Our constitution is the letter of the law

Our constitution is the letter of the law

Opinion
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Mal Peters says farmers expect politicians to understand the constitution because it's Australia’s most important legal document.

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Mal Peters says farmers expect politicians to understand and analyse issues like the constitution and roads if they want to be elected to government.

Mal Peters says farmers expect politicians to understand and analyse issues like the constitution and roads if they want to be elected to government.

Farmers could not give a tinker’s cuss about the machination of Canberra.

But if they ran their farms the way the Government is running the country at the moment they would rapidly go broke.

It seems every other day another politicians is found not to be an Australian citizen under our most important legal document the constitution making you wonder how hard is it to fill out forms correctly.

The alternative to not obeying the law is anarchy where every politicians makes his own laws up.

Charles Dickens wrote in 1838 in Oliver Twist; the law is an ass, but the law is the law, is the law and without it our society would fall to bits as most of us are not happy with certain laws that get under our skin.

Farmers who live in the western division with huge distances on dead straight roads for miles find it very frustrating to chug along at 100 kilometres per hour.

They are also annoyed at paying rates to deadhead councils that waste their money and an endless train of red tape that buries us in time wasting.

But if the law did not exist our society would cease to function.

Farmers have a reasonable expectation when they elect their politicians, they will have the ability to understands and analyse the issues and get across the often detailed information.

Both Barnaby Joyce and Fiona Nash failed to read the detail in what our constitution requires to be a member of Parliament.

The constitution is Australia’s most important legal document.

It is very clear and not to be dismissed as a mere technicality as it is the foundation document to all our laws. 

It is still very relevant to today as there was a higher percentage of immigrants in Australia when the constitution was written in 1901 than there is now.

Back in 1992 a high court case was heard in Sykes versus Cleary where a sitting Independent politician had to resign as he was found to be employed by a Government Department putting political parties on notice to obey the constitution.

But we now have nine politicians who have resigned or have been booted out by the high court and another reported 22 that may have problems.

The first exposure was five months ago.

So it beggars belief politicians are still stuffing about trying to decide if they are eligible or not with the Prime Minister having to read the riot act to them.

Apart from the horrendous cost of millions of dollars to taxpayers of the high court and the New England and Bennolong bi-election and potential recalling of parliament it has left Turnbull in minority Government totally reliant on a couple of independents.

This is a bit ironic as the Coalition railed against the previous Gillard Government who had to rely on independents calling them illegitimate.

- Mal Peters

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