Armadale-WA web site -
Human Rights web page about
an example of the racism of the Australian Constitution
This web page relates to Human Rights,
specifically to the statutory discrimination against
Australian citizens who hold dual citizenship.
I hold dual citizenship.
The Australian Constitutional racism:
Section 44 of The Australian Constitution, states:
Section 44 -
"44. Any person who -
(i.) Is under any acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power, or is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or citizen of a foreign power: or
(ii.) Is attainted of treason, or has been convicted and is under sentence, or subject to be sentenced, for any offence punishable under the law of the Commonwealth or of a State by imprisonment for one year or longer: or
(iii.) Is an undischarged bankrupt or insolvent: or
(iv.) Holds any office of profit under the Crown, or any pension payable during the pleasure of the Crown out of any of the revenues of the Commonwealth: or
(v.) Has any direct or indirect pecuniary interest in any agreement with the Public Service of the Commonwealth otherwise than as a member and in common with the other members of an incorporated company consisting of more than twenty-five persons:
shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a senator or a member of the House of Representatives. "
Thus, Section 44(i) of the Australian Constitution Act, excludes people holding dual citizenship, from being elected to the federal parliament.
But, Australian citizens who hold dual citizenship, are still required to vote in elections of the federal parliament; we are required to vote for positions, for which we are ineligible to nominate.
And, how many Australians, and, what percentage of electors, are victims of this racism?
Is that an electoral fraud - forcing people to vote, in elections in which we are ineligible to nominate?
It is certainly, anti-democratic, as there is no way that we are represented in the federal parliament, for which we are forbidden from nominating.
Think about it...
A solution from New Zealand
As stated in the New Zealand Electoral Act 1993, as shown at http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1993/0087/latest/DLM307519.html?search=ts_act_electoral_resel&sr=1 ;
"47 Registered electors may be members, unless disqualified
(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, every person who is registered as an elector of an electoral district, but no other person, is qualified to be a candidate and to be elected a member of Parliament, whether for that electoral district, any other electoral district or as a consequence of the inclusion of that person’s name in a party list submitted pursuant to section 127.
(2) Notwithstanding anything in subsection (1), if a person is disqualified for registration as an elector, that person shall not be qualified to be a candidate or to be elected.
(3) Regardless of anything in subsection (1), a person is not qualified to be a candidate or to be elected unless he or she is a New Zealand citizen.
Compare: 1956 No 107 s 25; 1981 No 120 s 9(1)
Section 47(3): substituted, on 1 February 2003, by section 8(1) of the Electoral Amendment Act 2002 (2002 No 1)."
"55 How vacancies created
(1) The seat of any member of Parliament shall become vacant—
(a) if, otherwise than by virtue of being a head of mission or head of post within the meaning of the Foreign Affairs Act 1988, for one whole session of Parliament he or she fails, without permission of the House of Representatives, to give his or her attendance in the House; or
(b) if he or she takes an oath or makes a declaration or acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign State, foreign Head of State, or foreign Power, whether required on appointment to an office or otherwise; or
(c) if he or she does or concurs in or adopts any act whereby he or she may become a subject or citizen of any foreign State or Power, or entitled to the rights, privileges, or immunities of a subject or citizen of any foreign State or Power; or
(ca) if he or she ceases to be a New Zealand citizen; or
(cb) if he or she accepts nomination as, or otherwise agrees to be, a candidate for election, or agrees to appointment as—
(i) a member of Parliament (or other governing body) of a country, State, territory, or municipality, in any country other than New Zealand; or
(ii) a member of any governing body of any association of countries, States, territories, or municipalities exercising governing powers, of which New Zealand is not a member (for example, the European Union); or
(d) if he or she is convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term of 2 years or upwards, or is convicted of a corrupt practice, or is reported by the High Court in its report on the trial of an election petition to have been proved guilty of a corrupt practice; or
(e) if he or she becomes a public servant; or
(f) if he or she resigns his or her seat by signing a written notice that is addressed and delivered to the Speaker; or
(g) if on an election petition the High Court or Court of Appeal declares his or her election void; or
(h) if he or she dies; or
(i) if he or she becomes mentally disordered, as provided in section 56; or
(2) Notwithstanding anything in subsection (1)(c), where a member of Parliament marries a person who is a subject or citizen of a foreign State or Power and the laws of that foreign State or Power confer on that member of Parliament by reason of that marriage, citizenship of that foreign State or Power or the rights, privileges, or immunities of a subject or citizen of that foreign State or Power, the seat of a member of Parliament shall not become vacant by reason only of the marriage.
Compare: 1956 No 107 s 32; 1975 No 28 s 13(1); 1981 No 120 s 12; 1988 No 34 s 12(3); 1988 No 159 s 14(1)
Section 55(1)(b): substituted, on 18 September 2005, by section 5(1) of the Electoral Amendment Act 2004 (2004 No 99).
Section 55(1)(ca): inserted, on 18 September 2005, by section 5(2) of the Electoral Amendment Act 2004 (2004 No 99).
Section 55(1)(cb): inserted, on 18 September 2005, by section 5(2) of the Electoral Amendment Act 2004 (2004 No 99).
Section 55(1)(f): substituted, on 28 February 2002, by section 9(1) of the Electoral Amendment Act 2002 (2002 No 1).
Section 55(1)(j): repealed, on 28 February 2002, by section 9(2) of the Electoral Amendment Act 2002 (2002 No 1)."
Despite section 55(1)(b) and (c), the seat of a member of Parliament does not become vacant by reason only of the member—
(a) becoming a subject or citizen of any foreign State or Power, or entitled to the rights, privileges, or immunities of a subject or citizen of any foreign State or Power, by reason only of the member’s—
(i) country or place of birth; or
(ii) descent; or
(b) renewing a passport or travel document that was issued to him or her by a foreign State or Power before the member took office.
Section 55AA: inserted, on 18 September 2005, by section 6 of the Electoral Amendment Act 2004 (2004 No 99)."
Thus, the New Zealand Electoral Act 1993, allows people holding dual citizenship to be elected to parliament, and, to hold office as a member of parliament, unless the person takes out additional foreign citizenship whilst a member of parliament, with some exceptions where the taking out of additional foreign citizenship while a member of parliament, is allowed.
It is simple - the Australian Constitution is racist, and violates human rights (which is the policy of the major parties in the Australian parliaments), and, New Zealand has the simple solution.
This is just one of the reasons that Australia needs a Declaration Of Human Rights, to which ALL Australian legislation, including the Australian Constitution is subject.
This web page is authorised and written by Bret Busby, 2 Pelham Street, Armadale.
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This web page was last updated on 21 April 2010.