Yesterday we heard Greens Senator, Richard Di Natale say the magic words…that he was prepared to ask the Governor General to dissolve the parliament and settle the citizenship fiasco with a new election.
For those of us who remember, only too well, the 1975 dismissal of the Labor government under Gough Whitlam, this must surely be a watershed moment.
John Alexander’s resignation this morning, leaves the government vulnerable, clinging desperately to power with the aid of independents, who themselves must be asking, whether or not a new election is the better alternative.
With several other members under a cloud, it would seem that forestalling for any reason would only be delaying the inevitable. There is now a possibility that one or two Labor members might have been, or entitled to, dual citizenship before they nominated in 2016.
As Di Natale has said, “We don’t know if this parliament is constitutionally valid.”
If this matter has highlighted one thing, it is that three of the four main political parties have show a surprising disregard for our Constitution.
They may say it is out of date, that the founding fathers did not intend to restrict parliamentary membership this way, but the fact remains, it is the law and the law must be respected.
The answer is obvious. Parliament should be dissolved, as Di Natale has suggested and a new election held. If Malcolm Turnbull is not prepared to do it, the Governor-General should.
We have a precedent in 1975.