The contrast couldn’t be more obvious. Two politicians discover they have dual citizenship and resign apologetically. Two more discover the same thing, but take no responsibility and employ any means of desperate sophistry they can come up with to cling to their jobs.
It is often commented that you never really know what politicians stand for because you can’t trust their word anyway. Certainly the Abbott and Turnbull governments have sunk to a new low in this regard and I appreciate why people find it difficult to judge politicians on their policy promises these days.
But you can also judge people and the parties they represent on their character. And in this regard you couldn’t find a more stark difference than over the recent dual-citizenship debacles.
The two Greens senators were unequivocal in taking responsibility for their mistakes and resigned amidst considerable mirth and schadenfreude from government spokesmen, but the other parties’ enjoyment of the scandal didn’t last very long. It soon became clear that the Greens weren’t the only party to fall foul of this law, but not everyone would react as honourably.
The next two senators found to have breached this law were Coalition Minister, Matt Canavan, and Coalition proxy (One Nation support almost 90% of Coalition legislation) and part time scientist impersonator, Malcolm Roberts. But neither of them handled the situation with anywhere like the same amount of integrity or dignity as their Greens counterparts. Despite similarities with the situation Ludlum, and Waters had found themselves in, Roberts and Canavan have resisted any calls for their resignation and it will take court cases to have them (hopefully) removed.
Of course, these paragons of self-interest would not even have a chance to try this if their hypocrisy were not allowed and nurtured by complicit commercial media who are rewarded in turn (remember the 30 million Turnbull gave to Foxtel on a handshake recently). If Matt “It’s my mum’s fault” Canavan were a Labor politician, I doubt he would have even had the chance to challenge his ineligibility in court. Newscorp and the government-friendly shock jocks would have forced his resignation with continuous negative editorial pressure.
Just as you can judge a politician for their actions more than you can for their promises, the same is true of parties in general. If a party is filled with as many bullies, liars and cronies as the Liberal Party, I wouldn’t vote for them whatever they promised me.