The situation of Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce, must now have made it obvious to the Turnbull government that if it survives it will have to begin the process of amending the constitution provisions on the eligibility of MPs. Sydney Morning Herald August 15 2017
Salvos across the Tasman
By Roger Childs
Australian Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, has become a respected figure on the world scene in recent years, but has tipped the ink pot on her copybook over Joyce’s potential resignation over partial New Zealand citizenship.
Obviously the two cross-Tasman Labo(u)r parties didn’t consult over the issue, but it was the Australian media who have put the skids under their deputy prime minister.
Bishop went over the top accusing New Zealand of interfering in Australia’s internal affairs.
The mouth that roared
New Zealand is facing an election. Should there be a change of government, I would find it very hard to build trust with those involved in allegations designed to undermine the government of Australia. Julie Bishop
One wonders if Bishop ran her views past the prime minster before talking to a reporter.
The realities of the situation are that MPs are only allowed to sit in the Canberra parliament if they are solely Australian citizens. Joyce is the fifth MP to have breached section 44 of the constitution and some have already resigned.
As the Sydney paper said in its editorial, a review of the provisions is overdue.
But why did Bishop sound off about political interference from across the ditch?
Well, the right wing Liberal-Country Party government has a razor thin majority and if Barnaby Joyce goes, it’s crisis time.
If the government fell, Bishop might well lose her well-paid, influential job. However this hardly justifies her ridiculous comments about New Zealand trying to undermine the Australian government.
If Australian politicians are ineligible to sit in parliament under their constitutional rules that’s reality. Two senators have already resigned.