After a turbulent week for the government with the High Court of Australia’s citizenship ruling, Federal Member for Cowper, Luke Hartsuyker said the Nationals will do everything in their power to pull former Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce through his by-election.
“The High Court interpreted Section 44 of the constitution, and as Members of Parliament we are bound by law,” Mr Hartsuyker said.
“Obviously we are disappointed by the need for a by-election in the seat of New England, but we are leaving no stone unturned to ensure Barnaby Joyce is returned,” he said.
“No one is more ridgy-didge than Barnaby but we have to live with the High Court’s decision.”
On October 27 the High Court ruled that Mr Joyce along with former Greens Senators Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters, One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts and Nationals Senator Fiona Nash were also disqualified from sitting in parliament, however, one Charles Sturt University political science academic, is not surprised by the decision.
Associate Professor of political science in the CSU School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Dominic O'Sullivan, said he is more concerned for democracy and that the discourse surrounding the citizenship scandal focused only on whether or not parliamentarians should have known better.
"There is a bigger issue at stake; that is, whether the national interest is well served by excluding from Parliament those Australian citizens who may for important cultural and family reasons wish to retain a formal association with their countries of origin.
"Others like Mr Joyce, whose father was born in Dunedin and migrated to Australia in 1947 - before Australian or New Zealand citizenship was created, one was simply a British subject - have retained no connection to the 'foreign power' that some argue compromises one's ability to serve Australian interests alone," Professor O’Sullivan said.
Mr O'Sullivan also said with almost half the Australian population born, or has a parent born overseas, the system may need to be changed.
"When this figure is coupled with those ineligible for election to Parliament because they hold an 'office for profit under the Crown', one sees that the Australian Parliament cannot easily be fully representative of the Australian people," he said.
Mr O'Sullivan argues the High Court’s decision is an opportunity for voters to consider which of their fellow citizens they want to be allowed to be elected.
"It is important that people understand that this issue is primarily about them and who they want to be allowed to support in an election," he said.
"We diminish our authority as voters if we reduce this issue to cynical revenge against the political class.”