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LETTER

FEDERAL POLITICS

Citizenship to be decided by High court

 

November 2017

The High Court of Australia will decide soon whether the 7 Federal politicians allegedly in breach of Article 44 of the Constitution re dual citizenship, will lose their jobs or retain if arguments for mitigating circumstances prevail.

Whilst this addresses the immediate political situation there is another issue of greater significance to Australia that the court needs to give attention to. That is, the constitution, drafted during the infamous White Australia Policy period is in conflict with current laws, enacted by the Howard government in 2002 that legalise the right of Australians to dual citizenship, thus reflecting the immense demographic changes that characterise our nation as an increasingly multicultural one. There are many Australians - indeed the majority, who by virtue of birth or decent (whether British, New Zealand, Greek, Italian or Chinese) are legally dual citizens and are entitled to vote, in state and federal elections and indeed stand for parliament in many state parliaments, yet they are denied the right to stand for federal parliament unless they have previously renounced their second citizenship, which is an established legal right.

Obviously the conflict between the constitution and the law of the land should be resolved in favour of the law of the land so that all Australians have equal citizenship rights.

For a country like Australia this is fundamental for national unity and cohesion that equality in citizenship underpins. There should not be two classes of Australian citizens. Hopefully the High Court judges will provide an opportunity for this matter to be addressed.

George Zangalis, Melbourne, Victoria

 

Greek Tribune

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