I begin this with saying that all Australian politicians should have allegiance to Australia and only allegiance to Australia. They should not have an allegiance to any other other country and never be conflicted in governing in the best manner for Australia, without any taint of interest in another country.
As I understand it the constitution states this clearly and unequivocally and I cannot imagine how any exception could be made. It is surely down to the letter of the law and not open to interpretation. You are either an Australian citizen or a dual citizen. Only the former are allowed to run for Parliament. The constitution can only be changed by a vote by the people.
But having said that, hasn't it become so complicated. If our High Court interprets the constitution literally, many politicians will be wiped out of parliament. While I very much like South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon, I was disappointed to see him cry sour grapes. Nick, it is the law. You should have known better.
I cannot see how many members will not be chucked out of Parliament because of them having dual citizenship.
R, who has lived here since the early 1970s and has a piece of paper to say he is Australian, cannot run for Federal Parliament here because he is a dual national. Had he let his British passport lapse, he would have lost his British citizenship. (For practical purposes I say British. At the moment he has a Euro passport) He renewed it a few years ago, but he tells me he won't bother again. Then his British citizenship will lapse. Interesting that such rules do not apply to State Parliaments or Territories.
Which brings me to an interesting conversation with our former politician friend the other night. His mother was born in South Africa, but of Australian parents. In support of the Boer War effort, his grandparents were sent from Australia to South Africa with a group of postal workers to support the South African postal service. Our friend's mother was born in South Africa. Does that make him a dual citizen with an allegiance to South Africa?
From what I can see, no. Before 1949, all Australians were British citizens. Post 1949, if they had an Australian father and had a permanent right to live in Australia, they became Australian citizens and any other connections to other countries were annulled as dual citizenship was not allowed back then. It was the same in South Africa in the same year, but on a different date.
So, we certainly live in interesting times and the High Court judgement will be very interesting, especially to many of our politicians.