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John Alexander Resigns Because He Allegedly Thinks…

Ok, I may be missing something here.

Earlier today, the Turnbull government has just released legal advice that Labor’s Justine Keay and Susan Lamb, Xenopohon team MP Rebekah Sharkie were ineligible at the time of nomination because, while they’d sent off documents renouncing their British citizenship this wasn’t processed before they nominated.

Then, a little while ago, John Alexander tells us that he thinks that he may have British citizenship rights and, consequently, would be resigning and re-contesting his seat.

Mm, timelines will be interesting here. Given that the government is arguing that merely filling in the paperwork isn’t enough, that the British need to have actually processed it, what sort of time line are we looking at here.

Assuming that Mr Alexander’s resignation is effective immediately, that means the government needs to have a by-election. If the Speaker decides to hold it this year, then it’s a pretty tight timeline. Even if John Alexander dashes down and fills in papers on Monday, if we accept the legal advice that Talcum Malcolm is peddling, then he’ll need to have his application processed pretty quickly or he’ll miss the nomination because it’s not enough to simply renounce your citizenship; the British have to finish processing it. And surely the government wouln’t try to pressure them to speed up the application at the same time as arguing that people whose forms weren’t done in time can’t sit. Surely!

Once the Speaker announces the date of the election, there’s not a lot of time at Mr Alexander’s disposal. The AEC tells us:

“Candidates may not lodge nominations until after the writ for the election has been issued. The date fixed for the close of nominations must be at least 10 days, but not more than 27 days after the issue of the writ.
Nominations must be made before 12 noon on the day nominations close. Nominations will be declared 24 hours after close of nominations.”

Of course, John Alexander’s situation puts the government in a bit of dilemma. Because there’s no obligation on the Speaker to call the by-election any time soon, he could delay it to give Alexander time to sort out his paperwork. The Speaker might believe that it’s too close to Christmas. He could say that we might as well wait because a general election is likely to be needed soon. However, if the Speaker decides to do that, the government will be another vote down in the House of Representatives and Barnaby won’t return until December (presuming he wins).

Given that the Turnbull government allowed Barnaby to continue as Deputy PM, it’ll be hard to argue that the three MPs in doubt shouldn’t vote while their status is decided by the High Court. And, of course, if you accept that argument, then surely all the Liberals with concerns, such as Julia Banks and Nola Marino, should also refrain from voting.

But then this is the Turnbull government we’re talking about and, as I’m sure you’re aware, consistency hasn’t been their strong point.

Actually, I’m having trouble working out what their strong point is, but we’ll let that pass.


32 comments

  1. Jamesss

    Isn’t it wonderful to observe the shit hitting the fan? I love the universe in action.

  2. Kronomex

    This has gone beyond a crisis for Turnbull. Quite literally, an election MUST be called for to settle a complete and utter breakdown of the Australian federal government. The LNP has become a terminal case with only the medical, so to speak, equipment keeping it alive.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/nov/11/citizenship-crisis-john-alexander-resigns-and-triggers-byelection

    Trembles has also shown the nasty, spiteful, petulant, and grudge holding little child lurking just below his skin.

  3. Terry2

    This has gone from farce to fiasco with government members resigning and Chrissy Pyne dobbing in Labor members. There’s no end in sight !

    The only way out of this mess is for Trumble to call an election : the House rises on the 7 December for the summer break, he should schedule an election for January 2018.

    The people need the opportunity of choosing a new government.

  4. Zathras

    Watching these developments and seeing how the Government reacts is a bit like watching the Keystone Cops in action.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKmpHvOzlxE

    I can hardly wait to see an election called and this Government running a campaign based on its record of achievements.

  5. kerri

    If John Alexander has
    “done the right thing, the honourable thing” quote Turnbull
    Then what did Joyce do by remaining in parliament???
    And why were The Greens “sloppy” when they resigned???

  6. Möbius Ecko

    Well there kerri you have nailed Turnbull. From the first second this broke, Turnbull has been all over the shop, inconsistent at every turn.

  7. Judith

    Did John Alexander ever play tennis in the uk (Wimbledon maybe)? If so, he must have needed/not needed a visa. Surely he would have discovered his father’s nationality at that time. Or is his memory failing?

  8. Roscoe

    if all these bi elections are held soon, will these people have to stand for election again at a general election?

  9. Terry2

    Zathras

    The coalition will rely on their record of achievements which include ……………………………..Errr getting rid of the Auastralian automobile industry.

    Can’t think of anything else !

  10. OPPOSE THE MAJOUR PARTIES!

    “Labor’s Justine Keay and Susan Lamb, Xenopohon team MP Rebekah Sharkie were ineligible at the time of nomination because, while they’d sent of documents renouncing their British citizenship this wasn’t processed before they nominated.” They only need to make reasonable efforts. They may have done enough by sending off the forms renouncing before the nomination date. Roberts’ efforts were not enough because he just sent out some dodgy emails enquiring about his status but not renouncing to addresses that never existed and he did that after he had nominated. These politicians should hold firm

  11. OPPOSE THE MAJOUR PARTIES!

    The legal advice was from Bennet the same over paid silk who made a dodgy and ridiculous argument in the HC and which the Judges thought absurd. Thus, its just more contrived and dodgy advice being relied upon by the Nazi

  12. Rossleigh

    According to Turnbull, the non-government three should just resign and face a by-election. Whatever the result, though, they surely have the right to have their case heard by the High Court as their situation is different from all the rulings so far.

  13. Kronomex

    Zathras, the Keystone Cops were funny. Turnbull and the rest of the LNP are more along the lines of…of…I actually can’t think of a worse comedy team than the LNP.

  14. coxvivienne

    I am at a loss, I just wish this government would just call it quits and let our country get on with a new election. The so called privileged, those who think they know what the working class is all about, they don’t. They don’t know what struggles we go through as they up the price of everything we need. Wont be long before we will be treated like the refugees are and have been treated. What does it take to get the message through to the LNP that we are hurting and this behaviour of the Prime Minister and his spiteful MP’s is disgusting. Will we see the release of what the Queens involvement with Sir John Kerr in bringing down Gough Whitlam entailed.

  15. Glenn Barry

    All of the Labor and cross bench MP’s that the LNP have supposedly outed, did their due diligence and filed their renunciations.
    The high court is needed to rule on their eligibility, however I believe they will find them as eligible as they have completed the process on their parts and taken all possible steps in the process of renunciation.

    This has previously been found as sufficient by the high court, applying that judgement to the above MP’s in NOT a fantastic reinterpretation of the constitution like the arguments presented by the Government in the first high court hearing.

    Turnbull is yet again playing the fool, lacking all judgement in citing legal advice, when on past performance, previously that advice has been ONE HUNDRED PERCENT WRONG on all counts as found by unanimous decision of the high court.

    The man is clueless, hapless, useless, directionless and worthless

  16. Rossleigh

    Whether they find them eligible or not, the point is that they don’t have any obligation to resign before a High Court ruling. Turnbull set precent with Joyce and the others.

    Interesting that there’s speculation of a December 16th by-elsection, given how long it took the Brits to process the three who Turnbull is telling us ineligible because they weren’t finalised before nominations closed

  17. theCaptianWise

    There is no honour amongst coalition members, if you expect Turnbull to resign, stand down or call an election you are sadly deluded and haven’t been paying attention.
    It’s only about power to them, always was.
    The only way we will get an election is if Labor can engineer a winning ‘no confidence’ motion on the floor of the chamber.
    Don’t rely on the GG.

  18. Glenn Barry

    @ Rossleigh – yes Turnbull set that precedent and now it’s going to play against him – he’s already made statements to the media which are going to come back to bite him

    @theCaptainWise – do you think they would go so far a to take them down with a vote of no confidence? Everything the LNP do is detrimental to their own cause, Shorten seems patient and prepared to play the long game

  19. Rossleigh

    Actually, I think the most likely scenario for an early election is the one where Turnbull can see the writing on the wall and decides that he has a better chance with the electorate than with the Liberal MPs, so he calls one to head off the leadership challenge. If he wins, he’d be safe for a while. If he loses, he will at least have had the satisfaction of knowing that he stopped Dutton/Bishop/Morrison/Andrews/Pyne from becoming PM at his expense.

  20. Glenn Barry

    @Rossleigh – that’s a very astute insight perfectly encapsulating Turnbull’s hubris, complete lack of judgement and extreme level of self importance

  21. guest

    Rossleigh, if Turnbull’d of lost the election, he’d of realised that not only he could of, but he should of.

  22. stephengb2014

    I think, on the chances of an early election, that ‘thecaptainwise’ is more likely, although Rossliegh has a really good point.

    I choose thecaptainwise, only because my tiny brain has deduced that they (LNP) will be fully aware that they are not only going to lose, but so many of the LNP MPs wiil not get their comfortable stipend for doing ‘f’ all.

    Its all about the money, the salary super and perks. They will stay with turnbull (lowercase, intended insult) because to dump him will not increase their chances of winning an election and will most likely cause even more of them to lose their seat. They will hang in there untill the bitter bitter bitter end.

    S G B

  23. stephengb2014

    I think on the chances of an early election that ‘thecaptainwise’ is more likely, although Rossliegh has a really good point.

    I choose thecaptainwise, only because my tiny brai has deduced that they will be fully aware that they are not only going to lose ut so many of the LNP MPs wiil not get their comfortable stipend for doing ‘f’ all.

    Its all about the money, the salary super and perks. They will stay with turnbull (lowercase, intended insult) because to dump him will not increase their chances oc winning an election and will most likely cause even more of them to lose their seat. Theywill hang in there untill the bitter bitter bitter end.

    S G B

  24. diannaart

    They will (coalition) hang in there until the bitter bitter bitter end.

    I agree, S G B, the LNP is not given to much self-reflection – part of their DNA (born-to-rule).

  25. Glenn Barry

    @Kronomex – with both Pyne and Turnbull making the same threats – they are both hollow and poorly advised in equal measure – if Turnbull is as he claims good in a crisis, this crisis, then I would hate to see his worst because currently he is appalling

  26. stephengb2014

    Hmmmmm, how come I posted it twice, the second time spelt by my forefinger

    Hey ho!

    Thats life

    S G B

  27. jim

    Watching insiders about MT interview with Carl what sa name ,Carl asked MT ” with due respect you are waffling MT you are waffling MT, 1, ( do you think carl would say that if he wasn’t told he could say that on national TV ?, scripted the whole interview IMO.
    MT replies jobs jobs jobs Carl says “now this is the MT we want to see” said carl trying to look awestruck very poorly IMO.
    scripted MSM .

  28. Kronomex

    While I was in bed last night I had a thought:

    If we applied the citizenship rulings in their purest form then just about every politician would be exempt from being in federal parliament, both upper and lower houses. Only Australian citizens can run which means that if you are NOT an Indigenous Australian or of verifiable descent then by those rulings you ARE NOT elegible. Yes, I know it’s semantics but it made me stop and think for a while.

  29. Kaye Lee

    How can John Alexander by eligible to run? He only just found out he is a dual citizen so how could he have renounced it already?

    The Coalition are gunning for two (or more) Labor politicians who had sent off their renunciation forms along with the requisite fee before they nominated but it took the Brits over six weeks to process it officially. Has Alexander produced his renunciation certificate? Has Barnaby Joyce? Or have they just put the process in motion? In which case, they have no right to go after the Labor people who actually DID take reasonable steps before they nominated.

    Update: Nominations for Bennelong close Thursday November 23. That gives him less than two weeks to complete his renunciation

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