A Citizenship Audit

I have to confess to being particularly unsure whether undertaking a complete audit of the citizenship status of current Members of the House of Representatives and Senators is the ‘easy’ answer to cleaning up what the former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has labeled a circus. Such an audit would only clear who ever is left from the current 226 elected members of the Commonwealth Parliament. That makeup changes most times a Federal election is held, so an audit would almost have to be repeated after each such occasion.

I have a great deal of sympathy, however, for the suggestion mentioned in the story below from The Saturday Paper that Members and Senators continue to be responsible for ensuring that they know of their citizenship status, and for the suggestion being floated by some in the Parliament that there be serious (even criminal) consequences for knowingly making a false declaration on the nomination form that all those seeking election the Parliament are obliged to sign.

Maybe facing a criminal prosecution and potential imprisonment might spur Members and Senators into making sure they know what they declaring when they sign the paperwork…

Auditing MPs’ citizenship

Victorian independent MP Cathy McGowan has run out of sympathy for the dual citizens in her midst. In a pivotal balance-of-power position in the house of representatives, McGowan believes it’s time not only for a full audit of all MPs and senators’ citizenship status but for criminal penalties to be imposed for inaccurately filling out their nomination forms in the first place.

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Article by Andrew Doohan

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