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John Hewson has a good idea—at last

John Hewson has a good idea—at long last

Some people believe we can’t handle more than one question at a time—try us!

Former Liberal Party leader John Hewson has called for a multi-question referendum dealing with dual-citizenship, formal recognition of Indigenous Australians and the republic to put an end to partisan disputes over constitutional issues.

When you read the article, “The ‘I was stolen’ season again” on this blog, you might  well agree that one referendum containing several contentious issues of importance to most Australians is a great idea. It could clear the cluttered decks of social disquiet. It could return government to the business of steering the nation to improvement rather than impoverishment. And, all those that were duped into the SSM con might have an epiphany via better knowledge of subject.

Source: ABC

Q&A: John Hewson calls for broad referendum to solve citizenship, Indigenous recognition and republic


On a Q&A episode which touched on the Barnaby Joyce affair, Senator Jim Molan’s sharing of Britain First videos, reform of corporate taxation and the ABC, the panellists also offered ideas about ways to end the citizenship dramas which have plagued both sides of Parliament.
Section 44 of the constitution prohibits members of either house from having dual-citizenship with another country and an eligibility crisis in the last six months has cost eight politicians their jobs, sparked two by-elections and seen more fall under the spotlight.
In response to a question by Robert Sutherland, a judge in the New South Wales District Court, Mr Hewson said a referendum which asked the Australian public multiple questions would be a way to end the political point-scoring on the issues.
“I don’t do minimal, I would have a broad-based reform agenda on the constitution, a bipartisan agenda and raise issues like the proper recognition of First Australians, the republic,” Mr Hewson said.
“Let’s do it once and for all and do it properly.”
On course for a referendum
Fellow panellist Linda Reynolds, the senator in charge of a bi-partisan Joint Standing Committee of Electoral Matters, said a referendum was shaping up to be the only way to deal with the dual-citizenship issue.
“We’ve heard from many of Robert’s (Judge Sutherland) colleagues, many constitutional experts and not a single one of them has said that there is any other way bar taking it back to the Australian people for you to decide what you think is current and relevant today,” Senator Reynolds said.
“Now in this case the law is 118-years-old and it may be a bit of an arse in the current circumstances but ultimately the committee will share with Australians what the issues are and we will have to have a national debate.”
Senator Reynolds said other section 44 issues the bi-partisan committee was investigating were the forced resignation of public sector workers when elected and the difficulties faced by people who were adopted, from the Stolen Generation or had family who had fled war in satisfying the constitution.
The Australian political commentator Chris Kenny said he preferred not to change section 44, saying it was not too much to ask that politicians are loyal to the country.

Mr Kenny also argued that the wide-ranging question would not be appropriate given how few have successfully passed in Australian history, with only eight of 44 national referendums carrying.

“The more issues in the bundle, the more debate, the more cross pollination of arguments and the less likely it will be to succeed,” he said.
“I think they’re all worthy issues, we did the republic once before, we had a complete failure when it comes to Indigenous recognition.
“But they’ve got to be picked up one at a time.”
Guardian Australia columnist Van Badham was in favour of Mr Hewson’s multi-question referendum, and said dual-citizenship didn’t create disloyalty.
“I love being a dual citizen,” she said.
“My father died a few years ago and was born in New Zealand. That means continuing the link to my dad and the community he came from.
“That doesn’t make me disloyal — I love this country, I live here, I pay tax here.”
Ms Badham said she had faith that the Australian people could answer more than one question at a time.

{ 10 comments… add one }
  • luk1955 13/02/2018, 6:47 am

    Our federal Constitution applies to ALL citizens, ALL of the time, and makes no difference whether you are working for the government and big business, and also applies to all politicians and people who are paid by the government. But with government and big business now the same, with big business running the show, the Constitution is being ignored by everyone, especially the general public who only think it applies to citizenship of politicians.

  • Lorraine 13/02/2018, 8:50 am

    John Hewson that failed Liberal leader that had trouble with candles on a cake and the GST factor of same. He now thinks we the public can answer 3 questions at one time and get it right..please

  • Albert 13/02/2018, 8:51 am

    Come on folks. Do you really believe that the dopey politicians, their equally dopey bureaucracy and a lazy public can handle a referendum with multiple questions without stuffing it up completely. I’m afraid that my expectations can’t be stretched that far.

  • Lorraine 13/02/2018, 8:56 am

    its easy , No No No are we done ,yes we are

    • Zoltan 13/02/2018, 9:16 am

      Beat me to it Lorraine

    • Albert 13/02/2018, 3:11 pm

      Nothing is that easy when in the hands of politicians.

  • Austin Ayforti 13/02/2018, 9:24 am

    There should be no dual citizenship and no hyphen Australians, either you’re Australian or you’re something else. Oh and Hewson is a soft left leaning flog.

  • Aktosplatz 13/02/2018, 2:37 pm

    I think when Hewson appears on the scene, I automatically say ‘No’. He belongs to the same stable as Ray Martin and Peter Fitzsimons- you know, Serial Pests.

    • Joe Blogs 13/02/2018, 6:03 pm

      Yep. Useless Idiots Inc.

  • Neville 14/02/2018, 2:36 am

    The whole dual-citizenship thing was engineered by the usual suspects, the lefty-greeny cultural marxist sons of Gramsci. Remember when .. Australia had NO such things as ‘dual-citizenship’? Remember when it all changed? (no, neither do I). Remember when we had NO problems with ‘immigrants’, NO problems with ‘residents’, NO problems with ‘tourists’, NO problems with in fact ANYone who was NOT an Australian? [an ‘Australian’ back then being simply an indigenous person (either Aboriginal, or other indigenous), OR, an ‘immigrant’]

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