Dual Citizenship Scandal in Australian Politics – Behind the News

Dual Citizenship Scandal in Australian Politics – Behind the News

ANNOUNCER: And now it’s time to play
everyone’s favourite game – What’s My Citizenship! With everyone’s favourite host –
this guy! (CHEERING) (CHUCKLES) Now, who’s ready to play? Say hello to our first contestant,
Kayla! Hi, mum!
Now, Kayla, your first question. Are you a citizen of A – Australia, B – New Zealand, C – Canada, or D – “I don’t know”? (AUDIENCE SHOUT OUT SUGGESTIONS) A – Australia? (AUDIENCE SIGH)
Well, you’re half right. Yes, Kayla, you are an Aussie
but you’re also a Canadian. AUDIENCE: Ooh!
Oh, cool. I didn’t know that! Yes, turns out your father was born
in Canada, which means you’re automatically
a Canadian citizen! AUDIENCE: Aww! Yes, just like Kayla here,
it’s not unusual to be born overseas or have a parent who was. And, for the most part,
it doesn’t cause any problems. Oh, unless, of course,
you want to work here. The Government is very confident.
Very confident, indeed. Over the past few weeks, quite a few politicians have found out that they’re dual citizens. That means they’re a citizen of two countries at the same time. One of them is the man
second in charge, Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce. Mr Joyce is an Aussie but it turns out his dad was born
in New Zealand, which means
he’s automatically a Kiwi too. A fact he says he had no idea about
until recently. The rules on citizenship
vary around the world. Some countries give them out
automatically in certain situations. Others, like the US,
ask you to apply. So, it can be difficult to know
where you stand. So, I’m a dual citizen, then? What does that mean? Well, technically you got
the answer wrong, but I’m in a good mood, so let’s take a look at the prizes
you’re entitled to as a dual citizen. Well, our lucky winner won’t need
to carry a visa on their next trip to Canada because they’ll be taking home
two passports. And while they’re there,
they can vote, go to school, work and much, much more! Wow, fantastic!
Yes, yes. But to take home your prize, you’ll have to give up your dream job
to become an Aussie politician. Oh, really? Why’s that? Well, it’s all because
of Australia’s constitution, or section 44, to be precise. It says that you can’t be elected
as a politician if you have another citizenship. And if you do, you have to make sure you’ve given it up
before being elected. The law was created
more than 100 years ago to make sure Aussie MPs aren’t
able to be influenced by other governments. The clock is ticking, Kayla,
what’s it going to be? Um, just wait a sec! Australia’s pretty multicultural.
Shouldn’t we just change the laws? (CHUCKLES) Well, it’s not that easy. Some say the rules are outdated and that it might be time
to change the constitution to allow dual citizens to be elected. But changing the constitution
isn’t easy. There would have to be a big
national vote called a referendum. That’s really expensive
and they are rarely successful. So, what’s it going to be, Kayla? A career in politics
or your dual citizenship? I can’t have both?
(CHUCKLES) No. All of the pollies caught out so far say they didn’t realise
they had another citizenship, and while some have stepped down, others, including Mr Joyce, say
they’ll stay in their job while the High Court decides
whether or not they have to quit. OK. I’ve made my decision. I’m going to think about it! Seriously? Well, that’s all we have time for
tonight, ladies and gentlemen. But join us next week when we meet
a contestant with not one, not two, but three citizenships! Bye for now! (CHEERING)


  1. Post
    Adelaide Dupont

    It will be interesting to see what the #rights #responsibilities and #sharedvalues of #australiancitizenship are. #civicsandcitizenship #section44.

  2. Post
    Adelaide Dupont

    Ah – the person with three citizenships. One from their mother; one from their father; another from long-standing connections or residence in a country. France, United Kingdom and Australia or Germany, Russia and Australia.

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