Barnaby victorious in historic by-election result

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‘We’re getting the band back together!’ said Malcolm Turnbull, upon hearing the massive victory Barnaby Joyce received in the New England by-election.

And massive it was – a 7.3% swing towards him, and primary vote of 64%.

Historically, by-elections in government held seats since WWII have resulted in the Government feeling swings away from them. This is clearly in the opposite direction and is so for three reasons:

He is a popular member, with a prominent position inside the government
He did not have an opposition candidate that was well known.
It’s recognised that he’s in a difficult situation!

Barnaby will take his seat in the House of Representatives once the vote is formally declared. Next stop – Bennelong on December 16

Barnaby Joyce to face New England Voters Today

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Today the voters of New England will head to the ballot box, following Barnaby Joyce’s disqualification by the High Court over dual citizenship.
It is widely accepted that he will be returned as the member, but we may not know tonight, given the large number of candidates – 17!
The Deputy Prime Minister won his seat in the 2016 election with a primary vote of 52.9%.
That is expected to dip slightly, but he should win on preferences. The Bennelong by election is on December 16

Senate returns to consider Same Sex Marriage legislation

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The Senate has just resumed debating the Same Sex Marriage legislation. It will have until November 30 to pass it and the House of Representatives will then consider the legislation next Monday. It’s expected that the bill encounter some resistance, and several amendments.
Here is some interesting data coming out of the survey results:
1. 17 out of 150 electorates voted no – the majority were Labor seats in Western Sydney, which are highly multi-cultural.
2. Females voted in greater numbers than males (females aged 18-74 returned more ballots than males).
3. The lowest turnout came from the NT at just 58%, the highest was the ACT at 82.4%
4. All but one Nationals electorate votes yes, busting the myth that the bush is morally conservative.
5. Every age bracket voted yes, busting the myth that older voters would stack the result for ‘No’.
6. Younger generations participated in far greater numbers than expected.
7. A majority of voters and 100% of the States and Territories voted yes – the results show that it would have passed Australia’s highest test (a referendum to change the constitution).

Australia Votes Yes

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Australians have voted ‘YES’ to changing the law to allow same sex couples to marry.

With response rate of just under 80% ,the survey has more authority than the Brexit vote (72%), the Irish same sex referendum (60%) and the poll that elected Donald Trump (56%).

So where to from here? From today, it’s now a battle for the marriage bills.

The Turnbull government will allow Senator Dean Smith to put up a private members bill for debate. It is expected that it will almost certainly pass. Using a private members bill will by-pass debate in the government party room.

Senator James Patterson has put up his own bill that includes additional protections for business owners to refuse services for same sex marriage celebrations. It is expected that this bill will not pass, but elements of this bill will try to be amended into the Smith bill.

Senator Dean Smith will kick off the debate in the Senate tomorrow.

Turnbull weeds out remaining dual citizens

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There’s good news and bad news for Malcolm Turnbull.

The good news is that he has found a way to fix the citizenship crisis.

The bad news is that he may loose his government altogether.

The House of Representatives and the Senate will seek to pass resolutions that will demand MP’s declare if they are dual citizens.

MP’s and senators will be given 21 days to declare if they are dual citizens in a new register similar to the ones they use to disclose financial interests. The register will ask for their place of birth, and that of their parents.

If they declare they are dual citizens they must provide documentation. The only issue now is one of timing:

  • Parliament has one sitting week left, meaning that MP’s could declare if they are dual citizens during the summer break
  • Parliament then doesn’t sit until February, where they would be referred to the High Court
  • The High Court would hand down a verdict in March/April, with by-elections in May.

The crisis would end by June, almost a year since the first MP reveal he had an issue.

High Court orders by-election for Joyce as 8th dual citizen outed

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Malcolm Turnbull is in Israel at the moment – will he visit the wailing wall?

The High Court has booted Barnaby Joyce from Parliament – the electorate of New England are expected to give him his job back when they vote on Saturday December 2, for the third time in as many years.

The President of the Senate, Stephen Parry has been responsible for writing to the High Court on five seperate occasions to settle the dual citizenship crisis in the upper house.

Today he revealed he suspects to be a dual citizen of the United Kingdom. He will resign as soon as the British High Commission confirms this.

The citizenship crisis continues – this is the 8th to be caught up in the scandal.

High Court to Consider Citizenship

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The High Court is back in action today to settle all seven dual citizenship cases. Previous cases of section 44 breeches determined by the court have set a very high bar.
Over three days six senators and one lower house member will argue their various cases with a multitude of arguments. Joyce, Canavan and Nash claim they had no knowledge of their dual citizenship.
Ludlum and Waters claim they are both guilty and have resigned, together with Xenophon who has decided to re-enter South Australian State politics.
A special hearing was conducted in September which concluded that Roberts was a dual citizen when he nominated.