In the interests of full disclosure, this reporter was involved in the 2016 Federal Election as a Senate Candidate for South Australia and was not elected and is involved with a political party currently.
First we discover that the Liberal National Party coalition has lost many seats in both houses to Labor, Independents and micro parties after Malcolm Turnbull called a Double Dissolution election in what this reporter believes was a tactic to boost his party’s numbers in both houses. Well, that back fired.
Just a few weeks ago, we heard that Bob Day, Family First Senator elected on July 2 2016 election was going to resign by the end of the year because his company had recently gone into liquidation. Then we find out yesterday that Bob Day may not have been eligible for election in the first place due to a breach of section 44 of the Australian Constitution which disqualifies anyone who has a direct or indirect pecuniary interest in any agreement with the public service of the Commonwealth from being eligible for election and cannot sit as a Senator or Member of Parliament. The matter will be referred to the High Court of Australia for investigation. As a result of this enquiry, Bob Day resigned immediately on Tuesday 1st November 2016.
Wednesday 2nd November, we discover that Western Australian One Nation Senator Rod Culleton’s eligibility for election in the July 2 2016 election is under scrutiny as well. The circumstances are different, but the same net results if it is ruled that he was ineligible for election at the time.
“Under Section 44(ii), anyone who has been “attained 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” is incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a senator or a member of the House of Representatives.”
In The West Australian article, the reporter states, “It appears that the proceedings brought by Mr Bell are based on an allegation that, at the time of the last election, Senator Culleton had been convicted of an offence punishable by a sentence of imprisonment for one year or longer, and was therefore ‘incapable of being chosen’ as a Senator under section 44(ii) of the Constitution.”
The article goes on to say, “Senator Culleton last week escaped a conviction after pleading guilty to larceny of $7.50 keys from a tow truck driver in Guyra, NSW.”
It might seem a bit harsh if Senator Culleton is disqualified from holding a Senate seat for what appears to be stealing a set of keys valued at $7.50, but one supposes, The Law Is The Law.
However, could this be a tactic by the government to even up the senate after Bob Day resigned?
Considering that the trigger for the Double Dissolution election was the failed ABCC bill and that Bob Day has said that he would support the legislation due to be debated in the Senate next week, and that Rod Culleton has indicated that he may split from One Nation and not support the legislation in the Senate; is this a ploy by the government to even up the numbers in the senate?
One thing is for sure; Its an interesting time in Australia politics at the moment.
How many more politicians are going to fall?
How many more have skeletons in their closet?
WA Senator Rod Culleton – Courtesy of AAP.
SA Senator Bob Day – Courtesy of ABC News.
WA Senator Rod Culleton – Coutesy of Michael O’Brien, The West Australian.