Parliamentary report recommends referendum to solve the dual citizenship saga

Discussion in 'Australia' started by Disir, May 19, 2018.

  1. Disir
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    Disir Gold Member

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    The release of the report by the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters (JSCEM) into section 44 of the Australian Constitution is the latest chapter in the long-running dual citizenship saga. The committee was asked to consider the impact of section 44 and options for reform.

    While the report emphasises it is for the Australian people to decide on the appropriate qualifications of their elected representatives, its very title – Excluded: The impact of section 44 on Australian democracy – is a clue to the final view adopted by the majority of JSCEM.

    Is a referendum the answer?
    The key recommendation of JSCEM is that there should be a referendum proposing either that sections 44 and 45 of the Constitution are repealed, or that the words “until the Parliament otherwise provides” be inserted into those sections.

    Read more: Explainer: what the High Court decision on Katy Gallagher is about and why it matters

    The majority report states that the problems caused by section 44 are “wide-ranging” and “have significant and detrimental implications” for Australia’s democracy.

    If either of the recommended referendum questions were passed, the effect would be to remove the disqualification criteria from the Constitution and instead leave it to the parliament to enact laws governing this area. This would supposedly allow for disqualification laws that better reflect modern community standards.

    There are several practical problems with this, and that is without considering the underlying substantive question of whether section 44 should actually be changed.
    Parliamentary report recommends referendum to solve the dual citizenship saga: Here's why it won't happen

    Ya, don't know if I would trust the folks that created the problems to actually fix them.
     

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