Can't vote, can't stay

The Australian, 1 August 2000, p.15.

"Melba" edited by Graeme Leech

Thanks to Harold Scruby, Executive Director of Ausflag, Melba has found an excuse to remind everyone of Tony Abbott′s silly remark during the referendum campaign. The Employment Services Minister said last September: "In trying to throw people off the electoral rolls, republicans like Scruby are engaged in a grubby combination of ethnic cleansing and ballot rigging." For this effort, Melba awarded Abbott the 1999 Quote of the Year.

Scruby had been bold enough to suggest British migrants who refused to take out Australian citizenship should not be allowed to vote in elections and referendums. He tells us: "In a bizarre twist, which now proves our point and the hypocrisy of Mr. Abbott′s outrageous claims, a British subject in Mr. Abbott′s own electorate, who has lived in Australia for 30 years, is married to an Australian woman, has three Australian children, has just been sent back to the UK by Mr. Abbott′s Government."

In other words, the Government has treated this person as a foreigner and deported him following the completion of a jail sentence. Scruby says a humble apology from Abbott would be in order.