You’d have to think Parliamentarians would by now be aware of their citizenship status.
You would have to think they’d been quietly confirming their eligibility to place their nethers on the upholstery of Parliament’s benches.
Watching the Citizenship Seven go through various resignations, challenges, High Court hearings, media performances, denials, corrections and so on over the past few months – you’d think that some of our Federal pollies would have thought “Seventh generation Australian on both sides – not an issue for me”.
Others will have pondered . . . “Gee, my dad came out from Britain and I was born here. There was something in the news recently about inherited citizenship and ineligibility for election that I should have probably looked into when I first nominated as a candidate. After all, the Australian Electoral Commission kindly published a guide for me to follow after that case in the ‘90s. It’s even available on the web if memory serves. Might just check.”
Or . . . incredibly . . . maybe not?
Watching on from the big chair in the Senate, Stephen Parry obviously forgot his dad was a pom.
Never gave it a thought. Easy to do, really. After all, Section 44 of the Constitution isn’t something that’s in the news is it?
When was the last time there was a conversation about MPs and Senators not being eligible for election?
Oh come on, Parry! Seriously?
It’s not like the citizenship question relates to some long lost ancestor or some little known quirk of colonial history. It was a question relating to his father.
He sat back and waited until now to raise the issue? He accepted the Presidency of the Senate knowing his circumstances? He presided over a chamber in which his fellow Senators were being deemed ineligible in precisely the same circumstances, and yet he sailed on – saying nothing – taking no action to inform his Prime Minister, whose government hangs on by the slimmest majority.
He was aware that the Deputy Prime Minister was skating on the thinnest ice, yet he silently watched while he and others were dismissed.
Like Barnaby the National Beetroot, who admitted he’d worked out ages ago that he wasn’t likely to survive the High Court challenge, but nonetheless stayed on.
Senator Parry is either too dim to be put in charge of the plasticine in play group, or too gutless to have fronted with the Citizenship Seven – or perhaps just too arrogant to be rewarded with election to office.