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November 10, 2017


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What puzzles me even more regarding Australia is why this issue of dual-citizens isn't treated like Commonwealth citizens pre- and post-1984; anyone who has dual citizenship with a Commonwealth country (or was eligible for such) in 1984 or before is not considered as holding a foreign citizenship for the purposes of the Australian constitution, while any holding it after that would.

Thus few politicians under the age of 33 would fall afoul of these (newly interpreted) rules (which prior to 1984 were not an issue anyway) unless they did something to change their status (so for example, if Politician A was merely eligible for Canadian citizenship in 1984 but then actively took up citizenship by registration in 1986, then that act would render him ineligible. If Politician B had dual Australian-British citizenship (with the passports for both)in 1984 and then became a naturalized American citizen in 2017 then that would render Politician B ineligible).

Given the Australian restrictions on dual citizenship prior to 2002 anyway, I suspect those restrictions plus the above suggested interpretation of the rules (based on pre-1984 and post-1984 laws) would have headed off the current parliamentary crisis.

The Komagatu Maru incident in 1914, where British subjects of the Indian Empire (Sikhs, for the most part) were denied entry into Canada, was also probably important.


The British government was concerned that Canada, like Australia, was putting up barriers to non-white British subjects, fearing that this could contribute to the end of the empire as a unified zone. The British government was right.

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