Letter to the editor: Section 44 … again!

The High Court has cut across the more liberal thinking of politicians on the meaning of sole allegiance in section 44 of the Australian Constitution and has allowed them no latitude.

The relevant section reads: “44. Any person who- (i.) Is under any acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power, or is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights & privileges of a subject or citizen of a foreign power… shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a senator or a member of the House of Representatives.”

We should not forget that a major factor for the federation of the Australian colonies was to provide for defence of the continent. It was therefore important that sole allegiance be to Australia and not to a ‘foreign power’. This obligation on those who determine our foreign and defence policy remains. Those within the Australian parliament should be allegiant only to Australia and not share that allegiance with any other country. If they do not want to give up their allegiance to another country then they should not be serving in our federal parliament.

However, a number of politicians and leftist organisations are saying that the constitution must be amended as it conflicts with multicultural Australia. The fact is, people have come to this country, originally from the United Kingdom and over the past 50 years from around the world because of the stability and security our Australian Constitution provides - even those only seeking job opportunities. If it were not for our constitution our politicians, whose main motivation is self-preservation, we could well have become a third world banana type republic.

It is because of our Constitution and the safeguards therein that has enabled a prosperous Australia to welcome people of all ethnicities, religions and socio-economic backgrounds to live in this country. It is not a reason because of this to change our constitutional arrangements.

The difference in interpretation of what a foreign power is today from what it was when the constitution was first promulgated is due to various Acts of the Australian parliament, not the constitution itself. Just because politicians have created the hole so many have fallen into because of their own ineptitude, is not a reason to change the constitution.

The Australian Monarchist League will be a strong advocate against such unnecessary change to the Australian Constitution.

Philip Benwell, National Chair, Australian Monarchist League

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