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Shock Jock Blitz

Will the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott produce his RN (Renunciation Form) to confirm that he has renounced his British citizenship?

The question still has not been answered.

The social media campaign that began with Tony Magrathea nearly 12 months ago, citing Sections 44 and 46 of the Australian Constitution will not go away. But, given the obstinacy of the Prime Minister in failing to respond, one would think it is time the protagonists cranked up the campaign and shifted into another gear.

The one galling factor in all of this is the apparent unwillingness of the MSM to take up the issue and place sufficient pressure on the PM to produce his RN form. One can only imagine the passion with which that same MSM would have approached this matter had the focus of their attention been Julia Gillard.

So if anyone is willing to take up the issue, the following hints might be helpful. Every morning and afternoon radio shock jocks around the country present various items for discussion. Then at some point they invite listeners to call in and raise any subject they like.

mitchellNeil Mitchell, Jon Faine, Raphael Epstein and Tom Elliot in Melbourne, Alan Jones, Ray Hadley, Steve Price in Sydney, Bob Francis in Adelaide, Eoin Cameron in Perth and a host of others around the country all invite our opinions on various topics every week day. Readers in Brisbane, Perth, and Hobart will know other local talk back hosts.

As these are the people who try to influence the way we think about various subjects, this is where the issue of Tony Abbott’s citizenship should be raised; in an open forum. Each of these people should be approached and not just once but multiple times, daily, weekly. This is what election campaigners do, where supporters get on the phone and push their agenda.

This is what those who feel strongly enough about Abbott’s alleged dual citizenship should do.

It would seem that emailing your local member or any member of parliament is a waste of time. From a dozen or so emails I have sent I have received only one reply, that from Kathy McGowan in Indi, who was willing to take up the matter only if I was a member of her constituency. I am not.

dualThose who are willing to go the shock jock route should prepare themselves adequately. Don’t expect to be treated softly. Read as much as you can of the information already posted online. Have a prepared script with all the relevant detail in front of you. Print out the reply received from The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet on the left. Study the articles here, and here and here.

If asked by the radio producer what your subject matter is, be upfront unless they appear unwilling to put you on. If you find yourself in an endless queue, try again the next day, this time be vague about your subject matter. They might be trying to avoid you.

Try to anticipate what questions you might be asked; have answers ready. This is all basic campaign drill procedure. If you have never done this before you will probably be nervous. Don’t be put off; by your third try you will sound like a professional. Well, maybe it’s not a good idea to sound like a professional, but you know what I mean. For those who would like to sign a petition, the details are here.

Anyway, I’m going to give it a go. How about you?

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189 comments

  1. kate ahearne

    Love it! As you say, time to step up the campaign, and this is the way to do it. Thank you.

  2. Itsazoosue

    If renouncing British citizenship is a prerequisite of office, then this document should have been produced by Abbott as a matter of course before being sworn in. I cannot think of any valid reason why Tony Abbott would not be willing to show proof of his eligibility to be Prime Minister unless none exists.

  3. donwreford

    Abbotts cost cutting for tax payers may look at being a dual Prime minister for Britain and Australia, considering the systems of both countries are much the same, this dual cost cutting would be it the region of 2 to 5 million dollars per annum, both love overseas trips to Iraq, and associating with connections such as Obama, remember to kill two birds with one stone.

  4. DanDark

    Every time I ring the imbeciles office, I say ” where’s proof of Phony Tonys RN, oh he hasn’t got one has he”
    and then clunk, they hang up……..
    Might be time for another phone call to Captain Chaos and repeat my line 🙂

  5. diannaart

    I am rather ambivalent about this. Can’t help but recall the reprehensible Birthers who hounded President Obama. OK, the USA president was perfectly legit and, it would appear, that our PM is less so.

    It’s just that I am fed-up with the cycle of hatred – this is one dance I’ll sit out.

  6. Loz

    If it is disclosed by outside sources that Abbott has not renounced his British citizenship this will bring down the government because of the lie that tops all of his lies.

  7. silkworm

    May I also suggest a campaign of writing to local papers?

  8. Michael Taylor

    Dianaart, this is not the issue of his citizenship. The issue is Abbott’s failure to produce the evidence requested.

  9. Erotic Moustache

    I’m so weary of leftists trying to tell the MSM what they should be finding important and chiding them for not pursuing their pet agendas. Get over it. The question, John, isn’t why there’s no-one in the MSM pursuing this agenda, but rather why no-one in Opposition – Labor or Green or Independent – is doing so. That question is infinitely more significant. Got any theories?

  10. Rob031

    While I like the idea it may also smack too much of the ‘birther’ campaign that was launched against Obama by a bunch of Conservative crazies in the US. Of course the latter campaign was quite different from the Abbott case; but I wouldn’t count on the kind of audiences we’re talking about here making finer distinctions.

    (Incidentally this may partly answer EM’s question as to why the issue has been largly ignored by the MSM and Labor.)

    Perhaps callers would do better and sound like rabid Abbott supporters. The main issue could be about dole bludgers (my neighbour), penalty rates (by small business) etc. Then it could segway (stream of consciousness style) into the British Citizenship scuttlebutt and the kind of petty-minded bastards who would contemplate stooping so low. Shame on them! [That kind of thing]

  11. Tony

    As a constituent of Cathy McGowan in Indi, I have now raised this matter with her.

  12. kate ahearne

    Hi Diannart. But it’s not about hatred. It seems to be about two great big things. First, we simply cannot and must not have a leader, or any parliamentarian for that matter, who owes allegiance to two nations. That would constitute an enormous security risk, and this is clearly understood in the law that prohibits it. Secondly, every Australian citizen is entitled to know that this is not happening. All Tony needs to do is to produce the piece of paper, and it’ll all go away.

  13. kate ahearne

    And Erotic Moustache, there are many reasons why the media doesn’t jump on it – the most powerful of them don’t want it to be true that Tony hasn’t renounced his UK citizenship, so the less said the better. Labor leaders, on the other hand, might feel that they can’t make a song and dance about it because Tony might just be waiting for them to do exactly that, at which point he would produce the piece of paper, and wave it in their faces – it would be so like him. So it’s up to us.

  14. Blanik

    Erotic Moustache has raised a valid point. Why is it that not a soul in the opposition has raised this issue?

  15. Blanik

    haha You and I were typing at the same time Kate. However, I still wonder why Shorten is so afraid of raising the matter. A lot of people are curious – to say the least – about Abbott’s dual nationality and if it were to be produces , well done Shorten.

    As for the media, I think that you are quite correct. They know the truth and don’t want it to be generally known. I still wonder why the leader of the ALP is just sitting on it, but it seems that is the ALP tactic.

  16. Davos

    I’m Wary of anyone using the term “leftist”

  17. Jexpat

    diannaart: you’re engaging in a false equivalency of the sort that the corporate media just loves.

    The fact of the matter here is that Obama- the President of the United States, officially released his birth certificate and all records pertaining thereto.

    Moreover, it was obvious from the outset that the birther thing was not about legalities or records- it was simply a more socially acceptable way of calling him a N____.

    No such circumstance apply here.

    On the contrary, Abbott’s failure to release his own records shows that believes that he (unlike the US President) is above the law- and also shows contempt toward the people that he was elected to serve.

  18. diannaart

    @Jexpat

    I acknowledged the difference in my original post – which you appear to have reacted to rather than actually read:

    …the USA president was perfectly legit and, it would appear, that our PM is less so…

    To all – I fully expected disagreement – so be it.

    My point is playing a hate-game is not getting Abbott to be a responsible leader – quite the reverse in fact.

    How about getting Abbott to explain the plethora of broken promises? Because I have a feeling that we may find we are chasing a chimera in banging on about Abbott’s legitimacy. Whereas his actions in government are clear and present and most definitely a danger.

  19. John Kelly

    To all those making comparisons with the Obama birther issue, this is 100 miles away from that. Nothing like that is relevant in this case. Section 44 of the Constitution is unequivocal. If you hold dual citizenship you cannot contest a seat in parliament. Obama’s place of birth was questioned and a birth certificate was produced. End of story. If Abbott produces an RN form which proves he has renounced citizenship, likewise, end of story. However, both Jackie Kelly (NZ) and Eric Abetz (GER) were caught out and Kelly had to contest a by-election. If Abbott does not come clean he will certainly be challenged within the 45 days after the declaration of the poll for his seat in 2016. How this did not happen in 2010, 2007, 2004, 2001, 1998, 1996 and 1994, I don’t know.

  20. diannaart

    How this did not happen in 2010, 2007, 2004, 2001, 1998, 1996 and 1994, I don’t know.

    This is the problem I am having – if Abbott is not legit why are we asking now.?

    PS

    Apologies for bringing Obama, into this – but the parallels of hatred – regardless of which side of politics you are on are very clear to me. I understand feeling desperate about what more damage Abbott will commit to our nation – however if this ‘renounced citizenship’ scandal had legs why wasn’t it set to rest years ago?

  21. vivienne29

    diannaart – probably because not until 12 months ago did anyone think to check it out. Assuming he was legit was just the way it was until the checking out came up with no proof that he had renounced. It is something which should be a compulsory matter when nominating as a candidate. Surely.

  22. Peter Ball

    well if its not a problem , then Abbott can produce the Documentation , or does he and the Liberal Party have something to hide

  23. Michael Taylor

    Davos, “Leftist” is always used so that something derogative can follow it.

  24. Phi

    diannaart – I don’t see any evidence of a ‘hate game’ as you put it. I don’t see how questioning the legitimacy of the PM can be considered a ‘hate game’ ?

  25. Kaye Lee

    There is an Australian Electoral Commission Candidates Handbook which very clearly states on page 16

    Disqualification under the Constitution

    Section 44 of the Constitution disqualifies certain people from being elected to the Commonwealth Parliament.

    44. Any person who –
    (i) is under any acknowledgment 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;

    There is a checklist on page 9 which includes

    “I have confirmed that I am qualified to nominate”

    http://www.aec.gov.au/elections/candidates/files/candidates-handbook.pdf

  26. Annie B

    John K. ….

    There is a second page to the letter shown above in your article. Of particular note is the following ( on page 2 ) ….

    Subsection 24A(1) of the FOI Act provides that;

    “An Agency or Minister may refuse a request for access to a document if;
    (a) all reasonable steps have been taken to find the document; and
    (b) the agency or Minister is satisfied that the document;
    …..(i) is in the Agency’s or Minister’s possession but cannot be found; or
    ….(ii) does not exist.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B42C_wWg31otWnE4Z0dtVEZpYzA/view?pli=1 ( this link may or may not work … it is a bit old now ). I kept a copy of the letter in my own computer files.

    …. so there IS a proviso here in this letter ( probably rightly and legally ) …. that states the possibility of something ( a document ) that ‘does not exist’. ……..

    Rather encouraging wording – to pursue this matter. … Raises the possibility, or even just the thought – that the document ‘does not exist’; the letter is appropriately signed.

    Of even more interest, is the reason given to refuse the request for this information. …. and I am wondering if McMahon ( the signatory ) has put his foot in it here. …… the wording :

    “I have therefore decided to refuse the request under section 24A(1)(b)(ii) of the FOI Act.”

    ….. which brings McMahon to the point that he has refused the request because the document ‘does not exist’ …. citing the section and subsections. He mentions only that portion – nothing else as reason for refusal.

    That’s the way I read it anyway.

    What do you ( or others, if interested ) think.

  27. Alphonse

    Nooo! Do not pursue this. If his election to parliament is nullified, the replacement PM will be just as spot off but less ridiculous and possibly more effective.

  28. The AIM Network

    A comment on Facebook:

    I had spoken to Tanya Plibersek’s office on 5 Jan 2015 to enquire on ALP’s stand on this matter and they gave me the same stand as Tim Watt. The staffer of Ms Plibersek’s office advised me that Tony Abbott was born as a “British subject” not a British Citizen, therefore there isn’t any issue on his British Citizenship per se as the “British Citizenship law” only came to effect after he was born.

    However, I found that “The British Nationality Act 1948” came into effect on 1st January 1949, which created the status of “Citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies” (CUKC) as the national citizenship of the United Kingdom and its colonies. Tony Abbott was born in London on 4 November 1957. This means that under the “The British Nationality Act 1948”, Tony Abbott was born as a British Citizen NOT a British subject.

  29. John Kelly

    Annie B, thank you for that. I knew there was a second page but couldn’t find it. We don’t know if McMahon means that the document doesn’t exist within his files, or that it never existed ever. A bit ambiguous, it’s possible he just doesn’t have it.I might put in a phone call.

  30. Kaye Lee

    I’m surprised his Coalition colleagues aren’t leaking the story. It would be a good way to get rid of him because none of them are going anywhere with Captain Confrontation in charge.

  31. AbbottsAustralia

    This is a great initiative. We’re delivering the now 25,000 strong petition to Adam Bandt and Bill Shorten’s offices in the next week. Both sit in the lower house (same as Abbott), meaning both have the power to bring this issue into Parliament under Section 376 of the Electoral Act. Some pressure from the shock jocks might be what’s needed to finally blow them into action.
    https://www.change.org/p/tony-abbott-show-us-your-papers-renouncing-your-british-citizenship-before-you-were-elected
    #tonyshowusyourpapers

  32. AbbottsAustralia

    Some crib notes for those thinking of calling the shock jocks on Abbott’s British citizenship:

    There’s a long paper trail and probably reasons why the Greens/ALP aren’t rocking the boat. Perhaps some past and current MP’s still have foreign citizenship themselves? It could be scandalous and cost them all their pay and pensions..

    THE BACKGROUND:
    · Constitution Section 44(i) states: “Any person who.. is under any acknowledgment of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power, or is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges ofa subject or a citizen of a foreign power; shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a senator or a member of the House of Representatives.”

    · Australian Electoral Commission laws state: 1) “The validity of the election of any member of parliament may only be disputed by a petition to the Court of Disputed Returns within 40 days of the return of the writ.” and after that; 2) ” Any question respecting the qualifications of a Senator or of a Member of the House of Representatives or respecting a vacancy in either House of the Parliament may be referred by resolution to the Court of Disputed Returns by the House in which the question arises and the Court of Disputed Returns shall thereupon have jurisdiction to hear and determine the question.” (Section 376)

    · Tony Abbott was born in London in 1957, came to Australia in 1960, and also became an Australian citizen in 1981 (dual national)

    · The mechanism to renounce UK citizenship is a “Form RN” (see https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/257089/form_rn.pdf)

    · The UK Home Office have advised (informally) that no such document exists for Abbott, and (formally), that any FOI request to obtain such document would be declined

    · A Freedom of Information Request to the Dept of Prime Minister and Cabinet (Sep 2014) to produce Tony Abbott’s Form RN, and numerous queries from the public and media have been declined, the FOI response in particular stating that the form “cannot be found or…does not exist” (see https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B42C_wWg31otWnE4Z0dtVEZpYzA/view?pli=1)

    · Enquiries to numerous MP’s, for example, Senator Doug Cameron
    (Labor), Senator Scott Ludlam (Greens) have been stonewalled or ignored. (maybe because Cameron was born in the UK and Ludlam in NZ, amongst many others born outside Australia)

    · There appear to be a few precedents within the AEC’s statutory 40 day window to challenge election results (via the Court of Disputed
    Returns), but none outside the window:

    a) Heather Hill, 1999: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sue_v_Hill
    (Hill’s election was ruled invalid as she was still a UK citizen at the time of nomination)
    b) Jackie Kelly 1996: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lindsay_by-election,_1996 (Kelly was still a NZ citizen, and the election ruled invalid)
    c) Eric Abetz, 2010: http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php/article/mercury-abetz-challenge-withdrawn (Like Abbott, Abetz entered Parliament in 1994 but only renounced his German citizenship in 2010 as demonstrated in this case, however this article shows the case was withdrawn, perhaps it was too challenging to win and too costly to lose)

    IT IS ALLEGED:
    · Abbott has never renounced his UK citizenship
    · At elections in 1994,1996, 1998,2001,2004, 2007,2010 and 2013 Abbott signed a statutory declaration for the Australian Electoral Commission stating he complied with, amongst other things, Section 44(i) of the Australian Constitution which precludes dual nationals from standing for parliament. (The AEC do not ask candidates to prove their citizenship at the time of candidacy)
    – The AFP, Attorney General, and Commonwealth Ombudsman have all been approached with regards to the alleged Section 44(i) breach and fraudulent statutory declarations but are either not responding or hand-balling responsibility to other agencies.

    BOTTOM LINE:
    A High Court case can be brough at any time, before or after Abbott is leader, and before or after he retires/loses his seat. A win would set a very significant precedent that may affect dozens of potentially illegally elected past and present MP’s, cost them their entitlements, their backpay, and potentially have implications on the laws they passed when in office. A lot is at stake. When you consider the ramifications and scope it is not surprising those in office haven’t touched this subject… YET!

  33. olive

    Why not get the Guardian onto this ………or get someone in UK like John PIlger or a sympathetic member of the British Parliament who can investigate from UK end ? Would this be possible? Surely there would be record on file in Uk if he has renounced his citizenship our whether he still holds it …surely some investigative journalist can source this document….could Geoffrey Roberson do this ? …what about Julian Assange ?

  34. Kaye Lee

    If the AEC say that politicians must satisfy these conditions (and they do) surely it would be a simple matter for them to request the required documentation from any candidate. Look at the paperwork and proof requested from Newstart and DSP recipients. Look at the paperwork and documents required to open a bank account or get a passport. Can I just sign a bit of paper for the tax department saying promise this is all true but the dog ate my source documents?

    I think the request should come from the AEC as a normal procedural matter of course and it should go to all politicians who contest the next election.

  35. John Kelly

    Olive, I emailed Geoffrey Robinson in the UK some months ago. I have not received a reply.

  36. Marian Saines

    Seems obvious Kaye, but AEC have declined to address the concerns.

  37. Kaye Lee

    Marian,

    Yes I know they have declined to enter the fray, saying they just take their word, but I think it would be a good area to put pressure for future elections. It is quite a reasonable request that they require the source documents to prove someone’s eligibility for candidature. That they haven’t done so to date doesn’t mean they shouldn’t in the future. They are supposed to be an independent body.

    It would make future elections very interesting as we learn the truth.

  38. John Kelly

    Kaye Lee, when the AEC was approached about 10 months ago, they stated that they don’t check the accuracy of candidates nomination forms. They assume they are correct. Beyond that they have no interest in candidates.

  39. Kaye Lee

    I know John. Considering the hoops everyone else has to jump through to prove their identity and eligibility for everything I can see no reason for this not to be a requirement in the future.

  40. Cath Wallace

    With so many Australians having du\al nationality these days I honestly don’t think it should be an impediment to holding any office. That is one law I wouldn’t mind changing. If that were the only fault
    to be found with dear Tony we could count ourselves lucky.

  41. kate ahearne

    Cath, there is a massive difference between a private person and the Prime Minister of a country holding dual citizenship. The PM, if he really is a dual citizen, has a conflict of loyalty and interest affecting every single one of us 20,000,000plus Australians. It’s a security issue of massive proportions. And it’s not as if we haven’t seen glimpses of Tony’s loyalty to the UK – bringing back knighthoods, for goodness sake, and what about telling the Scots which way they should vote in the recent independence referendum. These matters are relatively minor, but we should be very, very aware of what could happen in more serious matters.

  42. bennoba

    Jexpat, the questions about Obama’s citizenship were first raised by Hillary Clinton’s campaign during the Democratic primaries.

    I honestly don’t know if she was just looking for a socially acceptable way of calling him a ‘n….r’ or whether you’re just projecting your own prejudices.

  43. Jeffrey

    We, all the Australian people, have every legal right to know the answer. Abbott is not above the law, although he always thinks he is some kind of protected species! He must show us these legal documents and prove to us when he entered our Parliament, he was not holding dual citizenship.

    I think the next election campaign should seriously be based on NOT electing somebody who possibly CHEATED his way into Australian politics!

    Hello Bill Shorten and Labor – WHERE THE BLOODY HELL ARE YOU? stop hiding with this snowballing issue, it’s definitely not going to go away – my family and I are already telling clients who are shocked to the core!

    And please do not compare us to the ‘Obama birther’ issue which has done the rounds on social media and often pops up as a comparison – THIS IS AUSTRALIA, WE ARE AUSTRALIANS AND WE ARE THE ONES WHO DESERVE TO VOTE FOR A LEGAL REPRESENTATIVE! Not some slippery snake….

  44. Erotic Moustache

    Kaye lee,

    Considering the hoops everyone else has to jump through to prove their identity and eligibility for everything I can see no reason for this not to be a requirement in the future.

    Really? No reason? C’mon. It can take months to establish citizenship in the way being suggested here (it’s why the AEC doesn’t demand documentary proof and merely require a statutory declaration). Political candidates almost never have the luxury of such time frames. Let’s hold off on the Qld State election because Dave Didlysquat who wants to stand – and has every democratic right to do so -needs to prove he’s not still a citizen of Zimbabwe because his dog ate his original documents and Zimbabwe takes forever to do anything.

    See my point?

  45. Kaye Lee

    Cath,

    I must say I share your feelings. And then I remember how relentlessly Abbott pursued Julia Gillard, Peter Slipper, Craig Thomson, over things that should not have been taking the time of parliament, enormous police and judicial resources, and all the attention of our media to the exclusion of any sensible scrutiny of policy.

    I have always had a principle of don’t sink to their level, don’t employ the same tactics, stick to your guns and remember the main game. Unfortunately it isn’t working with a large section of the electorate. So I will just enjoy the karma should anything come of it. That is why I would prefer the AEC to require eligibility to be proven for future elections rather than chasing Abbott right now.

  46. Erotic Moustache

    Is Penny Wong still a Malaysian citizen? I demand to know!!!! I want proof! Documents! Public declarations! While we’re at it, I want the same from the following:

    In the House of Representatives:

    Tony Abbott, Liberal Party (born in London, England)
    Bob Baldwin, Liberal Party (born in Gloucester, England)
    Darren Cheeseman, Labor Party (born in Christchurch, New Zealand)
    Paul Fletcher, Liberal Party (born in Devizes, Wiltshire, England)
    Joanna Gash, Liberal Party (born in Groningen, Netherlands)
    Julia Gillard, Labor Party (born in Barry, Wales)
    Gary Gray, Labor Party (born in Rotherham, Yorkshire, England)
    Dennis Jensen, Liberal Party (born in Johannesburg, South Africa)
    Sussan Ley, Liberal Party (born in Kano, Nigeria)
    Brendan O’Connor, Labor Party (born in London, England)
    Bernie Ripoll, Labor Party (born in Pézenas, France)
    Laura Smyth, Labor Party (born in Belfast, Northern Ireland)
    Alex Somlyay, Liberal Party (born in Budapest, Hungary)
    Craig Thomson, Labor Party (born in Wellington, New Zealand)
    Maria Vamvakinou, Labor Party (born in Lefkada, Greece)
    Tony Zappia, Labor Party (born in Platì, Reggio Calabria, Calabria, Italy)

    In the Senate:

    Eric Abetz, Liberal Party (born in Stuttgart, West Germany)
    Judith Adams, Liberal Party (born in Picton, New Zealand)
    Doug Cameron, Labor Party (born in Bellshill, Scotland)
    Stephen Conroy, Labor Party (born in Ely, Cambridgeshire, England)
    Mathias Cormann, Liberal Party (born in Eupen, Belgium)
    Chris Evans, Labor Party (born in Cuckfield, England)
    Alex Gallacher, Labor Party (born in New Cumnock, Scotland)
    Scott Ludlam, Greens Party (born in Palmerston North, New Zealand)
    Nigel Scullion, Country Liberal Party (born in London, England)
    Nick Sherry, Labor Party (born in Kingston-on-Thames, England)
    Ursula Stephens, Labor Party (born in Wicklow, Republic of Ireland)
    Larissa Waters, Greens Party (born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada)
    Penny Ying-yen Wong, Labor Party (born in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia)

    Who cares if some have retired, it still matters. Perhaps they have betrayed Australia all along! Arrrrr and grrrr and other expressions of angst and anger!

  47. Kaye Lee

    “It can take months to establish citizenship”

    Considering it has always been a requirement for candidature then those considering standing should have the required documentation before they choose to stand. I don’t necessarily want someone flying in from, say, Belgium and standing for election the next day because he sees it as a cushy well-paid job that requires no expertise, experience, or know-how but pays really great expenses.

  48. Erotic Moustache

    I feel that’s a touch oblique, Kaye Lee. What you wouldn’t “necessarily want” and what ought be a democratic right don’t necessarily gel. Not everyone knows months ahead of time they want to stand for “parliament”. That decision can be made, and legitimately so, on the shortest of notice depending on context and circumstance. Many fine representatives have made the choice on that basis.

    This whole issue is bogus and stupid, afaic. I can’t believe anyone here thinks people professionally engaged in politics thinks it’s other than a big pile of pettifog. People’s zeal in relation to this is blinding them from the political repercussions. Namely, that if Abbott were to be forced out of Parliament because of this, the Government would not be particularly harmed by it long term and perhaps even helped considerably.

  49. Carol Taylor

    Erotic Moustache, yes I am certain that Penny Wong and others can produce their citizenship papers at a moments notice, being a document as essential as one’s birth certificate and we all keep a copy of one of those. The difficulty with Abbott is that while others have been forthcoming about when they relinquished their former countries, Abbott has not which gives the impression that he has a reason to be evasive about the subject.

    Of interest is that as a family historian of over 15 years experience, I do know my way about the National Archives online. It is odd that Abbott’s family’s immigration records were suddenly put into “restricted”. If you want to see Julia Gillard’s immigration record, here it is: http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/DetailsReports/ItemDetail.aspx?Barcode=7355086&isAv=N

    When this topic first became public, I thought to check the NAA to find the immigration records of Anthony John Abbott, being quite sceptical of any theory concerning his citizenship. Abbott’s records were there, the same as Ms Gillard’s, just ordinary immigration records.

    The next day after the issue when “viral” on social media, I thought to look again for these same records – they were gone, no longer available to the public with the reason given for restricted access being: http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/DetailsReports/ItemDetail.aspx?Barcode=13147273&isAv=N

    33(1)(g) Information or matter the disclosure of which under this Act would involve the unreasonable disclosure of information relating to the personal affairs of any person (including a deceased person)

    Why on earth would ordinary immigration records, and as you can note from Ms Gillard’s are extremely benign suddenly become “restricted”?

  50. diannaart

    Tony Abbott IS loathsome. However, I do not believe that his citizenship is the way to go with levering him out of his seat of power – as others have stated, were it to happen mid-term – then another equally odious member of the Libs would step forward – Scott Morrison, anyone?

    Also, if, as others have stated, many of our politicians past and present are guilty of same, then perhaps, an amnesty be offered. A time in which our politicians who fail this law, can declare themselves as Australian Citizens in every true sense – get their paperwork in order 😉

    Then we can get back to focussing on surviving this period of neo-conservative Australia and planning for a future where such ideologues can never hold such power again.

  51. Kaye Lee

    “Not everyone knows months ahead of time they want to stand for “parliament”. ”

    So what? If they are dual citizens they are ineligible. This isn’t a “want” thing….it’s the law. If they don’t satisfy the rules then they can’t stand….simple as that.

  52. Carol Taylor

    To me it’s not at all like the situation where Abbott and his shock-jock cronies were trying to force Labor out of government via constant harping of this is ‘an illegitimate government’ – sour grapes because the Indies sided with Labor. Abbott therefore spent the best part of his time as LOTO whingeing about being robbed of his rightful place as PM, followed by every method fair and foul to ‘call another election” – we demand another election.

    All that we of the left want is a simple, straightforward answer to a simple question. And it is not possible (see Michael’s topic on Abbott’s Media Monitoring) that Abbott and his office don’t realize that his citizenship is an issue. What about a straightforward denial with a smirk about ‘conspiracy theorists’? Why has this not happened? Abbott can certainly hit the press at a moment’s notice about every other issue under the sun.

  53. Roswell

    It seems to me that Erotic Moustache had completely missed the point of this article. Either that, or he’s swinging it around to suit his own agenda.

  54. Annie B

    Erotic M ….

    Your comment about a ‘statutory declaration’ being … enough.

    …….” (it’s why the AEC doesn’t demand documentary proof and merely require a statutory declaration).

    I gather you know ( or perhaps you don’t !! ) ……. that a Stat. Dec is considered a legal document, signed in the presence of a creditable witness with given powers to witness that document – AND is subject to legal action against the person making a false statement on said Stat. Dec.

    “Documentary proof” can be fudged. ….. A Stat. Dec over-rides the legality of alleged documented proof ( i.e. a letter for whatever [ maybe entitlement ] or a legal agreement, etc. )
    The signee of a Stat. Dec is making a legal assertion as to facts – and MUST be honest in the statement(s) on that document.

    The AEC knows what it’s doing – and can ‘ get ‘ a person who is issuing false statements under oath, quite easily. …. I suggest you ‘try it out’ … go sign a Stat. Dec. with false information and see how far you get. Because a Stat. Dec does not just remain the property of the signee ( unless the signee changes his/her mind and does not submit the document ) ….

    It usually goes somewhere, to someone who has requested it. …….. And the recipients of a Stat. Dec. usually check legally, the said document. ,,,,, They have to, – to protect themselves – and incidentally, it protects the accredited witness to the document.

    .

  55. Erotic Moustache

    Kaye Lee,

    Give me a break. Before some dumb mug made this an issue hardly anyone knew of 44 or the relevant stat dec in the AEC nomination forms. Stop talking as though this is somehow common knowledge for potential political candidates; it isn’t and has never been. If you “want” it to be into the future, fine, but let’s not get all retrospective about this because it’s disingenuous bullshit.

    Are you going to ring Penny Wong’s office and ask for proof she’s not a still a dual citizen? If not, why not? That’s a serious question.

  56. Erotic Moustache

    Roswell,

    The point of this article is breathtakingly obvious and in my view breathtakingly vacuous. Tell me, why did Tanya Plibersek’s office dismiss it? Why?

  57. Roswell

    Erotic M, why don’t you give us ALL a break. You’re becoming boring.

  58. Roswell

    From what I read in the comment above, TB ignored it by error. But just because she shrugged it off does not mean it’s not an issue. Bill Shorten shrugged off the idea of a federal ICAC. Does that mean we don’t need one just because he said so?

  59. Graham Parton

    I suspect the main issue is that Abbott has sworn allegiance to the Queen of Australia while at the same time was a British citizen and a subject of the Queen of England. I can’t see any conflict there, nor any way he can sensibly renounce his allegiance to the Queen of England. These Queens are not foreign powers, they are the same person.

  60. Roswell

    And for the record – and this is entirely off topic – Obama wrote a paper about 20 years ago where he said he wasn’t an American citizen. Why do you think it was first brought up by the Democrats?

  61. Erotic Moustache

    Annie B,

    The section of the AEC’s nomination for political candidacy forms that pertain to section 44 of the Constitution carry the usual statements about the penalties for giving false declarations.

    “I am not, by virtue of section 44 of the Constitution, incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a Member of the House of Representatives (see page 1*)”

    “Giving false or misleading information is a serious offence.”

    I’m not sure what it is you believe you’re telling me, but thanks anyway.

  62. mars08

    How long has Abbott been an MP? About 15 or 20 years. That’s quite a few months to establish citizenship… or to ensure he has the documents close at hand.

  63. Sir-Murray Robert-Barnard Of-Hawkstone

    Surprised it hasn’t occurred to the LNP power brokers that is the way to remove Abbott without doing a leadership spill. A leadership spill will look too much like the Rudd/Gillard shoving match. Pushing the citizenship barrow would look like the party is being constitutional and acting within the rule of law. Abbott would have to stand down and stand for re-election. He might be dis-endorsed, he might not be re-elected but he certainly would not be PM again. the lack of media interest is disturbing as is the lack of disclosure being sought by the Opposition over a constitutional matter. It is unacceptable that the PM of this country does not produce evidence of his legitimacy to stand for the highest elected public office in the land.

  64. Kaye Lee

    And YES I think it should be a requirement for all politicians including Penny Wong for the next election to prove their eligibility. if it turns out they have been ineligible for election previously then their pension entitlements should be appropriately docked. If they are still ineligible then they can’t stand.

  65. Sir-Murray Robert-Barnard Of-Hawkstone

    As to this being news to pollies…in recent years two high profile Lib pollies have been caught up in these concerns. If it is good enough for them why not Abbott!

    On 30 July 2010, a Tasmanian resident, John Hawkins, lodged an objection to Abetz’s nomination for re-election, alleging that Abetz held dual citizenship of both his birthplace, Germany, and Australia. The Australian Constitution prevents someone who is a citizen of a foreign country from holding Parliamentary office. Hawkins subsequently withdrew the petition to the High Court of Australia after receiving documentation of Abetz’s renunciation of his German citizenship on 9 March 2010.

    In 1996, Kelly was elected twice to the seat of Lindsay, based around the suburb of Penrith on the western fringe of Sydney. The first time was at the general election on 2 March 1996; however she was later disqualified because of her RAAF employment, and not having taken steps to renounce her New Zealand citizenship. After addressing these issues, she was re-elected at a by-election on 19 October 1996.

    And this is not a matter of law, it is in the Constitution, it cannot be changed by a simple act of parliament.

  66. Annie B

    John K …….

    You are welcome.

    And yes, it IS ambiguous …….. but I don’t think ‘ambiguous’ cuts it in law – or in a court of law.

    The situation with Abbott …. either is – – or it is not. No middle or muddled ground, as you know.

    How to get the proof ? …. Difficult in the extreme at this stage. Requires a whistle-blower.

    I don’t like the thought of whistle-blowers, but this Government plays the filthiest of games, and why not play it back at them. Takes fire most often, to beat fire.

    Our integrity is not an issue, nor is it in any danger – playing a few ‘ dirty games’ back at the Government.

  67. Kaye Lee

    Let’s compare this to the real world.

    I am currently dealing with Centrelink on behalf of my son (as I have mentioned before).

    I went in armed with his birth certificate, his passport, his Medicare card, statements of his current bank accounts, a medical certificate from the hospital and an authority to act on his behalf. What they then wanted was a separation certificate from the recruitment agency that had been finding him work for the previous twelve months. To me that seems stupid because, as soon as he is well, he will be looking for a job again and he has a very good reputation with them. Why wipe him off the books (they knew his situation) when he may need them again?

    But that was the rules. All people are asking for is Tony Abbott’s “separation certificate” just like people applying for Newstart must supply.

  68. Paul G. Dellit

    John, the unfathomable aspect of all this for me is we have a a person holding the office of Prime Minister of Australia who may be Constitutionally ineligible to hold any public office in this country. It’s not as though the matter has lacked a public airing. It has been the subject of a great number of Tweets, including one which I directed to Julian Burnside who has responded to me in the past, and you have written directly to Geoffrey Robinson. Both legal eminence grises have remained silent – no comment of any kind in response – which for these two public figures seems most out of character.

    So, we are left to speculate. All I can throw into the ring is the possibility that powder is being kept dry until the closing months of this obscene Abbott ministry when a formal challenge will be made, too late for the LNP to recover from the ensuing scandal. But, I am an optimist.

  69. Erotic Moustache

    Kaye Lee,

    And YES I think it should be a requirement for all politicians including Penny Wong for the next election to prove their eligibility. if it turns out they have been ineligible for election previously then their pension entitlements should be appropriately docked. If they are still ineligible then they can’t stand.

    Ok, fair enough. I’m down with that.

  70. Annie B

    @ kate ahearne …… ( January 7, 2015 at 6:20 pm – comment )

    “Labor leaders, on the other hand, might feel that they can’t make a song and dance about it because Tony might just be waiting for them to do exactly that, at which point he would produce the piece of paper, and wave it in their faces.”

    This would not surprise me one bit kate. The Coalition plays the dirtiest of the dirty game that politics is … and maybe are sitting on all this, to do exactly as you have suggested. ……… which would add to their political kudos in no uncertain terms – shut us all up – and put the Labor opposition back on its’ haunches.

    Which is something Labor cannot afford to have happen at this time.

    Personally, I hope Labor keeps on exactly as they are – allowing the Abbott maniac menagerie to hang itself from it’s own constructed highest branches —- in due time, and swing, choking on their own vileness.

    ?? ” Everything comes, to those who wait” ??

  71. rossleighbrisbane

    Erotic Moustache, you are aware that your alias is an oxymoron. You know, like right wing think tank!

  72. John Kelly

    Erotic Moustache, why don’t you ring Penny Wong’s office and ask her to produce a renunciation certificate. I’m sure she has one.

  73. Annie B

    @Roswell ….. re Obama ( your post January 7, 2015 at 7:52 pm )

    ….. ” Why do you think it was first brought up by the Democrats?

    Um … wasn’t it the Republicans ? ( Obama’s opposition ) who produced the cudgels and lambasted him about his origins and whether he was Muslim, American, or whatever ?

    From memory, it was the Republican conservatives in that country who raised the issue…. a mean mob if ever there was one. …. I think Donald Trump had his nose in it — as far as it could go.

    Not that it really matters now – they are all cast from the same cloth over there, no matter who they vote for or follow. Ugh.

  74. Florence nee Fedup

    “Not everyone knows months ahead of time they want to stand for “parliament”.
    ” This problem arose during Howard’s time, when Abbott was a minister. One Lib had to resign. I believe that Abetz was given time to sort things out.

    Abbott has either ignored or treated the matter with his usual laziness or inclination to procrastinating.

    If he has not bother to formally announce his UK citizenship, one can only for it down to disrespect of the law or as likely, laziness, sloth, inability to focus and lack of detail to his responsibilities.

    Voters have a right to know. There is no known reason why he does not release details. It has nothing to do with privacy. No privacy issues, as it is a condition of being allow to take the oath of office,

  75. Sir Scott

    The second page of the response to Jan Olsen’s FOI request is much more interesting than the first.

    Robert McMahon, Assistant Secretary, Parliamentary and Government Branch, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, was the authorised decision-maker who refused the request by Jan Olsen under the provisions of the Freedom Of Information Act 1982.

    The decision details are: “I have decided to refuse the request under section 24A(1)(b)(ii) of the FOI ACT.

    He goes on to provide the relevant section of the act.

    Section 24A(1)(b)(ii) of the FOI ACT reads as follows:

    24A(1)An agency or Minister may refuse a request for access to a document if …(b) the agency or Minister is satisfied that the document …(ii) does not exist.

    Could it be any more clear? The request was refused because THE DOCUMENT DOES NOT EXIST.

  76. Annie B

    @ Erotic Moustache – (January 7, 2015 at 7:53 pm )

    ………..” “Giving false or misleading information is a serious offence.” ( your statement ).

    I believe you have answered your own question.

    But would appreciate a link to the ( page 1 ) you refer to in your comment. ……… There’s an enormous amount of info. on the AEC …. and I would like you to be a little more specific ref. your research. !!

    Will you do it ? ….. If you do, I will certainly look at the link.

  77. Erotic Moustache

    Ross,

    Erotic Moustache, you are aware that your alias is an oxymoron. You know, like right wing think tank!

    You don’t think that’s a touch homophobic? 😉

  78. Florence nee Fedup

    Maybe one of the MPs could introduce a personal bill that requires all document ion that qualifies anyone to sit in the houses, be put on public show when they are first elected, before visiting the GG.

    If one applies for a benefit, one has to do this. If fact one is questioned in depth. You have to prove your eligibility. Same should apply for MPs.

    Gillard did this, without anyone asking.

  79. Sir Scott

    Annie B

    “Difficult in the extreme at this stage. Requires a whistle-blower.”

    You can bet a body part that Peta Credlin knows all. Tony Abbott will defend her to the death, because she knows EXACTLY where ALL the bodies are buried, and WHO put them there.

  80. corvus boreus

    I broadly support a comprehensive check of everyones paperwork to make sure they are entitled to be sitting in the houses, but I would much prefer to give priority to ensuring/enforcing general sobriety in the parliamentary process.
    People tend to make dipshit decisions when they are smashed, like wading into fights or rash gambling. They will also often do stuff like telling blatant lies with a straight face or smirk.
    A breath-box at the door.

  81. Erotic Moustache

    John Kelly,

    Erotic Moustache, why don’t you ring Penny Wong’s office and ask her to produce a renunciation certificate. I’m sure she has one.

    Why are you sure? Because she’s a Labor politician? Actually, in her case she doesn’t have to because the second she became an Australian citizen she lost her Malaysian citizenship automatically according to their rules. But the point I’m making remains.

  82. Annie B

    @ Florence NFE

    ……. ” If he has not bother to formally announce his UK citizenship, one can only … for it down to disrespect of the law or as likely, laziness, sloth, inability to focus and lack of detail to his responsibilities. “

    ALL OF THE ABOVE. !!! ( and then some ).

  83. Florence nee Fedup

    Personally I am not against all in this position being asked to deliver. These people are elected to uphold the law of the land. If they ignore or break it, they have no right to sit. Shows laziness and lack of character to sit in any house of parliament in this land.

    If MPs do not like the law, they should change it. Ignoring is not n option.

    Parliamentarians should be above suspicion. In fact must also present as,

  84. corvus boreus

    Actually, if all the current Labor(and ‘other’) MPs of overseas birth made a public display stunt of flourishing their citizenship documentation, it would possibly be an effective little ploy highlight Mr Abbotts reticence/refusal to address the issue despite requests.
    Of course, they could not do this if some of them had no such papers.

  85. Florence nee Fedup

    We need to keep in mind also, that Abbott was in his twenties when he sought Australian citizenship and visa. His mother was an Australian who somehow came back to this country as a 10 pound migrant.

    One would assume, those in parliament in Howard’s time. when a MP was forced to leave and another given time to fix things up, they would ensure they had crossed the Ts and dotted the Is.

    I would be surprise, if those in this position, running for the first time today, would be ask to produce evidence when seeking nomination. Seems they should extend that to all. Even those renominating.

    Sad political world we now live in, when one cannot afford to trust anyone.

    Maybe this is why this mob feel they cannot trust anyone seeking benefits, and must be treated as if they are out to rort the system.

    Seems they are that way inclined themselves.

  86. Kaye Lee

    Eric Abetz has been a member of the Australian Senate since February 1994.

    On 30 July 2010, a Tasmanian resident, John Hawkins, lodged an objection to Abetz’s nomination for re-election, alleging that Abetz held dual citizenship of both his birthplace, Germany, and Australia. Hawkins subsequently withdrew the petition to the High Court of Australia after receiving documentation of Abetz’s renunciation of his German citizenship on 9 March 2010.

    Abetz had been in parliament illegally for 16 years.

  87. Annie B

    Sir Scott ….

    Agree with you, but not prepared to bet a body part ( have to hang on to what I’ve got left !! 😉 ).

    Peta Credlin is the spider – the cunning web-weaver, and all seem to be under her spell. Cannot fathom why ? … As for Abbott defending her to the death – raises some interesting questions, which I will not publicly refer to, here !!!! ????

    ……….

    @ Corvus ………. ( January 7, 2015 at 8:48 pm )

    Once again, summing things up in a nutshell. …… You do that very well.

    hmmm …. wonder how many bottles of $100 plonk the Coalition get stuck into, when ‘off the benches’ !!

    And wonder how many ‘decisions’ the current leader has made when under the affluence of incohol.

    He’s admitted as much himself. ….. the ridiculous moron.

    ( I have taken you at your word here ….. ) 😉

  88. Florence nee Fedup

    “Of course, they could not do this if they had no such papers”

    If this is the case, they all need to be exposed.

  89. corvus boreus

    Florence nee Fedup,
    If this is the case, then LIB/LAB/NAT will likely vow to “work in a bipartisan fashion to defend against any perception of wrongdoing”.

  90. Kaye Lee

    Why were there no repercussions for Eric Abetz signing a stat dec that he was eligible to run for parliament when he patently was not? This man has been paid by us for 20 years, 16 years of which he was an “illegal” politician.

  91. Annie B

    @ E Moustache ………

    Thanks for the link.

    If you are referring to the “Nomination of a member of the House of Representatives ( form 60 ) …. in which it asks for the signature on the first of several questions … the first being : ”

    “I am qualified under the Constitution and the laws of the
    Commonwealth to be elected as a Member of the House of
    Representatives. ”

    Then a person who is prone to lying his way through life – ( and we have undeniable proof that Abbott has lied to the Australian people from day 1 before the September 2013 election ) ……. it would not be inconceivable that a person such as this would happily sign his / her name to that declaration – without batting a bloody eye lid.

    I have read every word of that link … and took particular note of the attention drawn ( on page 1 ) of the reference to Constitutional Law – Section 44. In particular – the summary ( at the end ) of the requirements :

    ” Giving false or misleading information is a serious offence.”

    Did Abbott knowingly ( or not ) ……. sign this official document, under false pretences. …. If he knowingly signed under false pretences, then he’s in trouble.

    Has ANYONE, signed this over the years, without due deliberation as to it’s content ?

    Remains to be seen …,……… and eventually it WILL be seen.

  92. bennoba

    No, it was Hillary Clinton’s campaign who questioned Obama’s birthplace during the Democratic primaries.

  93. rangermike1

    Gosh You people astound me. Tone gave up his British Citizenship when he was just a Pup. Just the same as Joe Hockeys (Dogs Breakfast) budget, all blame Tone for his Lies, lack of politic, stupidity and rolling over to have his tummy scratched by Obama. Tone is a man of integrity, ,,,,,,,,,,if you are the 1 %.

  94. Roswell

    Thanks Tom. Will read them later.

    Annie, btw, I like Obama. God help us if and when the other mob get in.

    The people of my native country might be after change though, I’m afraid.

  95. Peter Young

    It is a waste of time and effort emailing your local member or any other politician, the ONLY way to get a response from them is by letter and put in the letter that you want a response back, and I believe if it is in letter form they must reply to you.

  96. Florence nee Fedup

    Tone was well into his twenties when he sought Australian citizenship. Needed to do so for Rhodes Scholarship and Oxford. One need not have renounced UK citizenship. Definitely did not occur when he was a pup.

  97. Annie B

    Roswell …,, I too have a great deal of respect for Obama. …. cannot speak to most of my American friends about that though. !! …. Most are ultra ‘ rights ‘. I just keep the peace, and delete a lot ( of email propaganda ) !!

    God help the U.S. if the other mob make it …. I do hope the likes of Sarah Palin is out somewhere, ice fishing on a lake —— permanently.

    Is she still up to her arched eyebrows in it all. ?

  98. corvus boreus

    Florence,
    I think rangermike1 may have just demonstrated the main hazard of posting sarcastic comment over the internet (the tongue lodged firmly in cheek is not immediately visible).

  99. Erotic Moustache

    I have no idea where my copy of my birth certificate is. If I have to go and get one does that mean I’m seeking Australian citizenship? Seriously, this issue is so mired in stupidity it’s becoming a parody of itself.

  100. corvus boreus

    Erotic moustache,
    Needing to find a birth certificate or copy, or other forms of official documentation(eg. renunciation of priorly held dual citizenship) may indicate the necessity to provide such, for instance as a legal requirement for a desired position(eg federal elected office).
    If the position is obtained without the documentation being provided, oversight or irregularity has occurred. If public query is made, the documentation should be tendered. Part of that transparency and accountability thing.
    Refusal invites suspicion.

  101. Jexpat

    bennoba:

    How is Hillary Clinton relevant to the gravamen of this discussion?

    Your statement is just as flawed as the false equivalency that I pointed out above.

  102. Jexpat

    diannaart:

    You “acknowledged” nothing on the point of law- and continue to be disingenuous and emotional in your follow up post.

    This is a very simple and objective matter, albeit one with far broader consequences, both to the case at hand and as to the overriding principle at stake.

  103. Florence nee Fedup

    If one seeks copy of birth certificate, that is all they are doing. Proof of birth. We know Abbott has this. It says he was born in London. does not prove citizenship/

  104. lance

    This matter will only become an issue when the Murdochracy chooses to end the -Abbott -Credlin- franchise and
    hand over the lease and the keys to the new renovated Lodge to Bishop —Whom the Murdochracy is photo shooting
    as a 20yr old prom queen lately.
    Seems the Murdoch New York evening dinner for the couple (Abbott,Credlin ) was not up to Rupe’s
    high level of resume template standards

  105. Graham

    I suggest the UK is not a “foreign power” as referred to in the constitution, therefore Abbott does not have to renounce any allegiance to a foreign power because he hasn’t got any. The only cases where this has ever been tested is in relation to people who were either members of the Catholic Church or the Greek Orthodox Church (both cases lost on the basis that religion isn’t the same as allegiance to a foreign power) and one case where a Japanese citizen couldn’t run for parliament. There have been dozens of poms elected to office in Australia and I’d bet the renouncing of their UK citizenship is a complete furphy.

  106. Terry2

    You may recall the case of Heather Hill who, having been elected to the Senate, was subsequently found to be a dual citizen, of the UK by birth and Australia by naturalization : I’m in the same situation as I am sure are many migrants from the UK – I still have two passports.

    The Constitutional question was not so much whether Heather Hill was an Australian citizen because clearly she was. What the High Court focused on was whether Britain was a “foreign power” within the terms of Section 44 (i) of the Constitution. The High Court determined that Britain was a foreign power and as Heather Hill had not formally renounced her UK citizenship she was:

    ” S. 44 (v)………. incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a senator or member of the House of Representatives.”

    The situation is black and white and the process of formally renouncing UK citizenship is straight forward and is documented by the British Home Office precisely to overcome the type of confusion we seem to have here.

    The Prime Minister’s office could very easily clear this matter up once and for all ………over to you Peta !

  107. kate ahearne

    Nicely put, Terry. There has been a lot of nonsense spouted amongst the comments so far – some of it well-meaning (the most dangerous kind) and some of it not. There has also been plenty of clear-sighted understanding of the issues and many thanks to those clear-sighted people.

  108. Erotic Moustache

    cb,

    Refusal invites suspicion.

    I have a funny feeling those pushing this barrow would not accept such documentation. I’d take this more seriously (and I do at the basic level of a matter of law and constitution etc, but not politically) if we were demanding the numerous other parliamentarians not of Australian birth to likewise produce their bona fides. If we were to approach it that way and make something of a general issue out of it, and it gained some traction, Abbott would be caught up in that dynamic and the end result would be the same.

    As it stands it looks like a personal witch hunt of the Obama kind. I see no reason, given that, for Abbott to respond to the demands of a bunch of rabid lefties fueled with gallons of personal hatred. That characterisation is essentially how this matter presents, hence the complete indifference to it by other political parties.

    It could even be couched in security terms. There’s lots of examples of persons born elsewhere for whom allegiance to Australia is a meaningful question (e.g. Balkans in the 80s – you could take the boy out of the Balkans but you etc etc).

    In short, my approach to this issue is that as a technical, lawful, constitutional exercise it has meaning and merit; as a petty political attempt to “get” Abbott it sucks the big one and makes certain portions of the “left” look foolish.

  109. helenmv

    This whole issue is another in a long line of Abbott’s lies. The man is a pathological liar and needs to be removed from the prime ministership immediately.

  110. Michael Taylor

    EM said:

    In short, my approach to this issue is that as a technical, lawful, constitutional exercise it has meaning and merit; as a petty political attempt to “get” Abbott it sucks the big one and makes certain portions of the “left” look foolish.

    Having also told us . . .

    “I’m so weary of leftists trying to tell the MSM what they should be finding important and chiding them for not pursuing their pet agendas. Get over it.”

    “This whole issue is bogus and stupid, afaic. I can’t believe anyone here thinks people professionally engaged in politics thinks it’s other than a big pile of pettifog. People’s zeal in relation to this is blinding them from the political repercussions.”

    “The point of this article is breathtakingly obvious and in my view breathtakingly vacuous.”

    “Seriously, this issue is so mired in stupidity it’s becoming a parody of itself.”

    “But the point I’m making remains.”

    . . . it is fair to say that we do indeed get your point.

    Now, are you here to continually moan or is there any chance that you may actually contribute something worthwhile?

  111. diannaart

    Sooooo, I gather no-one is interested on calling for an ‘citizenship amnesty’ during which all politicians of all political stripes can get their allegiance in order?

    Thought so, I’ll leave it to ya.

  112. Erotic Moustache

    Michael,

    Sorry, I didn’t realise you were the arbiter and quality controller of commentary at this site. What you call “moaning” I regard as reasonable and rational criticism. You and this site reflect on the “left” generally, and I am part of that body of political thought. If I think something that’s being pushed here is counterproductive I will say so. Am I not entitled to do that? If not, I have to ask what sort of joint you’re running.

    As long as this issue is being prosecuted in the way it is I’ll continue to state my objections. I don’t see how that is other than fair and democratic.

  113. Erotic Moustache

    diannaart,

    I’m am thus interested, but I’ll go further. I’m interested in re-examining Section 44 of the Constitution per se. It could well be argued that it is outdated and politically disenfranchises far too many people. All this talk of “allegiance” and such cuts a little too close to the sort of cultural insularity of One Nation type rhetoric for me. At the very least I think a reasonable conservation regarding the section’s applicability to modern Australia might be worth having.

  114. Jexpat

    A citizenship amnesty of sorts might have been appropriate policy in the 1980’s or early 1990’s (assuming that it would have passed constitutional muster) but at this late date, long after after everyone has been on notice, it would smack of retrospective favouritism in most cases.

    An article from the Courrier Mail, 20 November 1998, sets out why:

    Prospective politicians must obey rules

    “The Commonwealth Constitution lays down strict rules concerning the qualifications of those who wanted to be elected to represent us in the Federal Parliament. One of them disqualifies a “citizen of a foreign power”. The High Court has explained the way in which this rule is to be applied. In 1992, in a case where for a different reason it ruled that Phil Cleary was ineligible to be elected (he was a state school teacher on leave without pay and therefore was disqualified from holding an office of profit under the Crown), the High Court ruled that two other candidates were ineligible because they held dual citizenship.

    One, who migrated from Switzerland 41 years earlier, has been an Australian citizen for 32 years at the time of the election. The other came from Greece when he was 17, took Australian citizenship 8 years later, and had been an Australian for 17 years at the time of the election. According to the High Court, however, they had not taken “reasonable steps” to divest themselves of their continuing Swiss or Greek citizenship. Swearing allegiance to Australia was not enough.”

    “…The constitutional ban on dual citizenship is no secret and has acquired some notoriety in the past decade or so.”

    “Other MPs were also prompted by the High Court’s decision to regularise their positions – in at least one case by abandoning British citizenship. Most political parties have been affected. The prospective National party challenge against Ms Hill cannot credibly be painted by One Nation as part of a plot to destroy them. One Nation knows the rules – it was up to the party to ensure that all its candidates met them….”

    More here: http://www.reocities.com/CapitolHill/Senate/8789/couroff6.html

  115. Florence nee Fedup

    I take it, it is not only acceptable for this PM to lie, but it is OK for him to ignore the law, along with his actions over the last year or so of trashing conventions.

    I suspect Abbott believes that laws and regulations are only respected by fools.

  116. Michael Taylor

    EM, I’m no arbiter of any description. I was merely making an observation.

    I sincerely believe you have much more to contribute than the same old moan. Without the moan added in, your comments go to a higher standard and may actually be read and debated. With the moan, I’m sure many people simply skip over your comments.

  117. kate ahearne

    Nice try, Erotic Cigar, but no Moustache. And if you think anybody has mistaken you for a ‘leftie’…

  118. Kaye Lee

    Penalty for sitting while ineligible

    The Constitution states that, until the Parliament otherwise provides, any person declared by the Constitution to be incapable of sitting as a Member shall be liable to pay £100 ($200) to any person who sues for it in a court of competent jurisdiction for each day on which he so sits. The case of Senator Webster prompted the enactment of the Common Informers (Parliamentary Disqualifications) Act 1975, one of the main provisions of which was to fix a maximum penalty for a past breach. As under the constitutional provision a penalty of $200 per day could amount to an enormous sum where the infringement did not become apparent until years after it had occurred, the Act provides for the recovery of a penalty of $200 in respect of a past breach and $200 per day for the period during which the Member sits while disqualified after being served with the originating process. The Act also restricts suits to a period no earlier than 12 months before the day on which the suit is instituted. The High Court of Australia is specified as the court in which common informer proceedings are to be brought.

    Consequences of Member sitting while ineligible

    In an early decision concerning the eligibility of a person chosen to fill a vacancy in the Senate, the High Court observed ‘. . . the return is regarded ex necessitate as valid for some purposes unless and until it is successfully impeached. Thus the proceedings of the Senate as a House of Parliament are not invalidated by the presence of a Senator without title.

    http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/House_of_Representatives/Powers_practice_and_procedure/practice/chapter5#pen

  119. silkworm

    I am sick of rightists (Oh, I’m sorry. Did I say “rightists”? I meant to say “conservatives.”) coming to this site and telling us “leftists” what to think, say and do. If questioning Abbort’s legitimacy and right to hold the throne upsets you rightists (Sorry, again, I should have said “conservatives.”) so much, then I’m all for doing it even more.

  120. Erotic Moustache

    Silkworm,

    There’s nothing wrong with demanding that wanna-be pollies abide by the Constitution and provide true declarations in AEC candidate nomination forms. But apart from a speculation that some folk have basically plucked out of their rectums, do you have a single shred of evidence that Abbott is in beach either way? You know, evidence? Facts, not mere opinions and speculation.

    You realise that legally and morally the onus is not on him to disprove or even respond to such an accusation. You get that, right? Or are we going to turn principles of jurisprudence upside down because it’s Abbott?

    And it says bucketloads about the mentality of some of you here that you think I’m not a “leftie” because I dare be critical of some of the “left’s” activities. Sad and hilarious in equal measure. If only you understood that it’s precisely that mentality that keeps me around and keeps me critical, you’d know how to make me go away. Ironic, huh?

  121. kate ahearne

    Here’s a fact for you. Tony Abbott refuses to produce his piece of paper.

  122. Jexpat

    “….do you have a single shred of evidence that Abbott is in beach either way? You know, evidence?”

    Here we have a classic (if crude) subterfuge. A favourite of the NRA (National Rifle Association) in the US.

    It goes like this: ensure that data cannot be compiled, or if it’s compiled is not discoverable, or if it’s discoverable is incomplete.

    Then assert: you don’t have any data to support ___________ (fill in the blank) claim.

    btw: this isn’t a “left” or “right” issue. It’s simply a case where a routine request for documents pertaining to legal qualification for office, pursuant to the FOIA, has been categorically denied.

    And denied, one can reasonable suppose, in bad faith.

    Without the release of documents, there is no way to substantiate a claim one way or another.

    This is why US President Obama released all relevant documents regarding his birth in Hawaii.

    However, what’s fair enough for the American President apparently isn’t good enough for Tony Abbott and his mob.

  123. Kaye Lee

    “You realise that legally and morally the onus is not on him to disprove or even respond to such an accusation”

    If someone instituted proceedings in the High Court then he would most definitely be legally required to respond. Morality is not a concept I associate with this government in any way.

    It should not be up to an individual to initiate court proceedings. The “independent” AEC should, in all future elections, require the documentation to prove eligibility.

  124. danDark

    Erotic moustache blah blah blah, if you don’t like what is written here, you know what to do….leave
    Yes leave, we don’t need you to “arbitrate” our comments, superior one take your monitor badge and go patrol the halls of another site, if you have a need to ” arbitrate” lefties comments I am sure you will find others.
    But you are a drag on the human psyche of the humanitarians on this site….” You get that, right?
    Or is that ” rightie” 🙂

  125. Erotic Moustache

    You know, it’s a general rule of thumb that when a person is accused of something, the accusers bear the burden of proof and the accused need not respond to the accusation. It’s a very sound principle, even, I think, in a political context. There is certainly no onus on them to prove their innocence. That’s what we have here. Abbott is being accused of particular things – of being a dual citizen and not renouncing his British citizenship when he’s required to; of lying about it on an official AEC form that carries penalties for giving false declarations and of being pathologically mendacious in a general sense. Whilst the last of those pretty much goes without saying – at least in a political context – the former two remain accusations made against him by political opponents who hate his guts and most of his other bits as well.

    The accusations may, in fact, be true, but that’s all they are – accusations – and there currently exists no legal, moral or political imperative for him to respond to them. None. That’s the problem. At the very least the accusations have to have some substance and credence beyond mere speculation and wishful thinking. Show that substance to me and I’ll change my mind on it. Please understand that no-one in any position of power or authority gives a rat’s about this – currently. If you want that to change then following John Kelly’s suggestions may well have merit. Good luck with that because precisely nobody in Labor has bothered to tell me why they don’t care. Nobody.

    And really, bringing down Abbott in this manner, if that’s even possible, adds nothing whatsoever to the quality of political discourse and policy initiative in this country. Nada.

  126. mars08

    I must remember that the next time a cop asks me for my driver’s license during a breath test.

    No officer! You must show me proof that I DON’T have a license. I have one but I won’t show you!!!!

  127. Roswell

    Good points, EM.

    I’m sure that the person who was first behind this must hate Abbott with a passion, as do I, and would possibly be his motivation behind it.

    The media might not give a stuff and neither might Labor. But the fact remains that there are now some unanswered questions. And when questions remain unanswered it raises doubt/suspicion from not only the person who asked the question but everybody who waits for the answer.

    True, suspicion doesn’t mean guilty, but by hell there’s lots of it about. It might possibly get too big to be ignored for much longer.

    We’ll see in due course.

  128. Erotic Moustache

    DanDark,

    Please don’t mistake me for someone who thinks your opinion is worth anything. Go back to abusing your doctor’s staff for wanting to potentially save your life.

    Kaye Lee,

    Yes, you’re right about that, but they’d also need to at least have some meritorious basis for the proceeding, don’t you think? Anyway, I guess any one of you could look into how John Hawkins pursued Abetz (or contact him and ask) and just do the same thing. Maybe John Kelly could do it if it matters to him this much. Someone taking it to the HC would certainly get it in the news.

  129. bilko

    John and Erotic Moustache (January 7, 2015 at 6:58 pm)

    My lad listed at 6:58 had to renounce his British citizenship when he entered the Senate. Abbott has been there since god knows when as a backbench seat warmer/Minister in many positions (useless in the lot), just ask Bernie Bantons family) all under the rodent who has lots to answer for in dragging this country into the dirt.

  130. rikda

    Let a “Leftist” who is more patriot than socialist, relieve the “Right” of any concerns about discrimination of Abbott, bearing in mind, Eric Abetz roamed the halls of authority for 16 years as a German citizen without recourse. (Politicians you see. Above the law)
    Once Tony is outed as having met the criteria of the constitution or not, we’ll move on to these, & feel we have done our bit for our fore-fathers who could see an invasion of foreigners wanting to burn the candle at both ends.

    Tony Abbott, Liberal Party (born in London, England)
    Bob Baldwin, Liberal Party (born in Gloucester, England)
    Darren Cheeseman, Labor Party (born in Christchurch, New Zealand)
    Paul Fletcher, Liberal Party (born in Devizes, Wiltshire, England)
    Joanna Gash, Liberal Party (born in Groningen, Netherlands)
    Julia Gillard, Labor Party (born in Barry, Wales)
    Gary Gray, Labor Party (born in Rotherham, Yorkshire, England)
    Dennis Jensen, Liberal Party (born in Johannesburg, South Africa)
    Sussan Ley, Liberal Party (born in Kano, Nigeria)
    Brendan O’Connor, Labor Party (born in London, England)
    Bernie Ripoll, Labor Party (born in Pézenas, France)
    Laura Smyth, Labor Party (born in Belfast, Northern Ireland)
    Alex Somlyay, Liberal Party (born in Budapest, Hungary)
    Craig Thomson, Labor Party (born in Wellington, New Zealand)
    Maria Vamvakinou, Labor Party (born in Lefkada, Greece)
    Tony Zappia, Labor Party (born in Platì, Reggio Calabria, Calabria, Italy)
    In the Senate:
    Eric Abetz, Liberal Party (born in Stuttgart, West Germany)
    Judith Adams, Liberal Party (born in Picton, New Zealand)
    Doug Cameron, Labor Party (born in Bellshill, Scotland)
    Stephen Conroy, Labor Party (born in Ely, Cambridgeshire, England)
    Mathias Cormann, Liberal Party (born in Eupen, Belgium)
    Chris Evans, Labor Party (born in Cuckfield, England)
    Alex Gallacher, Labor Party (born in New Cumnock, Scotland)
    Scott Ludlam, Greens Party (born in Palmerston North, New Zealand)
    Nigel Scullion, Country Liberal Party (born in London, England)
    Nick Sherry, Labor Party (born in Kingston-on-Thames, England)
    Ursula Stephens, Labor Party (born in Wicklow, Republic of Ireland)
    Larissa Waters, Greens Party (born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada)
    Penny Ying-yen Wong, Labor Party (born in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia)

  131. Frank

    Stop the farting about and ignore the agenda driven red herrings . THE PM LIES ALL THE TIME JUST GET ON WITH DUMPING HIM. HE IS A CON MAN AND NOT FIT TO BE EVEN A PMS BUM WIPE. LOOK AT HIS FAMILY RECORD FROM DAY ONE.IT SAYS IT ALL.

  132. DanDark

    lol..I stoped caring what people thought about me, when I tried to pay my bills with their opinion Miniscule Moustache

  133. Möbius Ecko

    rikda the difference is that I believe they have all shown the documentation without hesitation or have become naturalised Australians.

    Prominent parliamentarians have been stood down when it was found out they had not renounced their foreign citizenship and because they had not properly renounced their employment under the crown:

    Prominent Contemporary Cases

    There have been four prominent court cases in recent years that have resulted in the disqualification of candidates elected to federal parliament:

    Robert Wood was elected in 1987 to take his seat in the Senate in 1988. The High Court, in its decision In Re Wood ((1988)167 CLR 145), declared Wood s election to be invalid, as he was not an Australian citizen at the time of his election. This case should not be confused with an unsuccessful attempt by another candidate at the same election, Mrs Elaine Nile, to have Wood s election invalidated on various grounds, including an alleged breach of sections 44(ii.) and (iii.) of the Constitution. See Elaine Nile v Robert Wood [1987] HCA 63
    Phil Cleary was elected to the House of Representatives seat of Wills in a by-election in 1992. His election was challenged in the High Court. The Court in its 1992 decision, Sykes v Cleary and others(1992)176 CLR 77, found that he was not qualified to be a member because, as a Victorian school teacher, he held an office of profit under the Crown. This was notwithstanding his being on leave without pay at the time. The case is discussed in detail in the Parliamentary Library publication, Office of profit under the Crown and Membership of the Commonwealth Parliament.
    Jackie Kelly was elected to the seat of Lindsay in the House of Representatives in the 1996 election. Her election was challenged in the High Court. As a result of the challenge, Ms Kelly accepted that her election was invalid because she had been an officer on the Royal Australian Air Force at the time of her nomination (though not on the date the election was held). This constituted an office of profit under the crown . There are further details in the Court s 1996 decision, Free v Kelly (1996)185 CLR 296.[3]
    Heather Hill was elected to the Senate in 1998. Her election was challenged in the High Court on the grounds that she held dual citizenship of Australia and the United Kingdom. The High Court in its 1999 decision, Sue v Hill ([1999] HCA 30), agreed that the dual citizenship made Heather Hill s election invalid because it contravened section 44(i.) of the Constitution.

    There was also debate about the case of Senator Jeannie Ferris. Ms Ferris was elected as a Senator for South Australia in the 1996 election. Though elected in March, as an incoming Senator she would not take her seat until 1 July of that year. During the intervening period she did some work for Senator Nick Minchin. ALP Senators argued that this put her in breach of section 44 of the Constitution. The issue was sparked by a question without notice asked by Senator Colston on 9 May 1996. The extensive debate in the Senate on this issue (see Senate Hansards of 20, 21, 22, 23 May and 27, 28 and 29 May and 28 June) was followed by Senator Ferris resigning shortly after taking office, then being appointed to the resulting vacancy by the South Australian Parliament.

    It may also be argued that Abbott has constituted an office for profit under the crown. Double whammy.

  134. corvus boreus

    EM,
    Thank you for your hypothetical projections of what you imagine the reactions of a vaguely defined demographic to a possible event might be, based upon a funny feeling you have.
    For myself, who neither pushes nor rides this particular barrow(busy trying to help push-start a general federal ICAC wagon myself), the tabling of the requested documentation(proving validity of legal eligabilty) would satisfy my (peripheral) doubts.
    Until this occurs, denial continues to invite suspicion (reinforcing other, worse suspicions).

  135. JohnB

    @Kaye Lee January 8, 2015 at 1:47 pm
    The AEC already require that information upon nomination; though I expect they don’t require proof to be lodged.

    The AEC form Abbott would have been required to sign when he nominated for election to the House of Representatives; (from page 77 on)

    NOTE: 1
    Information on this form Is collected under provisions of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918.
    This form will be publicly produced on nomination day and may be inspected by any member of
    the public, In accordance with the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918.

    NOTE: 2
    A person must not make a false or misleading statement or leave out details which would make a statement misleading on a nomination form.

    Penalty: Imprisonment for 6 months.
    http://www.aph.gov.au/binaries/library/pubs/bp/1992/92bp29.pdf

  136. Kaye Lee

    So why isn’t Eric Abetz in gaol?

  137. Annie B

    @ JohnB …

    The slam dunk here is :

    .>>>>”or leave out details which would make a statement misleading on a nomination form.”

    The link you provided is certainly interesting – and would take some hours ++ to properly read and understand. !!! 🙂

    Under 24 – Section 44(i) of the Constitution …. reference is made to many things, including examples from other countries ( surprising ???? ) …. but one in particular which we have all concentrated on, in one way or another :

    “A strict reading of the second part of s.44(i) means that a person who
    has dual citizenship is disqualified from:
    (1) being chosen, and
    (2) of sitting
    as a Senator or a Member.”

    A ‘ STRICT ‘ reading.

    If this goes any further it has to be through the courts …. to the High Court. … Again I ask, why has there been no-one who can request through legal channels, some proof that the Prime Minister is in fact a legitimate leader of our country – that he meets ALL requirements … and can prove it by rendering his signed renunciation …… which is not something he would dispose of willingly, ( or ‘lose’ ) for the very reason that it could smack everyone in the face who challenges him ( here, anywhere, and on other internet sites ), in the event of just such a challenge.

    I agree with whoever said here ( or on another post ) ….. that Peta Credlin knows it all ( words to that effect ) and if she is deliberately protecting Abbott from an illegality in his position ( according to Constitutional law ) … then she is equally complicit. ….. and should be dealt with accordingly. ………. Imprisonment.

    We shall see – – this is going too far, for it to be dropped at this stage. ,,, This is NOT a witch hunt, it is a serious query. Would a person presenting as a doctor at a hospital, just be ‘accepted’ as such – without being able to prove uniquivocably, that he is what he says he is, and is capable of the job – has the necessary qualifications, and the degrees to back it up ????

    p.s. Abbott looks like he’s about to enter his 90th year in age – at this time,
    so there is much on his feeble mind. !!

  138. JohnB

    I don’t know why this escapes scrutiny – most probably because politicians are reluctant to open a potential Pandora’s box.

    Nominations are collected under the provisions of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918:
    http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/C2014C00616/Html/Text#_Toc396206204

    Part XXIII—Miscellaneous Section 383 Injunctions applies (I think).
    I’m no lawyer – perhaps others could advise.

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  140. John Kelly

    A reply to my email to Senator and Greens leader, Christine Milne:

    Dear John

    Thank you for your e-mail to Senator Milne. I am replying on her behalf.

    Senator Milne is aware of the allegations regarding the Prime Minister’s citizenship and subsequent eligibility to sit in the Australian Parliament. She is currently seeking advice regarding the situation with a view to determining what, if any, action it may be appropriate to initiate in response to it.

    Regards

    John Dodd

    Office of Senator Christine Milne, Australian Greens Leader

    GPO Box 896 Hobart TAS 7001 | Ph: 03 6224 8899 | Fax: 03 6224 7599

    http://www.christinemilne.org.au | http://greens.org.au

  141. Bob Grahame

    What I would like to know is why the AFP haven’t taken any action to prosecute those found to be in breach of the electoral act for defrauding the taxpayer of millions in pay and allowances, travel ect. forget the six months for electoral fraud if you or I ripped off he taxpayer or anyone for that sort of sum how long would it take them to get you into court and jail

  142. Michael Taylor

    That’s promising, a John.

    Bob, I’ve been told that the AFP weren’t interested. Odd, that.

  143. Graham

    Hi Bob. You are assuming that someone has been found to be in breach of the Electoral Act. Do you know this to be the case? When was the judgement?

  144. kate ahearne

    No, Graham. The AFP wouldn’t be interested in someone who has already been convicted. Der! They might, and some would say, should be interested in people who appear to have broken the law, and who should be followed up by the police and charged.

  145. Graham

    You’re right Kate, it just means that Bob’s comment above is nonsense. He asks “why the AFP haven’t taken any action to prosecute those found to be in breach of the electoral act”. The answer as you say would be because they have already been found to be in breach, therefore they have already been prosecuted so the AFP has no more role. Alternatively, and I suspect this is the case, Bob is saying that they haven’t actually been found to be in breach of the Act, Bob just thinks they are in breach, therefore the AFP should Act.

  146. Rossleigh

    “….do you have a single shred of evidence that Abbott is in beach either way? You know, evidence?” Erotic Moustache.

    Aren’t there photos of Abbott in speedos with sand behind him? Surely that’s evidence of him “in beach”!

  147. Blanik

    Bob, remember that we don’t own the AFP. Just another of fascism at work.. lol

  148. silkworm

    Do you leftists have any evidence that Abbott did not submit the form? Come on, lefties, where is your non-evidence?

  149. kate ahearne

    Yes, there’s evidence – the main bit being that he refuses to produce the evidence that would prove that he actually has it.

  150. Blanik

    Just love it when they stoop to name calling. Still, I must say that being regarded as a leftie, is far better than being an admitted fascist.

  151. Erotic Moustache

    Is it usual for the AFP to become involved in matters of Electoral and Constitutional law?

  152. Michael Taylor

    EM, if it defrauds the Commonwealth, the answer is Yes.

  153. Erotic Moustache

    kate,

    Yes, there’s evidence – the main bit being that he refuses to produce the evidence that would prove that he actually has it.

    You have a strange idea of what constitutes “evidence”. If that’s the “main” evidence people have in this, then they have precisely nothing. I could accuse Joe Bloggs of being a pedophile and because he doesn’t produce evidence to refute my claim it constitutes evidence that I’m right, apparently.

    That is what you are saying, even if you don’t realise it.

  154. Erotic Moustache

    Michael, did the AFP have any role at all in the Abetz or Hill case? I’m simply asking as I don’t actually know.

  155. Jexpat

    I see EM is still being disingenuous here.

    The crux of the matter is that a valid request for production of documents in the public record has been made and denied on matter pertinent to Abbott’s qualification for office.

    This is much in keeping with his government’s obsessive attempts to hide (or lie about) other information on matters of public concern that might be considered embarrassing or dispositive on a given issue.

    The question you should be asking yourself is whether this is acceptable behaviour in a free democratic society.

  156. Kaye Lee

    The role of the AEC

    During the course of the inquiry, the reluctance of the AEC to provide direct legal advice to candidates on their possible constitutional disqualifications was subjected to heavy criticism by the secretariats of the Liberal Party and the Australian Labor Party. There was reference made to the “disinherited position” of the AEC, and the “passive role” of the AEC being “part of the problem”. Both secretariats recommended a major escalation in the duties and responsibilities of AEC officers to ensure that candidates are not constitutionally disqualified at the point of nomination.

    In response, the AEC submitted that guidance is regularly provided to political parties and candidates on aspects of electoral law, particularly electoral offences, where the law has been tested in the courts, and/or firm and unambiguous advice is available from the Director of Public Prosecutions or the Attorney-General’s Department.

    However, with respect to section 44, for significant legal and practical reasons, the AEC submitted that it does not believe it should go beyond the provision of clear warnings to candidates in the Candidates’ Handbook and the Nomination Form, and suggesting to candidates that they seek their own legal advice if in doubt about their personal circumstances. For example, as was demonstrated to the Committee during the course of the hearings, senior constitutional lawyers are unable to agree on the detailed interpretation of section 44, and there is no reason to believe that AEC officers would be any more capable of providing unambiguous legal advice.

    In any case, such advice from the AEC would be of an essentially speculative nature and might subsequently be found to be wrong in a court of law, leaving the AEC open to legal action on a number of fronts. Finally, many candidates leave their nominations to the last minute, and any requirement that AEC officers should interrogate candidates on their constitutional qualifications would be practically impossible in the time available.

    The Committee concluded its deliberations on the role of the AEC as follows:

    The Committee agrees that the AEC should have no role in giving legal advice to candidates. The Committee recognises that the AEC’s role in running elections must be protected from any criticism that it has given wrong advice. The Committee appreciates that AEC officials have no role in going behind a candidate’s declaration that he or she is eligible to stand. If the AEC was required to perform such a function the election cycle would take months.

    However, the Committee also concluded that the AEC could improve the quality of information provided to prospective candidates and recommended that a new booklet be prepared that would be publicly available at all times, emphasising the possible circumstances where candidates might be disqualified, particularly in relation to foreign allegiance and office of profit under the Crown.

    The Committee also recommended that the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) establish and maintain a database on the renunciation procedures for the ten countries from which most migrants originate, and that the AEC provide information from this database to intending candidates. Finally, the Committee recommended that the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (DIMA) be responsible for advising new citizens of the foreign allegiance disqualification should they wish to become candidates for federal Parliament.

    Conclusion

    The Government has yet to respond to the recommendations by the Committee that a referendum be conducted to amend section 44, and that the AEC, DFAT and DIMA work together to improve the quality of information available to the public.

    However, there is little doubt that the AEC can and will respond positively to the recommendations of the Committee at the administrative level, in reworking and improving the information on section 44 of the Constitution that is provided to candidates for election to the federal Parliament.

    http://www.aec.gov.au/about_aec/Publications/Backgrounders/s44-constitution.htm

  157. Erotic Moustache

    Jexpat,

    I see EM is still being disingenuous here.

    What? Do you know what “disingenuous” means? I am disagreeing and I mean it.

    The crux of the matter is that a valid request for production of documents in the public record has been made and denied on matter pertinent to Abbott’s qualification for office.

    The request is valid in your eyes; not in mine. If you folk are so sure this has legs, why are you doing nothing about it other than blowing smoke on an internet political blog?

    And why would the office of the Opposition’s deputy leader fob it off with an explanation that is so patently silly? Why? For me that’s the issue here; that’s the “political intrigue” that holds my interest in this whole thing. I can think of no other satisfactory explanation for it other than it’s a hornet’s nest Labor cannot afford to disturb.

  158. Erotic Moustache

    Kaye Lee,

    Thanx for that link. That’s a really interesting article.

  159. Kaye Lee

    a nomination is not valid unless, in the nomination paper, the person nominated:
    (b) declares that:
    (i) the person is qualified under the Constitution and the laws of the Commonwealth to be elected as a senator or a member of the House of Representatives, as the case maybe

    division 137 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) (the Criminal Code) makes it an offence to provide false or misleading information or documents in purported compliance with a law of the Commonwealth, with a maximum penalty of 12
    months imprisonment.

    It is a candidate’s own responsibility to ensure that his or her qualifications for candidacy meet the requirements set out in the Constitution and the Act. With respect to s. 44(i) of the Constitution, intending candidates holding dual citizenship should take ‘all reasonable steps’, as per the ruling of the High Court in sykes v Cleary, to renounce their other citizenship before nomination.

    http://www.aec.gov.au/about_aec/Publications/Backgrounders/files/2010-eb-constitutional-disqual-intending-candidates.pdf

  160. Kaye Lee

    In the Sykes vs Cleary case (Cleary was the teacher on leave)

    Another issue: the eligibility of the other two candidates. The court ruling stated….

    Both candidates had citizenships of another nation still
    Neither candidates took the steps needed to divest themselves from foreign identities. Remained “entitled to the rights and privileges of a subject or citizen of a foreign power”.
    Kardamitsis – did not discharge his Greek nationality, by the law of Greece (so he was still a Greek national under Greek law).
    Delacrataz – didn’t demand to be released from Swiss citizenship, although he did meet the requirements to enable the granting of the demand.

    Their prolonged stay in Australia did not outweigh the problems caused by their lack of reasonable action in discharging their foreign citizenship.
    “what amounts to reasonable steps to denounce foreign nationality” depends on “the situation of the individual, the requirements of the foreign law and the extent of connexion between the individual and the foreign state.

    It appears to me that if an individual lodged a challenge Tony would have to put up or face the consequences. The fact that he hasn’t to date, with so much speculation going on, causes a great deal of doubt.

  161. Erotic Moustache

    Why has no individual lodged such a challenge? What’s the problem? Money? Time? Inclination? I don’t get it. Sounds like a job for David Donovan! Or maybe Tim Jones. Wow, what sort of political kudos would Timbo gain if he took it on and won.

  162. Kaye Lee

    “Under Australian law, any citizen has 40 days to challenge the validity of the election or re-election of any political candidate through the High Court, sitting in its capacity as the Court of Disputed Returns.

    Such a challenge does not incur legal fees or costs.”

    http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php/article/legal-bid-to-oust-abetz

    Not a legal source but one would assume they checked?

  163. Kaye Lee

    I am no lawyer and what I am reading from different sources is conflicting at times. Perhaps a challenge could be lodged when Tony nominates next time. When Abetz was challenged he produced a letter he had written to the German government declaring his wish to renounce citizenship before he became a senator so he had made some attempt. he also got official renunciation of German citizenship in 2010 which he produced. He had never had a German or European passport.

    Tony is in a different situation. He does have a British passport which he used when he took up his Rhodes scholarship. He refuses to produce any evidence of his renunciation and FOI requests are either blocked or no result. I don’t think this will go away.

  164. Erotic Moustache

    You’d like to think they checked. Hadn’t heard of the 40 day thing before. If that’s the case, it’s no wonder no-one is doing a jig about this. Can’t find the date of Sue’s petition against Hill but I presume the 40 day thing applied. Seems rather limiting to me. I hope it doesn’t go away; not because of Abbott – I really don’t give a crap about him, specifically – but because the whole thing with 44 and the electoral act appears to be a legal mess. Time for a clean up.

  165. Kaye Lee

    I think the 40 days applies to the Court of Disputed Returns after an election.

    As I quoted before from a more credible source….

    the Act provides for the recovery of a penalty of $200 in respect of a past breach and $200 per day for the period during which the Member sits while disqualified after being served with the originating process. The Act also restricts suits to a period no earlier than 12 months before the day on which the suit is instituted.

  166. Kaye Lee

    It’s interesting what you can read in the Parliamentary Library….

    it has been suggested that the current provisions adequately serve their purpose and that, in any case, the prospects of securing the necessary support for a constitutional amendment are not good. High Court decisions over the past 15 years ending with Sue v Hill (1999) have largely clarified the meaning of section 44(i) and it is now plain what must be done by a foreign citizen to allow him or her to stand for the Australian Parliament. It might also be argued that many of the problems associated with the provisions have been or can be solved administratively. Assisted by the Australian Electoral Commission, the established political parties have adopted better procedures to weed out potential candidates who do not meet any of the relevant requirements for election imposed by the Constitution or the Commonwealth Electoral Act. Instituting a convoluted and expensive process of constitutional amendment might also suggest that the problems of ‘corruption’ at the federal level are greater than they really are.

    http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/rp/rp0102/02RP18

    They may want to rethink that last sentence.

  167. Graham

    I think the simplest explanation for why no other political party, the mainstream media or anyone is taking any action is because there is no case. Either the UK is not a “foreign power” in relation to the constitution or Abbott has appropriately renounced his UK citizenship. There are hundreds of people and organisations that would leap on this if there was anything to it – the fact that they haven’t suggest there’s no story.

    i’d love it to be true and he is ineligible, but wishing doesn’t make it so.

  168. Kaye Lee

    You ask why no-one has pursued this….I ask why Tony hasn’t answered a FOI request with the relevant document.

  169. Graham

    I didn’t ask a question, if offered what I thought was the simplest explanation. I can’t answer why Tony hasn’t produced the document, but once again I’d offer a suggestion, perhaps because he knows there’s nothing anyone can do about it. He’s probably enjoying all this hand wringing.

  170. Kaye Lee

    We are speaking about the man who only took out Australian citizenship AFTER he was awarded a Rhodes scholarship.

    We are speaking about the man who sent troops to Iraq when they had not been invited and they had to sit in the UAE for months while negotiations to let them in went on.

    We are talking about a man who admits to not reading things and relying on summaries he reads in the newspaper or what other people tell him.

    There is no reason to allow this to fester if the proof is there. If he doesn’t provide it then I would expect a challenge at next nomination which he will have to answer and it will be rather embarrassing if we find out he only renounced it after Tony Magrathea’s FOI request.

  171. Blanik

    Spot on, diannaart! He doesn’t care what we colonials think. I seriously doubt that it even believes we are capable of thought. Wouldn’t you if you were him, and the colonists voted you into power?

  172. Jexpat

    EM:

    You’re still going on about “evidence” that Abbott’s not refuted his citizenship and since no one has it, that no one can make a claim that he’s still a dual citizen.

    That’s disingenuous- because the issue is the refusal to produce documents on the public record.

    The larger matter cannot be argued or resolved one way or another until those records are disclosed.

  173. Annie B

    @Jexpat ……

    Re : …. “The larger matter cannot be argued or resolved one way or another until those records are disclosed.”

    Spot on … the record of his RN either does, or does not exist. …. He either did it, or he did not.

    And he knows – legally – that he does not have to furnish proof either way.

    In that regard, I agree also completely with Diannarts’ comment … posted January 12, 2015 at 5:42 pm.

    ” the more we can agonise etc. ” …….. it is typical of this ‘person in power’ ( ?? ) to delight in all this mystery. It keeps us diligently involved, scratching our heads, so’s he can go on making whatever decisions he makes ( whether with legislation or not when Parliament is sitting – e.g. petrol excise ) …. and to do whatever he damned well pleases, despite the consequences. .. Like wading in uninvited, to the Middle East crisis ( Iraq – as pointed out by Kaye ).

    He of course is not a Prime Ministers boot lace. …. but that ‘ don’t worry ” the buzzard …. as long as he gets his own way in all things – be it legal or not.

    I think we have to wait a lot of things out ……. because this ‘person’ will eventually fall on the sword of his own making. He ain’t infallible – even though he thinks he is.

  174. Erotic Moustache

    Kaye Lee,

    We are speaking about the man who only took out Australian citizenship AFTER he was awarded a Rhodes scholarship.

    He was not an Australian Citizen before that? Prove it. Prove that he was not, at that time, an Australian citizen by descent. Did he go through a citizenship ritual to your knowledge?

  175. JohnB

    Kaye Lee January 12, 2015 at 2:08 pm,
    Irrespective of the 40 day expiration clause that precludes mounting a challenge to Abbott’s 2013 election to office, the offence of providing misleading or incorrect information on an AEC HoR nomination form does not expire.

    If a copy Abbott’s 2013 nomination form could be obtained from AEC, it would indicate his claimed date of ‘naturalisation’, ‘date granted citizenship’, or any ‘other means’ claimed.

    One would think a persons claimed date of naturalisation, or date granted citizenship would be able to be verified through a search of civic records.
    If no such record can be found, would that not constitute reasonable grounds to suspect that an offence has been committed?

  176. kate ahearne

    That’s not the date that matters. What matters is the date of his renunciation of UK citizenship, if it happened at all. Let’s not cloud the issue.

  177. Blanik

    One of the more sensible comments that has been placed on this thread to date, Annie B. The British creature doesn’t have to say and he won’t say. His hen sized brain isn’t behind this, the faceless people behind the LNP – with the exception of Ms Credlin who is anything but faceless – are.

    The lying sod itself delights in our wondering (like the Easter Bunny delights a small child) and it keeps us away from other matters which delights the faceless bastards.

    It’s time to drop this and move on. His time will come!

  178. Annie B

    Thanks Blanik. …. and – – ” His time will come ! ” ……….

    It will, and the quicker the better.

    Personally, don’t have a preference as to how that comes about. …. Just as long as it does.

  179. Jexpat

    Annie B & Diannart:

    The problem with accepting the bad faith denial of access to public records is that it creates a precedent that others (whether in this government or successive ones) will arbitrarily abuse in any number of contexts.

    If it were only my personal druthers, I’d prefer to see Abbott stay on as long as possible as a liability and then down the track, if the records show that he’s not renounced his British Citizenship, no longer be entitled to a pension.

    But personal politics (whether mine or anyone else’s) or any animosity people may have toward Abbott himself are quite beside the point.

    There’s a much larger principle at stake that goes directly to the heart of our representative democracy

  180. Kaye Lee

    “He was not an Australian Citizen before that? Prove it. Prove that he was not, at that time, an Australian citizen by descent. Did he go through a citizenship ritual to your knowledge?”

    Tony Abbott’s parents applied to register his birth with the Dept. of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs and apply for his citizenship, in a document/s dated 19 June 1981.

    His parents were subsequently informed in a letter dated 1 July 1981 that Anthony John Abbott was now deemed to be an Australian citizen under Section 11 of the Australian Citizenship Act 1948 which allowed citizenship by descent.

    Ergo he was NOT at the time an Australian citizen.

  181. Kaye Lee

    In addition, a FOI request to Oxford University got the reply that “Mr Abbott had British nationality when he matriculated on 17 October 1981” meaning that he hadn’t renounced his British citizenship then. He used his British passport in fact. Has he done it since? Who knows?

  182. Blanik

    So where will it all end? Nowhere! The ALP, the Greens, PUP, not a single political party dares to raise the matter.
    I can understand Shorten sitting on his hands waiting to be the next PM and grab a knighthood as well, after all, he’s also a jesuit trained ………………….(insert your own noun) but the Greens???

    Is it a great big conspiracy? Are the folk in here the only people able to research such a well guarded secret, or even one of the left journalists/newspapers? They still do exist. Almost every other lie or act of deception has been uncovered, so why not this?

    The faceless people of the LNP are laughing while in a couple of weeks a visit to the Doctor will cost $20.00. I’ll bet my next months age pension – not that it’s worth much – that in the end the document will be revealed, when they are quite ready.

    None of them give a stuff about .’principles at stake’ and ‘representative democracy’. Power is the game of the faceless folk of the LNP!

    Indeed Kaye Lee, who knows?

  183. Jexpat

    Blanik:

    I agree that many of not most in the LNP don’t give a stuff about principles, the rule of law or representative democracy in so far as the stands in the way of their dysfunctional ideology, inherent corruption or the retention of ill gotten gains.

    That’s why it’s so important to ensure that such principles apply across the board and are enforced.

  184. Annie B

    Legal bods are tricky. ….. No doubt Abbott has an ARMY of legal advisers ( perhaps more than most PM’s have ever had to use ) …… because at this time, on so many issues, he stands to be indicted in one way or another ( politically, legally, possibly constitutionally, personally, and heaven knows what else ) …. [ little wonder he’s looking so strained and ancient ! ]

    Legal documents in Australia, do not usually contain commas, so the entire passages, script and subscript, are written as one entire lengthy ( and most times boring ) pieces of legalese. … My own Last Will and Testament, attests to that.

    Take for instance … the difference between the meanings of ” What is this thing called, love ?” ……… and “What is this thing, called love ?” …. Miles between the meaning of the two. Legalese circumvents the problems by leaving out the punctuation. Which leaves open the meaning. Obscure meanings have little basis in law and in legal proceedings. Leaves it all open to interpretation, by solicitors and in the case of law court proceedings, barristers. …… the cleverer and more astute the barrister and advising solicitors, the more chance there is of winning a case. !! …….. Fascinating stuff.

    Harking back to Abbott, his renouncement of British citizenship … whether or not etc. it would be extremely difficult to force the issue – not that I am suggesting we give up on the subject / search about it. No way.

    What WOULD be needed, is a legal whiz, who could unravel the meanings of so many items associated with this matter, ….. and for that legal whiz to be willing to PUBLICLY announce his / her findings on the matter. And I mean ‘ publicly ‘ – not through the general MSM by article, ( they’d put it in the too hard basket ) , but through the requirement of posting a legal pronouncement in the papers – under the appropriate section. … I believe it is still a requirement of law in Australia, that impending legal action in certain instances, is publicly displayed. e.g. in the application for a patent pending .. it must be displayed to give others the right to defend the impending action, and challenge it.

    In the Herald Sun (Victoria ) ….. legal matters pending, are displayed in the column ” Law Notices” ….. and ( I believe for civil matters, patents etc ) …. under “Public Notices”.

    As an example, let’s say ” I have invented a way to stop dogs peeing on my roses ” …. I have to declare that invention or use of certain materials to stop a dog – any dog doing …… etc. , and anyone who has a patent pending for same, is able to reply – against my patent, its legality, the date the patent was lodged ….. and a whole heap of other legal bumpf.

    ………

    In other words, it would require a legal whiz to become a whistle-blower, and to take action. ???? in the matter of Abbotts’ legal rights to do what he is doing, and if he is actually constitutionally permitted to do it !

    Anyone desirous of finding a needle in a haystack ? ….

    I do think it would come under the heading of ‘the impossible’ ….. but then truth is stranger than fiction, and anything could happen. ……. we can only hope that it does – somewhere along the line – and preferably sooner than later.

    We can but hope ………

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