Australian politics has been rocked in recent days by the resignation of not one, but two, Federal Greens Senators for failing to be eligible to hold Federal Office under the Australian Constitution.
It has been revealed that both Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters were in direct breach of Section 44 of the Constitution, which prevents any Federally elected Australian politician from holding dual-citizenship.
Last Friday, Mr Ludlam announced his resignation after it was found that he was a dual-citizen of Australian and New Zealand. This prompted Ms Waters, who was born in Canada, to double-check her citizenship status, in turn triggering her resignation when she discovered she was indeed a dual citizen of Australian and Canada.
In terms of the process for replacing the two Senators, it is likely that it will go to a countback, with the Greens candidate who sat below each resigned Senator on the Party ticket at the last election filling the vacant spots.
In the case of Scott Ludlam’s replacement, this will be 22-year-old university student, Jordon Steele-John. However, Canberra insiders are tipping that should this scenario eventuate, Steele-John will step down immediately and cause a casual vacancy for the WA Greens to fill. This is supposedly so that the Party can put forward a more experienced person to replace Ludlam.
As for the person most likely to fill Water’s vacant Senate seat, it looks set to be former Australian Democrats Senator and Leader, Andrew Bartlett.
These two resignations cap off a horror past month for The Greens, which has involved in-fighting, scrutiny over Sarah Hanson-Young’s use of taxpayer money to take her daughter whale watching, and now the Party has lost its two Federal Deputy Leaders.
It is not an easy time being Green at the moment.