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Time for the G-G to step in.

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They may say it is out of date, that the founding fathers did not intend to restrict parliamentary membership this way, but the fact remains, it is the law and the law must be respected.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.


45 comments

  1. claudiop

    Absolutely!

  2. diannaart

    …and we have a Labor MP, Anthony (Albo) Albanese, demanding no return to 1975 – which is sort of understandable, the more we learn about the Whitlam dismissal the more of a set-up it is.

    But, this is now and that was then.

    Di Natali is asking for an election to solve the revolving (exit) door of MP’s and senators. We don’t have an intoxicated GG waiting to put the cork-screw into Turnbull (although the idea appeals). Turnbull would remain as PM until the election is called – this grace was not granted to Whitlam.

    With both major parties too shit-scared to countenance an election, I doubt Di Natali’s suggestion will achieve much more than the usual derision meted out to the Greens.

    Would be nice though… just before Christmas, we have a new parliament (even if it is led by the ALP) – but just to see the end of Turnbull and his bullshit… what a Christmas present that would be.

    Yeah, I know, be careful what you wish for… but this insanity cannot go on.

  3. John Kelly

    I doubt we could have a pre Christmas election. Too many candidates would need more time to confirm their status. I think the first Saturday in February would be sufficient time for everyone.

  4. Robert

    John, you are ever the optimist, believing Dummies in the House can sort themselves out by Feb. (I assume you mean 2018?)

  5. diannaart

    I agree John, I was only dreaming.

    But I can look forward to a February election – time for candidates to sort through their background and time for some new talent to step forward… perhaps?

  6. paul walter

    It is ironic that this is actually a replay of The Dismissal forty years ago. Right down to the Tory GG, the only difference will be the mode of interference. Kerr interfered by doing what he should not have done; Cosgrove’s mode will be one of inaction.

    Albanese’s comments may be understandable in light of The Dismissal, but are irrational.

  7. John Kelly

    I think Albo is just sticking to the party script.

  8. diannaart

    When will someone, anyone, stop reading from the script? – it is this lack of credibility by reading the party-line which gets voters hostile and voting against their best interests, PHON, Corbi Bernardi and further a field Brexit & Trump.

    Thanks to Rudd, it will be Shorten to lead Labor in the next election, which, if Labor wins, retains the deadly spectre of a leadership spill – Labor simply cannot afford to change leaders.

    My head hurts.

  9. John Boyd

    No way, thank you….you can’t have a democracy with some sort of god like figure standing over the elected representatives. The citizenship issue is a shambles, but the real issue is the mind boggling incompetence of the LNP government. It must be sorted through the parliamentary and electoral process. There is no such thing as the ‘reserve power’. The GG must act on the advice of the Prime Minister.

  10. Hettie Lynch

    The current GG will do nothing without Turnbull’s permission.

  11. stuarterrolandersonStuart Anderson

    Do we want the Queen’s representative to usurp power from the people again, like he did in 1975, and install a caretaker government?

    Do we trust Peter Cosgrove, after he shook Barnaby Joyce’s hand but refused to shake the hand of Tanya Plibersek? Do you really think he will be even-handed and give Labor a fair shake? http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/governorgeneral-peter-cosgrove-blanks-labors-tanya-plibersek-20160418-go8otn.html

    “Protocol – advised by the Senate – dictated the Governor-General greet only the prime minister, the opposition leader and the speaker.

    Mr Joyce’s handshake was not mandated by these guideliness but Sir Peter noticed his outstretched hand and accepted it.

    The special parliamentary session will see the government’s hallmark industrial relations legislation either pass or fail, the latter triggering a double dissolution election on July 2.

    After the Governor-General’s address, Labor frontbencher Stephen Conroy took the unusual step of criticising the person filling the vice-regal position, calling Sir Peter’s decision to recall Parliament at the request of the government a “blight on our democracy”.

    Mr Turnbull has threatened a double dissolution election if the legislation to reintroduce the ABCC watchdog is not passed in the special parliamentary session.

    “That’s what we have seen, a tawdry political stunt and the Governor-General has demeaned his office,” he said.

    “A strong governor-general would never have agreed to this.”

    Senator Conroy said the ghost of Sir John Kerr – the governor-general who dismissed the Whitlam government – “reached out from the grave to interfere in a democratically elected Senate decision”.

    “What we saw is a blight on our democracy today. We’ve seen a democratically elected Senate decision overturned by the Queen’s representative,” he said.

    Remember it was Abbott who appointed Peter Cosgrave. Remember that Abbott organised rallies in support of Governor-General John Kerr after he dismissed the Whitlam Government in November 1975.

    I have no trust in Peter Cosgrove to be ‘even-handed’, he has shown his hand, and will hand power back to the conservatives in any way he can. Sorry for all the puns.

  12. Phil

    Agree with John Boyd. This is the time for Australians to stand up and solve this constitutional crisis with out any input from the British monarchy and its representative the Governor General.

    What Governor General Kerr secretly cooked up in the back rooms of the Liberal party with the consent of the British monarch, and on the advice of some traitorous judges, must never be allowed to occur again.

    This current constitutional crisis is now a test of Australia’s political maturity – to call in the Queens representative would merely prove our immaturity, once again.

  13. stephengb2014

    This gg is just like a nag gg (has to be flogged into action), but this gg can only respond to the LNP whip.

  14. Terry2

    (Sir) Peter Cosgrove should not and probably would not take pre-emptive action and I don’t blame him : the responsibility is on Turnbull to go to the GG and advise him to dissolve this parliament .

    There’s a line from No Country for old men with Tommy Lee Jones when they come across the scene of a drug cartel massacre :

    Deputy : Well, it’s a mess, ain’t it, sheriff?

    Sheriff : If it ain’t, it’ll do till the mess gets here…..

    Reminds me a lot of what we have here.

  15. democrat3

    Tighten up the nomination and checking procedures. Amend the rules under which the AEC operates to enable them to insist on proof of renunciation of any foreign citizenship that a foreign born candidate, a candidate with a foreign born parent(s) or grandparents is eligible for under the laws of these foreign countries.Bring on the election and end this dual citizenship fiasco once and for all.

  16. nurses1968

    Absolutely no way the G.G. should step in. When you talk to the old timers who were politically active at the time of the Dismissal the hatred for the GG was that one person could tear up the vote of the Nation.There would be nothing different to what happened to Whitlam and what could happen to Turnbull if one man can over rule the vote of the Nation.
    This mess will sort itself out when the Government does not have the ability to govern in Parliament or the Opposition can force the issue through a No Confidence motion. For Labor to be installed in Government by default would be a disaster and like the Fraser Gov, would wear th tag of illegitimate from some quarters
    Turnbull has created this mess and the deeper the hole he digs the better for Labor. He has outstanding issues that are soon to come to a head and they should happen under his watch, namely Asylum seekers and Adani and not leave the mess for Labor to clean up .
    Some time next year would be fine for an election and Bill is positioned well to really capitalise.
    Shortens steady hand at the helm has seemed to heal some wounds within Labor and he has pretty broad support within the Party.
    Criticism of Shorten tend to come from outside the Party, not within
    Meanwhile we can sit back and just see hope deep a hole Turnbull can dig for himself.
    Through to China perhaps

  17. Potoroo

    The events of 1975 are precisely why Cosgrove is right to do nothing. There is no crisis so he has no reason to even consider using the Reserve Powers. I repeat: there is no crisis. There is nothing about the citizenship debacle that is not resolvable by our existing institutions and processes, and simply wanting it to go away is not a valid reason for the GG to sack the democratically elected government. If the government is truly unable to function then bring on a vote of No Confidence. That’s how we do it in our system.

  18. Möbius Ecko

    All those saying there should be an election over this haven’t followed Antony Green nor looked at the government’s numbers. Even if they lost two by-elections they are still in a better position than Gillard was for her entire three years. That does illustrate what a remarkable job she did and what an utter crap one Turnbull is doing.

  19. Ricardo29

    No GG would bring upon himself the odium that Kerr attracted after his sacking of the Whitlam government. He was, deservedly, hounded and humiliated into an early alcohol induced death, missed only by his nearest and dearest. I believe even Fraser ultimately repudiated him. Everywhere he appeared publicly he was jeered by those who could not forgive him. Whatever advice he took, it was his decision and it has scarred the body politic ever since. Only those who have no direct memory of this event could possibly suggest it as a precedent and Cosgrove is definnitely not so stupid that he would do such a thing. Di Natale surely has no right to call for the GG’s intervention.

  20. diannaart

    Those ‘picked’ for dual citizenship inspection (particularly from the LNP) make for interesting supposition:

    It’s been two weeks since the High Court was meant to resolve uncertainty by ruling on the electoral eligibility of the Citizenship Seven.

    Yet since then, we’ve seen a bevy of new potential dual citizens emerge. Other than Senate President Stephen Parry who outed himself, it looks very much as if the other MPs have been exposed by political adversaries.

    All the Liberal MPs in question (John Alexander, Josh Frydenberg, Alex Hawke, Jason Falinksi and Julia Banks) are Turnbull supporters, and most were exposed by Murdoch media outlets. It’s not too hard to connect those dots and conclude the MPs were targeted by supporters of Tony Abbott.

    Meantime, Malcolm Turnbull is doing his best to drag Labor into the mire, rekindling doubts over the eligibility of up to five opposition MPs (Justine Keay, Susan Lamb, Josh Wilson, Madeleine King and Katy Gallagher).

    http://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2017/11/10/citizenship-crisis-voters-disinterested/

    I’m not so sure voters are disinterested as much as they are completely cynical.

    Turnbull, repeatedly, shows very poor judgement from Ute-Gate onwards. Not what we really need right now.

  21. Jaq

    Oh John!
    as if we had a fine , upstanding honest and ethical GG who even after Abbott would have stepped in and stopped this bloody mess.
    But.
    We dont.
    Cosgrove is a bent corrupt prick who got a nice rose sniffing, baby patting job for his silence.

  22. paul walter

    diannaart’s comments- worth bottling.

    Stop the shilly shallying, get RID of them.

  23. nurses1968

    “The Liberal Party ought to put him down like a faithful dog because he is no use to it and of no use to the nation.”

    Paul Keating on Andrew Peacock:
    or Turnbull?

    “What we have as a leader of the National Party is a political carcass with a coat and tie on.”

    Paul Keating on former National Party Leader Ian Sinclair

    Or maybe Barnaby?

    “Here is this bitter, hollow man. A man with no judgement who never gets the big calls right.”

    Julia Gillard speaking of Tony Abbott

    or Turnbull ?

  24. @RosemaryJ36

    The role of GG constrains him (Kerr’s example notwithstanding) to act on the advice of the Prime Minister.

  25. paul walter

    Maybe he could “interpret” the PM’s wishes, like Kerr did with (to?) Whitlam then (sucking up) with Fraser?

  26. Peter F

    Time is running out.

    In just a few short hours the 11th of the 11th will be over: What a lost opportunity for the GG to leave his mark on history.

  27. Harquebus

    An election will do no good at all. We will have a Labor government. Other than that, there will be no difference. The path that we are currently on will be adhered to regardless.

  28. Mark A. Lane

    Its been proven to date, that the illegally elected L.N.P. Government is under foreign influence, by those who have resigned or been dismissed due to their dual nationalities.

    Has the illegally elected L.N.P. Government, exposed Australia to possible War Crimes, by directing our military forces overseas since the last Federal Election ?

    The G.G. should act and end this fiasco and save Australia’s Military from the impending L.N.P. disaster in The Haig.

  29. Tom Miller

    An election would be a definitive way to end the uncertainty and restore stability. It is questionable, however, whether the election would be as a double dissolution or only for the house of representatives. Every member of the bi-cameral Australian parliament has been under a cloud; and either we have a string of by-elections as members resign/are caught out, or the problem is resolved through an election/audit. I understand that when aspiring members nominate for election they have to sign a statement that they are not dual citizens The statement and the documentary proof would be vetted by the Australian Electoral Commission, by due process. Obviously, due process has not been strictly adhered to in the past, hence the High Court judgement. If the Governor General has to intervene to bring an election on, it should be seen as a benign action entirely different from the Whitlam dismissal. The huge question begging, is whether beneficiaries of membership they were not entitled to have, should pay the money back?

  30. Ella miller

    Does our Constitution give the GG the power to dismiss a government? I thought the GG would only act on the instruction of the PM ???

  31. Kaye Lee

    Ella,

    There are some powers which the Governor-General may, in certain circumstances, exercise without – or contrary to – ministerial advice. These are known as the reserve powers. While the reserve powers are not codified as such, they are generally agreed to at least include:

    The power to appoint a Prime Minister if an election has resulted in a ‘hung parliament’;
    The power to dismiss a Prime Minister where he or she has lost the confidence of the Parliament;
    The power to dismiss a Prime Minister or Minister when he or she is acting unlawfully; and
    The power to refuse to dissolve the House of Representatives despite a request from the Prime Minister.

    In addition, the Governor-General has a supervisory role to see that the processes of the Federal Executive Council are conducted lawfully and regularly.

    http://www.gg.gov.au/governor-generals-role

    It seems to me that the only way the GG could intercede is through a no confidence motion or if supply was blocked, neither of which is going to happen.

  32. Harquebus

    Note that the GG is an unelected sworn to loyalty representative of a foreign head of state. No duel citizen controversy in that position. Decisions made would have to put the best interests of another country above our own.

    Whatever happened to Labor’s referendum on an elected head of state? Would an Australian President have a better chance of sorting out the mess.

  33. Kaye Lee

    “Decisions made would have to put the best interests of another country above our own.”

    Since the passage of the Australia Act in 1986, the only action performed by The Queen under the Constitution is the appointment of the Governor-General, on the advice of the Australian Prime Minister.

    The Australia Act (Cth and UK) eliminated the remaining possibilities for the UK to legislate with effect in Australia, for the UK to be involved in Australian government, and for an appeal from any Australian court to a British court.

    In essence, the Governor-General’s role is to protect the Constitution and to facilitate the work of the Commonwealth Parliament and Government.

  34. Harquebus

    Kaye Lee
    Thanks for that but, “decisions made” by the GG still would not necessarily have to be in our best interest. He is the Queen’s representative, not ours.

    “promised a national vote”. Thanks again. I’ve heard that before.

  35. Ella miller

    Kaye Lee, thank you for explaining. As always I rely on the AIM Network. Thanks.

  36. Fair Go

    Oh, the irony. Kerr was a Labor appointed GG who dismissed a Labor govt. Cosgrove is a Tory appointed GG who will … what?
    Gough would be having a good laugh at what’s been happening.

  37. Kaye Lee

    Harquebus, what sort of decisions are you talking about. They don’t make any that I can see.

  38. diannaart

    Kaye Lee

    You provide clarity, explanation and logic – don’t waste your time on H.

  39. Kronomex

    The current Govennor General is supposedly there to “represent the Queen” which is bullshit. He there to to protect Turnbull and the LNP from possibly being removed from power.

  40. Michael Taylor

    I’m with you, Dianna. Give me logic and clarity over crazy speculation any day.

  41. Matters Not

    In Queensland, the Executive Council used to meet on Thursdays. As Premier, Goss, early in his term, informed the Governor that understanding, agreement, disagreement or whatever re the presented documentation was surplus to requirements. All that was required was the Governor’s Signature.

    Meetings were very brief.

  42. Harquebus

    Kaye Lee
    This is not my area of expertise however, this from the article and I am assuming he has other responsibilities.
    “ask the Governor General to dissolve the parliament”

    Kronomex
    Thanks for the clarification.

    diannaart
    Thanks.

    Michael Taylor
    Politics and logic?

  43. Mark A. Lane

    It’s a no brainer, that the intelligence sections of the Australian Department of Defence, The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, and our Allies in accordance with the 5 Eyes Alliance, were fully aware of Jackie Lambie’s citizenship issue from the first election she contended in.

    To quote the offical parliamentarian page : https://www.aph.gov.au/Senators_and_Members/Parliamentarian?MPID=250026
    To quote the wikipedia page : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacqui_Lambie :

    ‘Qualifications and occupation before entering Federal Parliament
    * Soldier, Australian Defence Forces 1989-2000.
    Military Service
    * Royal Australian Corps of Transport 1990-95.
    * Royal Australian Corps of Military Police 1996-2000. ‘

    Standard enlistment papers for serving in the Australian Army Reserve, include parents full name, date of birth, and country of birth, date of citizenship, etc.

    Click APPLY NOW : https://reserves.defencejobs.gov.au/how-to-join

    It is ridiculous to think, that our intelligence community, failed to notify any Government body, The Australian Federal Police and rectify the issue over the past 3.4 years.

    Qualifications and occupation before entering Federal Parliament
    * Soldier, Australian Defence Forces 1989-2000.
    Military Service
    * Royal Australian Corps of Transport 1990-95.
    * Royal Australian Corps of Military Police 1996-2000.

    Intelligence test :

    if 1 plus 1 equals 2 on a base 10 numerical system, what does 1 plus 1 equal on a base 2 numerical system ?

    @ @ http://www.fookey.net/DaASIO.html

    (c) FooCrypt, A Tale of Cynical Cyclical Encryption. 2017.

  44. jim

    Labor MP, Anthony (Albo) Albanese, demanding no return to 1975 .If the ALP were in the chaos the LNP is in do you think the lnp wouldn’t use the GG to dismiss the LNP mongrels ?.

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