Why is Malcolm Turnbull allergic to good news? He has two goals before Christmas: Pass the marriage legislation and refer the citizenship of every questionable MP to the High Court.
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.
All these things have taken place before lunchtime
1) The Bennelong by-election date has been set – December 16. The MP re-contesting had no idea the date had been set when speaking with the media later in the day.
2) The major parties have agreed on a citizenship register. Documents must be submitted by December 1 and it now includes grandparents as well as parents.
3) Three new senators have been sworn in (2 Greens and Hanson).
4) The Hanson Senator defected from One Nation less than 20 minutes after being sworn in. He’s an independent now.
5) Jacqui Lambie may resign, she is clarifying if she is Scottish or not.
6) Trump canceled a meeting with Malcolm Turnbull (reasons unknown).
7) Senator James Patterson has released a conservative bill to legislate for same sex marriage that includes extensive protections for religious folks and parents.
8) Scott Ryan is the new Senate president. He resigned from the ministry.
(Edit: Trump and Turnbull will now have dinner together)
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.
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.