ready will most likely be illegal so this is now going to cost us all more money
    I agree with Aylin and we also need a national anti crime commission for politicians to keep them in line and the honest ones should not object, as they have nothing to hide
    Also the public should be able to recall parliament or dismiss parliament in these situations
    Puglet
    30th Oct 2017
    1:40pm
    The Constitution is clear - politicians can’t hold dual citizenship and that is that. I wouldn’t be unhappy if a govt. wanted to change it but to do this we must have a referendum and that is that. However I am not sure I want a N. Korean/Oz PM! For me the most disgusting thing about all 7 pollies caught up in this saga is that they signed the papers to say they weren’t dual citizens. They lied to us and treated our Constitution and the Oz people with contempt. I now wonder what else they lie about. I doubt they’ve even read the Constitution. They are unethical fibbers.
    Placido
    30th Oct 2017
    4:02pm
    They lie about many things far too often.

    Am waiting for an ordinary person to be raided by the AFP for voicing a political opinion that this current "Government" does not like.
    KSS
    30th Oct 2017
    2:00pm
    I am in two minds about this. On the one hand, those who have been judged to hold dual citizenship (and particularly those born overseas) should have been more cognisant of the constitution and the law their nomination and subsequent election requires them to uphold. They are in this predicament because of their own negligence.

    On the other I question Mr Cameron and his motivation. "Mr Cameron said he began digging into the backgrounds of Australian politicians in 2011, so he could take down Tony Abbott and Julia Gillard." Having failed in his first vindictive act, he petulantly targets the 'low-lying fruit' because he could "get help from New Zealand!"
    Placido
    30th Oct 2017
    4:03pm
    Better ask Julie Bishop if she can do business with him! :)
    MICK
    30th Oct 2017
    2:02pm
    How about ALL of these clowns find out about their heritage and if any doubt exists fix it before they stand for office. Even better get the Electoral Commission to send out a questionnaire/statutory declaration which puts the onus on the candidate. That might be a bit tough on the little princesses though.
    KSS
    30th Oct 2017
    2:10pm
    Why only tough on the 'little princesses'? What about the 'little princes"?
    Janran
    1st Nov 2017
    4:56pm
    Yes, Mick, who are you referring to?
    happy
    30th Oct 2017
    2:21pm
    Born and raiseed in Australia. New Zealand changed their inheritance rules thus endowing Barnaby Joyce with New Zealand citizenship. How more Aussie could he be?
    Blossom
    30th Oct 2017
    6:09pm
    Exactly, He was born in Australia. It's not his fault that his parents came from New Zealand and it has strange laws.
    ghoti
    30th Oct 2017
    2:22pm
    Mr Cameron merely tested the law, which is what accountants, tax lawyers etc routinely do. His actions revealed dishonesty or carelessness (if not downright incompetency) by some of the people we trust to give careful consideration to bills coming before them. We can now choose to amend the Constitution (via an expensive referendum, which, I bet, would have little chance of success) or simply make sure that prospective MPs renounce any dual citizenship they may have acquired.
    ray from Bondi
    30th Oct 2017
    2:44pm
    a corruption commission will never happen our masters have seen what has happened in NSW and how our NSW anti corruption commission has seen a number of politicians end up behind bars, I am sure that as never intended when it was started. I am sure most people think like me that politicians as a class are so corrupt that it is unbelievable.

    30th Oct 2017
    3:30pm
    This whole saga is typical of the Lieberal-Hillbilly Coalition's ineptitude. The sooner these bumbling, bungling idiots are kicked out of office the better.
    Paddles
    30th Oct 2017
    4:07pm
    You can argue the rights and wrongs of the politicians' case all day but you will find that it is but a fraction of the outdated concepts spelled out in the Constitution.
    That document was formulated 120 years ago and it may have been relevant (even contemporary) for its first fifty years but it is now hopelessly out of date for the modern era and could do with a wide ranging revue.
    The major problem with this is finding a panel up to the task.
    Eddy
    30th Oct 2017
    4:43pm
    Agree Paddles, tis way past time to update our Constitution, first thing is to wipe out references to NZ joining our Federation.
    But we need to do it one bit at a time, I cannot see every state agreeing to a common set of provisions without an external threat like we had in the 1890s.
    Rosret
    30th Oct 2017
    7:38pm
    Despite our multicultural nation I doubt you would very get a change to this Constitution Law.
    It is absolutely of paramount importance that our politicians have only Australia's interest on all issues.
    It would have been very easy for all the politicians involved to have fixed their situation had they known they were dual citizens.
    Its not the Constitution that is flawed, it is the government bureaucracy's lack of checks before the candidates stand for parliament.
    Janran
    1st Nov 2017
    5:23pm
    Eddy, I reckon when we "do up" the Constitution, let's get rid of the State Govts altogether and retrieve all that massive, ridiculous wastage of two levels of Govt for Health, Police, Education, consumer and civil laws, not to mention the buck-passing when it comes to roads, infrastructure and GST distribution. Oh, and don't forget to scrap the overly generous pollie pensions.
    As it stands, people generally vote Labor in State elections because they want decent services in Health and Education, then vote LNP for good fiscal and economic management (although THIS LNP Govt has proven to be absolutely hopeless and useless economic managers, in part thanks to Abbott).
    Ban all property developers and dual citizens from standing for office, Federal and Local.
    Change the Constitution to deny "Terra Nullius" and declare Aboriginal peoples as First Nation. Let Indigenous advisors have a voice in Federal Parliament, so that pollies can no longer claim ignorance as a defense when passing laws that negatively affect Aboriginal communities and self determination.
    libsareliars
    30th Oct 2017
    4:35pm
    Agree with what Mr Cameron did - they can't be above the law much to Barnaby's chagrin. The Greens did the ethical thing. Malcolm again shows a lack of judgement by not standing down Barnaby and Fiona Nash. I would say the only pollies out of those caught to be missed will be the two Greens.
    robmur
    30th Oct 2017
    4:36pm
    How many of those who drew up the Australian Constitution, 1901 were born in Australia? How many of those born were of a foreign country (UK) and then became elected federal politicians and were therefore illegal members of parliament? This whole matter is time and money wasting crap. There are far more important things to worry about than the nationality of ones parents, especially when the politician, like Barnaby, was born in the Tamworth Hospital. Just a bloody annoying lawyer who has nothing better to do than cause unnecessary problems.
    ghoti
    30th Oct 2017
    4:48pm
    So Mr Cameron is "a bloody annoying lawyer"? Aren't most lawyers bloody annoying? In this case, Mr Cameron hasn't "(caused) unnecessary problems" - he has exposed a very real problem, which is some politicians being careless with and/or ignorant of our Constitution.
    Puglet
    30th Oct 2017
    5:01pm
    You seem more upset that the 7 were caught out rather than they signed a false declaration and, broke the law. For better or worse the Constitution is the ‘law’ and every citizen must adhere to it. Culleton, Day broke clauses and paid a price. Barnaby Joyce and the others did too and that’s all there is to it. Cameron ferreted out the truth. Some people collect stamps, others count planes and trains. Cameron has spent his leisure time on his hobby investigating our politicians citizenship.
    Rosret
    31st Oct 2017
    1:01pm
    Robmur that is precisely why this law was set up in 1901 with Federation. They wanted every politician no matter whether they came from Britain, Scotland or Ireland to denounce their allegiance to their homeland and promise to consider the welfare of Australia first and only.
    You do recall the Boston tea party where Americans were tired of all their country's wealth going back to Great Britain.
    We didn't have to fight for our sovereignty and that is a good thing. In 1901 we had the best of both worlds. Great Britain's financial investment and military protection as part of the Commonwealth and our own parliamentary independent governance that is still protected by an overseeing Constitutional Head of State.
    GeorgeM
    31st Oct 2017
    9:26pm
    Wish we had more such lawyers chasing crooks. The Constitution is perfect and unambiguous in this respect, which made the High Court decision crystal clear. Such careless or mentally deficient people who can't even fill a form correctly don't need any sympathy or support.
    Janran
    1st Nov 2017
    6:18pm
    Rosret, I understand your meaning when you say "We didn't have to fight for our sovereignty and that is a good thing. In 1901 we had the best of both worlds. Great Britain's...", and know you are comparing Australia with USA in this regard. But I think Indigenous people will disagree with you about not having to fight for "our" sovereignty. They fought, they were poisoned, they suffered ethnic cleansing, their children were stolen from them based on the colour of their skin, and they fought and died for Australia in both World Wars.
    Us white Aussies too often forget about our long Indigenous history and connection to Country, and in our ignorance propagate the lie that Europeans discovered Australia, which was empty of people and culture.
    Mutley
    30th Oct 2017
    5:41pm
    Does Mr Cameron doubt these politicians' loyalties to Australia? And given the opportunity would they renounce their dual citizenships ? And if they would, should they not continue in their elected positions ?
    David
    30th Oct 2017
    6:02pm
    I don’t have an issue with WA lawyer John Cameron raising the issue with the High Court. It’s his right to do so. No one is above the law.
    Section 44(i) of the constitution is clear – the 7 High Court judges were unanimous in their decision.
    The ALP and the Libs have had no issues with section 44(i). Why can't the other political parties vet their candidates as well as the ALP and the Libs?
    When a person decides to stand for parliament, I have been told that the AEC gives them an information pack which includes alerting them to section 44 of the constitution, amongst other things. This is clearly outlined on the following link on their website...... http://www.aec.gov.au/About_AEC/Publications/backgrounders/constitutional-disqual-intending-candidates.htm
    Ignorantia juris non excusat or ignorantia legis neminem excusat is Latin for "ignorance of the law excuses not" and "ignorance of law excuses no one" respectively. This is a basic legal principle that I learnt in HSC when I did Legal Studies. It means that a person who is unaware of a law may not escape liability for violating that law merely because one was unaware of its content.
    These are the people we voted in to pass laws for our country, yet they can't understand or ignored the basic requirements to stand as a politician.
    niemakawa
    30th Oct 2017
    6:29pm
    Provided a politician has Australian Citizenship that is good enough. Will we get better politicians if they have no other?
    David
    30th Oct 2017
    7:51pm
    If I was drafting the constitution niemakawa, I would also think that having Australian citizenship would be good enough to be eligible to be a politician.
    Unfortunately, section 44(i) of the constitution provides a further requirement that the candidate cannot have dual citizenship.
    Like it or not, until section 44(i) is changed, we have to abide by its requirements, which was upheld unanimously by the High Court.
    To change section 44(i), a referendum would be required. Going by past efforts to change sections of the constitution by referendum. very few get up. So I would think that it would be a waste of time and money to amend section 44(I) by way of referendum for something that's likely to fail.
    It's really not that onerous for parliamentarians to renounce their foreign citizenship if they want to stand for parliament. The Libs and the ALP have managed to understand and meet the requirements of this section. Why can't the Greens, Nats and One Nation do the same?
    Anne Ozzie
    30th Oct 2017
    6:50pm
    Agree with his actions. People seeking to represent our interests should be one of us otherwise we do not know what interests they represent. We also need Federal ICAC legislation and not legislation that can be changed so it cannot investigate politicians as I understand the WA one has been changed!
    Beeman
    30th Oct 2017
    8:29pm
    So Niemakawa believes that any person with Australian citizenship should be eligible to be a Fed Polly.
    How about an Australian born member of ISIS? or any other extreme society with a dual citizenship)
    MD
    30th Oct 2017
    9:15pm
    All cut and dried, ie all those guilty of failing to abide by law of the land have been cut out and strung up to dry. End of story - or is it ?
    How about considering a Bill of Rights whilst we're rehashing the pros n cons of the current debacle, according to the old adage - 'in for a (bad) penny in for a (pommy) pound'.
    Needy not Greedy
    31st Oct 2017
    8:52am
    And now we have our magnificent government saying it is 'Unlikely' they will pursue any of the ones found guilty and outed by he High Court for payback of the $9 million they have rorted off the taxpayers, talk about double standards!
    Rosret
    31st Oct 2017
    1:08pm
    They didn't rort anybody. They were elected by the people and have behaved in an exemplary manner.
    They made a mistake which could easily happen giving our nation's commonwealth ties to so many countries.
    It is not a double standard - its an error.
    I believe the governing body who runs all the checks and balances on potential candidates is responsible. The parliamentarians believed they were serving the country in good faith as a independent citizens of Australia.
    Needy not Greedy
    31st Oct 2017
    4:30pm
    Oh so a pics published in NZ of a 14yr old boy Baaaaarnaby holding hands with his dad, who just happens to be wearing an All Black jumper might not just sort of given him an inkling?
    Get a life mate, why do you think he was getting around looking so dejected since this dual citizenship fiasco came to light? He new he was rooted, it was Turnbull spruiking that he had the inside word from his legal man that it would all go away that stopped him from standing down back then, and what a dickhead Turnbull has made of himself, and now trying to pass the buck on that one as well as the NBN, watch and see, Turnbull is teetering, if he doesn't go arse up it will only be because no one in the party wants the job!
    bobby
    31st Oct 2017
    10:42pm
    THe purge on dual citizenship has seen good politicians lose their jobs. They didn't deserve to go but ignorance of the law is no excuse. There should be no delay in conducting the citizenship audit to wipe the sheet clean. However it should not be restricted to politicians. It should include at the very least, Defence Chiefs, ASIO, Police Commissioners and senior Government officials.
    Anonymous
    4th Nov 2017
    11:13am
    ''Good politicians'' Bobby? That's an oxymoron!
    Anonymous
    4th Nov 2017
    11:15am
    Whoops. No. ''Honest politician'' or ''Law-abiding politician'' would be an oxymoron. Good politician is probably correct. Simply means they are efficient at ripping of the public, telling lies, and stuffing up everything they do. The definition of ''politician'' has come to be ''corrupt, dishonest, greedy, and totally useless'', and most of them are really good at being all those things.
    BillF2
    1st Nov 2017
    2:12am
    Back in the early 1990's I had a stab at getting into politics, as I was extremely unhappy at the way our pollies were doing their job. I looked at the qualifications for getting into state and federal parliament. It was quite clear, even then, that if I wanted to get into Federal parliament, I could not have dual nationality - which I had. So that meant I could only try for State parliament, which I did - unsuccessfully. Now, if I was able to obtain and understand the qualifications for Federal parliament, what does it say about the intelligence and family life of our current batch of dual nationality pollies? Are they so uneducated or dyslexic that they cannot understand the basic requirements to enter federal parliament? Did their parents never tell them about their origins? And, unless their parents are totally uncaring (or unable to), most will register the birth of their children in their country of origin. So there is little excuse for those who have been 'caught out'. If they cannot observe the rules they expect everyone else to respect, then they do not deserve to be in Parliament.
    One of the other facts I discovered when trying to enter parliament is that there are no laws or regulations governing political parties. They are a law unto themselves. Therefore it is hardly surprising that they should consider such requirements for entry into federal parliament as applying only to lesser mortals, and not to their selected mates.


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