What with all the excitement of the bloody ‘yes’ vote winning the bloody postal survey, it’s pretty easy to temporarily forget that Australia is currently being thrown into chaos as elected representatives drop like flies after having been discovered to be in breach of the bloodthirsty bastard that is Section 44 of the constitution. But while the rest of us have been out homosexually celebrating in the streets, Section 44 managed to pre-emptively claim another victim: Hollie Hughes, who was set to replace deputy Nationals leader Fiona Nash, who was herself booted out thanks to that very same section.
This afternoon the High Court ruled that Hughes was ineligible because she held an “office for profit under the crown“, more specifically a gig at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal that she was given by Attorney-General George Brandis. She resigned her position shortly after Nash was given the boot, but that was apparently not enough for the High Court (I wonder if they’ll let her have her old job back).
Hughes joins an illustrious collection of people who have been Section 44’d, including (but not limited to) Scott Ludlum, Larissa Waters, Jacqui Lambie, Barnaby Joyce, Stephen Parry, and Malcolm Roberts.
It’s unclear at this time how the vacancy created by the failure to fill the vacancy will be filled, but the Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that it will most likely be Abbott government insider and ‘Stop The Boats‘ policy architect Jim Molan. They’re also reporting that the Nats are working on trying to get Nash back into the seat.
It’s impossible to say who Section 44 will claim next, it could be you. Probably not, though.