When Australian politics makes international headlines, you know it will be farcical. Apparently our cherished Antipodean mates are having issues keeping senators and MPs in parliament. The reason? Quite a few apparently hold multiple citizenships which Australia bans. This is rare, if not unique. What’s even rarer is the stringency with which this rule is enforced. Barnaby Joyce and Jacqui Lambie, for example, weren’t even aware that they ever held a citizenship other than Australia’s.
This has raised serious questions. Over a fourth of Australians are either immigrants or the children of immigrants. Most countries — including Australia — permit citizens to hold multiple nationalities. Most countries also have provisions that their citizenships are inheritable — including Australia. Barnaby Joyce’s father was born in New Zealand. Jacqui Lambie’s father was born in a distinctly Tartan portion of the United Kingdom. As such, they held New Zealand and British citizenships respectively without actually having requested or even taken advantage of either.
The current Australian government, already exceedingly fragile, is in an even weaker position. After all, the fragrant Malcolm Turdbull managed to nearly lose an election against Australia’s answer to Jezza. This simply strikes me as being a tad absurd.
On a more positive note I can confirm that Don the One does not hold British citizenship despite his mother, like Lambie’s father, being of the Jockish persuasion.