In this episode I’m joined by Matt as we discuss part 4 of Good for your constitution. We look at what will go down as Australia’s most well known and bizarre section of the Constitution – Section 44. We’ll find out about all those politicians new and old that were kicked out and ruled ineligible. And we’ll have a chat about the likely outcome of our current crop of ineligibles.

Listen back to part 1 – Good for your constitution, part 2 – Because I got High (Court) and part 3 – Shine ya boots guvna.

What does Section 44 say?

44. Any person who –
(i.) Is under any acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power, or is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or citizen of a foreign power: or
(ii.) Is attainted of treason, or has been convicted and is under sentence, or subject to be sentenced, for any offence punishable under the law of the Commonwealth or of a State by imprisonment for one year or longer: or
(iii.) Is an undischarged bankrupt or insolvent: or
(iv.) Holds any office of profit under the Crown, or any pension payable during the pleasure of the Crown out of any of the revenues of the Commonwealth: or
(v.) Has any direct or indirect pecuniary interest in any agreement with the Public Service of the Commonwealth otherwise than as a member and in common with the other members of an incorporated company consisting of more than twenty-five persons:
shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a senator or a member of the House of Representatives.

Stuff we discussed:

  • The first version of Section 44 read a bit different says Michael Collett.
  • Our Constitution is broken according to Marcus Strom.
  • Webster’s case of a pecuniary interest, vs Day’s case of indirect pecuniary interest.
  • In the Hill case we found out that the UK was actually the enemy.
  • Sykes v Cleary accidentally gave us the modern day precedent for dual citizenship.
  • Is there a double standard with one Cabinet minister resigning, but others won’t?
  • Whoops, I said there were 227 MPs and Senators. There are of course 226.
  • And it looks like we recorded this and forgot to mention the whole Nick Xenophon matter too!

Music credits to Chateau de Noisy and Aniva Rock Lighthouse by Roger Plexico. Enjoy!