Bye Bye Barnaby

Barnaby Joyce, the deputy prime-minister of Australia, occasional beetroot impressionist and the man who threatened to kill Johnny Depp’s dogs has been ruled ineligible to be an MP by the High Court


For earlier coverage see here

The short version being, a senator of the Green Party resigned from the senate because she discovered she was accidentally a Canadian and the Australian Constitution requires MPs and Senators to have no ties to another nation. Shortly after another Green senator resigned for similar reason. The Green Party was much mocked for this. However, it then emerged various other MPs/Senators may have had various levels of eligibility for citizenship. This created a kind of domino effect constitutional crisis which ended up in the High Court. The biggest name being Barnaby Joyce a man who has traded off a fare-dinkum Aussie country bloke image for his whole career but who was (inadvertently) eligible to be a Kiwi.

The Green Party haven’t quite brought down a government but they’ve come pretty close, just by being nice and following the rules.

10 responses to “Bye Bye Barnaby”

  1. I love the fact that while Americans will come into your house when you’re asleep and take your stuff, Kiwis will sneak into your house when you’re not looking and give you citizenship. 😀

    Liked by 3 people

  2. While the rest of the world is in flames over Nationalism vs. Globalism, the Australians seem to be having a surreal version of the same crisis, but at much lower temperature.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The funniest example was Malcolm Roberts – a senator for the openly xenophobic One Nation party, who also was a dual citizen.

      Australia has a deep xenophobic and racist streak to its culture but the ‘nation of immigrants’ idea is very true. Many, many people are either dual citizens with some other country or the children of dual citizens with some possibility of eligibility for citizenship. The hidden racism is that people just don’t think of immigrants from the UK or NZ *as* immigrants. I mean that literally – I’ve had those conversations with people moaning about immigrants & immigration as if I wasn’t an immigrant and when I point out that I’m an immigrant, getting blank looks. It’s very revealing – if you’re not from the Middle East, Africa or East Asia etc the anti-immigrants can’t even see you as an immigrant.

      Liked by 2 people

      • It is depressing how many things are just thinly veiled expressions of racism. They aren’t opposed to immigrants; only to immigrants who aren’t white. Ditto opposition to free trade. Trade with other white people is fine. (E.g. Europe.) It’s trade with China or Mexico that people are opposed to. Even people who think they’re liberals make arguments like this. Sigh.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Does that mean the Kiwis can bring down the entire Australian government by granting citizenship to Aussie MPs – whether they want it or not?

    Liked by 1 person

    • It turns out that no they can’t but that was only resolved in this High Court decision.

      One of the cases was a senator (and Minister) who was accidentally Italian (no seriously). His mum (who was of Italian descent) had applied for citizenship and in the process applied for him without his knowledge or consent. It was ruled that he was not ineligible and could remain in Parliament.

      The court ruled that ignorance of your status was not a defence (this is what impacted Barnaby Joyce) but somebody else’s actions was a defence.

      Other edge cases involve MPs who may have acquired rights to citizenship due to retroactive legal changes in some other country. The edge between a right to apply to be a citizen and being technically a citizen whose rights have not be acknowledged is another tricky element.


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