.. is a Canadian citizen and Matt Canavan is an Italian citizen, claim that they did not know that had dual citizenship.
Waters was born in Canada and moved to Australia as an infant. After Scott Ludlum, also another Green Senator discovered that he not actually given up his ability to carry both and Australian and a New Zealand passport MS Green “… was devastated to learn that because of 70 year old Canadian laws I had been a dual citizen from birth, and that Canadian law changed a week after I was born and required me to have actively renounced Canadian citizenship."
As they say what a difference a week can make in politics.
Now we find out that Malcolm Roberts, the One Nation climate change denying candidate who wears a tin foil hat under his tin foil hat, was a dual UK and Australian citizen until at least 5 December 2016. I can only observe, courtesy of the Constitution Education Fund article on July 28th that either travelling on a British passport (Mr Roberts) or receiving postal votes for an election in another country (Mr Canavan) might be seen as a clue – perhaps even an acknowledgment that there was an warp in the time continuum. Poor Ms Waters’ case seems like just bad luck.
Anyway the recent events are not isolated examples of Section 44 of the Constitution and there have been a number of strange appeals to the High Court. Two I found interesting if you ever doubted that Anti-Catholicism was as nasty as the current anti-Muslim sentiments.
Following the 1946 federal election, Ronald Sarina, an unsuccessful candidate for West Sydney, petitioned the High Court to declare the election of William O'Connor void claiming that as a Roman Catholic, O'Connor was under an allegiance to a foreign power. Given that Australia sends an Ambassador to the Vatican or Papal States its existence as an entity is not under dispute. But Sarina's solicitor sensibly asked the Court to withdraw the petition before anything untoward and extravagant happened.
Undeterred by that almost simultaneous outbreak of nonsense and common sense in 1950 an independent candidate Henry Crittenden petitioned for Gordon Anderson to also be disqualified also on the basis of his Catholicism. This proceeded all the way to failure and Crittenden had to pay costs. The decisive factor was that to exclude Catholics from the parliament would be to impose a "religious test" for public office, contrary to Constitution.¹ There is no intelligence test mentioned in the Constitution by the way.
Well how Australian are Australians? Australian nationality came into existence on 26 January 1949 when the Nationality and Citizenship Act 1948 came into force and the words British Passport on the cover of ‘Australian passports’ were replaced by ‘Australian Passport.’
Now we might say that we don’t mind that an Australian has dual Canadian, New Zealand or Finnish citizenship. Where’s the conflict when there is no conflict? Is it only a sentimental nicety on the part of immigrants from another land? A bit of passport risk sharing ?
Is the concept of fealty to a state or country a bit old-fashioned in this global village? Aren’t we all citizens of the world? A lot of people don’t think so and given world tensions that move from simmer to boil in different longitudes and latitudes by the week what is an extension of ethnic, linguistic and family bonds coupled with xenophobia mean that nobody really trusts anybody.
You can’t be President of the United States unless you were born there which fortunately rules Arnold Schwarzenegger out.
But do you draw a line at North Korean or perhaps Russian citizenship to name the enemies du jour? Eligibility for dual citizenship would depend on the crisis of the month. So perhaps the Section 44 might have the benefit of at least nominal and apparent allegiance to Australia’s interests.
However in all honesty (a word that one uses only humorously in Australia) it might seem to matter little when we see what influence can be bought for the donation of a few dollars to the political party of your choice. A few dollars overspent on your travel budget Sam? Just ask your mate from China. Of course this will never influence your vote, neither will a company promising to build in your electorate. Or build a new highway for apparently nothing.
But in fact the concept of national loyalty is strange in the time of multi-national corporations. I am sure that there are more than a few out there with Australian Flags tattooed on their arms, patriots to the core, who are busily arranging tax havens in the Cayman Islands. When a company is making your life-style possible surely it is only natural to work to its advantage?
The glue that holds the world loosely together is technology and the companies that provide it such as Microsoft, Google, or Facebook really have no specific national loyalties.
Apple, a proudly American company has billions of dollars in overseas banks which it won’t repatriate to its own country because it might have to pay tax. Which might be used for schools and hospitals. But to be fair as a company they don’t really pay any tax here in Australia either.
But back to the ramble on dual nationality ……. and an interesting peculiarity. I, a New Zealand citizen (and only a New Zealand citizen), am on the Australian Electoral roll and can therefore serve on a jury. This apparent anomaly is a result of a moment of generosity of the Whitlam Government that opened a small window of opportunity, for various colonials to vote for Gough. Well in fact I think the window closed in about 1984, three years after the Stewart Royal Commission into various drug trafficking and related criminal activities.
I have been asked to do jury service on a couple of occasions but never asked to find an Australian guilty. Or even innocent however unlikely that would be.
Now this just might mean that, if there was a court case about any of the parliamentarians and their dual citizenship that required a jury, there is a slight, but entirely legal chance, that I, a New Zealander, could be asked to decide their fate. I know, very, very unlikely given that the High Court is the logical venue but still not entirely science fiction.
We can but dream.

¹ Anyway just in case you were worried there is a fine of $200 for every day that a Senator or MP sits in the Parliament after someone sues them in the High Court. The maximum period that someone can be sued for is now 12 months. This comes from Section 46. Penalty for sitting when disqualified.