By Terence Mills
In case you’re not up to date on the eligibility of our elected members to sit in our parliament due to section 44 constitutional doubts on their dual citizenship, I’ll try and bring you up to date.
The timetable agreed at Labor’s insistence was for all parliamentarians to provide their citizenship details by Friday 1 December. So they all have to submit documentary evidence confirming that they are not dual citizens by Friday and they will start being considered during the parliamentary sitting week commencing Monday 4 December, which happens to be the same week that the House of Representatives will consider the Marriage Equality Bill now that it has passed the Senate; it may also be the final sitting week after the scheduled sitting week for the House of Representatives which had been due on 27 November was cancelled.
You may recall that the cancellation of the sitting week of 27 November was to avoid the numbers going against the government on a private members Bill to hold a Royal Commission into banks and financial institutions – that didn’t work out so well, did it?
I’m anticipating some high-jinks next week as elected members start giving excuses about why they haven’t done their homework ranging from the usual ‘the dog ate it’ to ‘it’s Shanghai Sam’s fault’ [as it seems is everything else at this point in time]. Incidentally, I understand that a letter from your Mum stating that you are dinky-die will not be acceptable, neither will proof of membership of the Argonauts Club but it’s getting close.
Pauline Hanson has been unusually proactive and forthright in getting her paperwork sorted out with the UK Visas & Immigration people in England and I have no doubt that she will be demanding that her fellow parliamentarians do likewise and for once, I agree with her. However, having seen Murphy’s law in action in Canberra before I think you will find that quite a few of our elected elite will fail to meet the deadline or will submit old bus tickets and such like hoping nobody notices.
This is Pauline’s evidence and I will be watching closely next week to seek similar evidence published as it comes to hand but I have a feeling that there will be attempts to obfuscate and despite what Christopher Pyne said, it is unlikely that it will suit the government to extend the parliamentary year to include the week of 11 December.