Senator Scott Ludlam Resigns From Parliament

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Scott Ludlam, co-deputy leader of the Federal Greens and perhaps the strongest advocate for the video game industry in Australia, has resigned from his party and the Federal Parliament effective immediately.

The former senator announced his resignation after being informed that he was ineligible for elected office. According to a statement published on his Twitter, Ludlam has a dual Australian-New Zealand citizenship, thereby disqualifying him from standing for a seat in the Federal Parliament.

"This was my error, something I should have checked when I first nominated for preselection in 2006," Ludlam announced on Twitter. "I have no wish to draw out the uncertainty or create a lengthy legal dispute, particularly when the Constitution is so clear," he added.

The full statement can be viewed below.

The question of citizenship has come up in the Australian parliament before, with people questioning former Prime Minister Tony Abbott in recent years over whether he had renounced his British citizenship. Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard was also required to renounce her dual citizenship before standing for parliament, while Jackie Kelly in 1996 was forced to recontest her seat in 1996 after it was revealed that she was a dual citizen.

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Comments

    Wonderful news.

      If only it were Richard Di Natale instead. Scott's alright. A bit naive maybe, but well-intentioned.

        Agreed, I usually can't stand the Greens but Scott Ludlum always seemed alright to me...

      why hasn't your hero tones resigned???

        Hahaha salty hypocritical Green tears....

          Not sure what's hypocritical here. Scott found out he was in the wrong, apologised, and then did the right thing and stood down. Meanwhile we still have no way of knowing if Mr Abbott has renounced his dual citizen ship and he's managed to block all attempts to look into it. Scott showed integrity and saved tax payers thousands in legal fees.

            One showed true integrity, the other showed he was a whining, whinging prick who won't stop causing trouble for his party...

              It is just proof that you can't have classical liberals and hard conservatives in the same party, it doesn't work.

      I see you're getting down voted into moderation by the usuals.... If it was a conservative it would be high greens.

      But remember these are tolerant progressives here.

        Edgy.

          Tolerant

            Hahah the old, disingenuous fallacy that claiming to be tolerant is to renounce being critical at all. The only tolerance that works for people like you is that which allows you to do and say as you will, while remaining mum and subservient.

        You're set up to fail with the up/down vote system when it comes to political leanings. Left leaning blog posts lefty articles; right wing readers disagree, get downvoted to oblivion.

        It is what it is.

          Tell me about it, I think my comments are usually defaulted to negative because of the progressives who frequent this site. That is of course if the moderators/authors don't downright delete my comments because of their feelings.

          run along to breibart or /pol/ if you dont like people disagreeing with you. Wonderful thing about democracy is we get the right to disgree with you, Just like you get to disagree with us. If you want a site that does not allow people to disagree with you (AKA a safe space) then make your own.

            The issue here is that people use the downvote button to disagree with opinions that threatens their safe space instead of using it for what it is designed for, which is to filter out comments that don't follow the guidelines or add to the conversation. You're one of my regular downvoters anyway so I wouldn't expect you to see past your own hypocrisy. You speak of democracy and breibart yet the "progressives" are just as bad with the whole hands on ears and screech till you don't hear opposing thoughts.

              which is to filter out comments that don't follow the guidelines or add to the conversation

              Ummm no, Thats the job of the little flag comment button on the top right. If the function was to do what you say. The upvote button would not exist as well. If you dont like people disagreeing with you. Dont comment.

              People like you and the others above disagree with me, And i accept that. But whenever Zeitgeist, Mypetmonkey or others post stuff that the wider community disagrees with. They chuck sooky la la's.

              I do have to wonder, If you all dislike us disagreeing with you, Why do you bother commenting?

                To add balance to The Force.

                Also constant downvotes causes a user's comments to be moderated before they can be posted. How does that encourage conversation and debate about differing sides of topics when you are forced to either agree with the masses or leave?

                To downvote somebody is to pick up your ball and go home.

                Last edited 15/07/17 12:52 am

                  Please to tell me how statements like:

                  "Wonderful news."

                  and

                  "Hahaha salty hypocritical Green tears...."

                  Are contributing to meaningful discussion?

                  If these edgelords dont want to be downvoted. Perhaps they should properly articulate their opinions. They dont want to properly contribute, The just want to stir up the pot and then chuck a sook when they get put into auto mod. (Which does not last long if you know how it works).

                  Hey guys (ping @djbear and @mypetmonkey as well), this conversation has gotten a little too far off topic. Yes, the whole downvote/left vs right issue comes up every time we post about anything political, no it's not really related to the post at hand.

                  I won't trim any of the existing comments at this point, but I'd suggest you leave off this particular thread and engage with the actual content of the article if you still have more to say about it. We're all gonna disagree on some things, please just try to do it in a constructive manner.

          There are also the people who assume that their criticism is right in principle and that any dissent is but the expected zealotic, blind partisanism that in fact, confirms the righteousness of the criticism.

        I down voted because the comment didn't add anything to the discussion. If @zeitxgeist bothered to raise a cromulent argument on why it's a good thing that the senator who was most active in helping Victoria establish itself as a hub for video game development, I'd disagree, but in a respectful way.

        "Wonderful news" is just a garbage post, hence down vote.

        Whats this?

        mypetmonkey is "Triggered" because people dont agree with an opinion and now he wants a "Safe Space" where people arent allowed to disagree with conservatives.

        FYI, tolerance means whe only have to accept you have an opinion. Tolerance does not mean we have to agree to your opinion.

        Dude this is the Aussie version of Kotaku, there are no "progressives" here, Australia doesn't have "progressives" or "snowflakes" or "deplorables" or "libtards" or "democrats" ...and "Republicans" are people who hate Prince Charles (and are ambivalent about that nice old German lady with the funny Greek husband).

        I mean FFS our centre-right party is called Liberals. Trump gave Turnbull a serve on the phone because he thought Turnbull was a liberal.

        In the US, Democrats are BLUE and Republicans are RED, which is the opposite of here, left/right-wise.

        To denigrate someone who likes the Greens in Australia, terms like "pinko" or "watermelon" are perfectly offensive, we don't need to resort to AMERICANISMS./

        Ugh!

      Sure. Be happy that the only politician advocating for our industry is out. If it wasn't for Scott Ludlum the games industry would be a lot worse off then it is now. Was really counting on him pushing the Senate Inquiry though on games and making the Feds finally respond.

      The LNP have been actively hostile to the industry in which I work, cutting grants, gutting the NBN and putting up numerous restrictions that stifle innovation and progress. Scott Ludlum was a refreshingly open minded, well spoken and sensible politician and we need more like him if games are ever going to be taken seriously in this country.

        Exactly. This isn't about left or right, it's about losing a legitimately good politician

        I don't believe any arts at all should be funded by my dollar. If the career you've chosen relies on our tax dollars, it had better be something useful like medicare/muh roadz/other services, not your damn art.

        I'm grateful he's gone. I'm incredibly happy the only politician trying to steal my money to fund your career is gone. I'm grateful there's no one else trying to steal my money just yet to put into even more arts.

        If you make a good game, you will sell the good game. You don't need public funding to achieve that, that's what the free market is for.

        Last edited 14/07/17 6:47 pm

          it had better be something useful like medicare/muh roadz/other services

          Too bad your tax dollars aren't going to anything as useful either then.

          Here's a shock for you: You don't pay your income tax, your employer does. It's all a giant scam to make little people hate the government instead of the big businesses.

          They say to you "oh we are paying you $100,000 a year, but the mean old government takes $24,632!

          They're not paying you $100,000, they're paying you $75,368. How do I know this is true? Look at superannuation - that came in way way after income tax, so culturally, they couldn't just roll it into the $100,000. They had to add on the extra $9500 and say your "total package" is now worth $109500.

          Only self-employed people have to pay huge sums of money (ie $25K in this case) to the government 1-4 times a year. You never see your income tax in your bank account, you never "hold" the money, so therefore, it is paid by your employer - it's their money which they divide between you and the government based on "the rules."

          If you think income tax is theft then you are a victim of the 20th century's greatest scam.

          Last edited 14/07/17 11:37 pm

            Lmao what amazing mental gymnastics to try to justify unnecessary taxation, I'm genuinely impressed.

            and no, they're not paying me 75k, they're paying me 100 and the government is taking the remainder per the law.
            superannuation is a different situation mate.

            Last edited 17/07/17 12:38 pm

          That's a comment I disagree with that doesn't deserve down votes. Art should be reliant on profit to be made.

          Two thoughts I'm interested on your take. One, how do you feel about private companies that invest in video games that don't make profit? That company can then claim the loss come tax time, which isn't too dissimilar to the government footing some of the bill (on the same note, any government funded games that do make profit end up funnelling money back into the government by paying tax).

          Two, would you rather live in a world where there's no government assistance for video games meaning no Witcher games? Or are you referring to the Australian government in particular?

            I don't mind private companies investing in stuff that doesn't make profit, so long as it's not intentional solely for the tax (it happens unfortunately).

            Yes to both.

            @snoweee

          If you make a good game, you will sell the good game. You don't need public funding to achieve that, that's what the free market is for.

          For such old-fashioned and out of touch views on creative industries, you sure have a youthful naivety when it comes to believing society is a meritocracy.

          Video game investments make their dollars back and then some. It's not that games are unprofitable, it's that they need capital investment to get going. Our company could do just fine without government incentives, but we'd also grow at a much slower rate and miss out on big contracts that would allow us to employ more people. My company has gone from 10 to 30+ people in just 3 years with very little government support, and we have no plans to stop growing. Right now we're seeking government assistance because we've outgrown our current premises and need capital to fit out a new building. We're also working with a group called GamePlus+ to start a co-working space in Adelaide similar to Melbournes "The Hub"

      Good lord, you've been downvote so hard your score is green! (on my end, anyway)

    Not sure why he's resigning though, couldn't he just renounce his NZ citizenship and recontest the seat like Jackie Kelly did? I'm sure he'd win it again easily.

      Don't know about him winning again. The shine has long worn off on them they seem to cause more problems than they solve.

      His antics aside, I think the bigger issue is why did it take 11 years to become a problem.

      Doesn't look good for our parliament in general if these simple checks that require next to no effort (relatively speaking) go un-noticed.

        Would be different for the Senate than it was for the lower house too.

        If you read the article it's clear, he thought he'd properly renounced his NZ citizenship, somebody else checked for him and told him differently a couple of days ago, it's taken a couple of days for him to confirm for himself, found out he's not eligible and stood down like any decent politician currently in breach of our constitution would.

        Sorry for the run on sentence.

          I did read the article and it doesn't change what I've raised.

          This oddity should have been picked up back in 2006, not after someone in 2017 did a check.

          This only shows there is laziness even in the parliamentary system and not just the politicians in it.

      They don't hold by-elections for Senate seats. Because Ludlam was ineligible to stand, they'll recount the votes from last year's election and give the seat to the person with the next highest number of votes. Ludlam will have to wait until there's another election to recontest the seat if he wants to.

        There was a special re-election for six Senate seats (including Ludlum's from memory) back in 2014 after the Supreme Court voided the results of the previous election. Granted it's not the same circumstance and it was considered unprecedented in the current electoral system but it suggests that a by-election could feasibly be used in unusual circumstances like this.

        In any case, he seems to be writing a permanent farewell instead of indicating any interest in contesting next election, which seems strange given his age and popularity. Isn't his seat up for election again next year?

          Which happened because the AEC lost 1300 voting papers and really ticked of the West Australians in the process.

      Senate works on tickets rather than individual candidates. He doesn't have a 'seat' per se.

        You're right. In this instance I meant 'seat' in the coloquial sense as the slot he occupied in the Senate until today. A recontesting wouldn't be a geographic contest but could be done as a re-election of non-sitting candidates from the last time his half of the Senate was voted on. It's happened once before, even if it's highly unusual.

        That's incorrect. Senate voting is for individual candidates, not parties. If you vote above the line for a 'ticket' you are simply voting for individual candidates in an order picked by your party of preference.

      I've yet to meet a Kiwi who has renounced their citizenship.

        Haha, well he didn't even know he still had it so I doubt it's something of any real significance to him that he'd rather keep it over his career.

        Hahaha so true. Mine are all "residents" - be damned before they went completely native ;)

    Why did it take 11 years to be a problem?

      Someone upset enough did the digging I guess. He himself didn't even know.

        Usually I'm quick to call Ludlam out for what he is. But this would have to be the one rare case where I can't fault him.

        How bad is our parliament as a system if simple checks for basic rules are not effectively carried out?

          It seems insane that when you say "hey I want to be a Senator" there's not an office somewhere that checks to make sure you're not breaking any of the rules, and we just kind of trust you untli someone looks into it.

          Like, I think we can all agree this is a relatively small deal, all things considered - we all know New Zealanders are basically honorary Australians anyway - but who knows how many of the other requirements aren't getting checked?

            You have to make a declaration that you are eligible, but yeah, someone should do some fact checking for sure!

          Yes, look at all the One Nation people who have had to step down or be removed, Family First and now potentially a NP MP.

            Urgh. Don't get me started.

            Usually I'm more than happy to rip and tear into any politician within 10 miles of me but I'm trying to call a little self truce given the current situation for a change.

          Given this and previous cases, I think the simple answer is that Australia doesn't keep an accurate and up-to-date record of the dual citizenship status of every citizen. Verifying that Ludlam is still an NZ citizen probably involves asking the NZ government rather than checking Australian records.

          Similarly, when people were chasing the (most likely bogus) theory that Tony Abbott still held British citizenship, they asked the UK government. In that case, the UK refused to answer the request on privacy grounds. It is quite possible they'd do the same if the Australian government asked, which would make verification difficult.

    The 3rd placed guy on the Greens WA Senate-ticket is a 21 year-old with cerable palsy who’s now likely to be a Senator with a staff making $200k a year.

    Oh man….. I don’t know what to say.

      About what? Age or disability?
      You do know that Cerebral Palsy is a physical disability, not a cognitive disability.

        Let's try and stay on the pleasant side of the line, if we can.

        I wouldn't be a fan simply because of age. At 21 the person would have barely any life experience. Sure he would have experience with disabilities but what else can he weigh in on? Isn't old enough to held any long term careers, may or may not have had the opportunity to travel around the world to get perspective.

          Counterpoint: he hasn't had time to be courted and put into the pockets of Big Mining, or Big Oil or some other ghastly lobby group. He's still hopefully young and idealistic, albeit with the experience of Disability Advocacy to ground him. He's a Digital Native, so he knows the importance of electronic media; he'll never have lived with anything else.

          Don't count someone out because they are young. Our current crop of aged, stupid pollies are evidence that age oft brings no wisdom.

            I see where you are coming from but 21 is still too young to have any weighted opinion in big picture topics.

              Not that i specifically disagree with you, but while we're discriminating potential policymakers based on age, we should probably get a cut off age for people making decisions about the planet's future who are over a certain age too. 60+ is too old to have a weighted opinion on energy and environmental topics.

      That will depend on how his resignation is handled. If he is formally declared ineligible to stand, then they'll do a count back to determine the new senator from the votes at the federal election. If it is treated as a casual vacancy, then the Greens can choose a replacement, who wouldn't necessarily have had to be on the ballot paper.

        Pretty sure it would just be the Greens appointing someone else, due to the proportional representation system. The Greens would have won the votes as a party and could put a number of their party into Senate seats. You'd still have the same proportional vote and so the Greens would still be entitled to a certain number of seats.

          That's what would happen if it is a casual vacancy (i.e. someone resigning, or dying). Things are a bit different if it is determined that someone never should have been elected in the first place.

          Take Rod Culleton, who was also initially elected as a WA senator at the recent election, but found ineligible. Rather than One Nation picking a replacement, they reran the count of the existing ballot papers with his name excluded. This resulted in a different One Nation candidate being elected, but could have had a different result if they were unlucky.

            Yeah, I think that would be the case if they discounted any ballot papers specifically voting for Ludlam rather than voting for the Greens ticket.

              There would be no special treatment of ballots that specifically voted for Ludlam #1 below the line. You simply take each ballot and remove the ineligible candidate(s) from their ordered preferences and then run the counting algorithm.

              So people who voted below the line for Ludlam would be treated as if they put their #2 candidate first.

      Can you clarify what you mean by that? Because it sounds like you're saying someone with cerebral palsy doesn't deserve that kid of position.

        It doesn't disqualify you at all. It's just a shitload of money and responsibility for a disabled kid who'll get elected Stephen Bradbery style by being the 3rd place guy on the senate ticket of a minority party.

        You could probably count the number of people who voted below the line for this kid on two hands, now hes going to be casting a critical vote on issues impacting the whole country. Third down on the Greens ticket literally anybody could have put their hand up (like the Palmer Party candidates did).

        Our parliament is fucking ridiculous.

          He received 146 individual first preference votes. That's a bit more than a third of the individual first preference votes Chris Back of the Liberal Party received, and he got elected.

          But as you probably know, the vast majority of senate ballots are above-the-line ticket votes. So if the Greens got enough votes to pick up two seats, then it doesn't really matter how many individual votes he got.

            I know it doesnt matter. If it did he wouldnt be a chance.

            I'd get more votes than that if i asked my friends on Facebook to vote for me. He's just a dude who put his hand up and fell into it, the Greens were never going to pick up 3 Senate seats in WA and the other two members werent exactly likely to resign....

              That's funny, from where I'm sitting it looks like the guy who put his hand up and got some votes is going to become a senator, while the guy who claims that he could have gotten more votes but didn't put his hand up isn't.

              Do a little research: he's a disability advocate for People With Disabilities (WA) and has been campaigning for/with the Greens since he was 18. It took you longer to repeatedly insinuate that young, disabled Australians should somehow be automatically disqualified from representing their community than it took me to find that out, and like you I'd never heard of him before today. Give him a chance to demonstrate what he can do before you judge him.

      I know nothing about this guy (or his policies) but I would much prefer a 21 year old guy with CP compared to a careered politician who has lived a sheltered life. He would represent the young voters, whilst providing real world insight for people with disabilities.

      Shame to see Scott go as he was one of my favs :(

        "but I would much prefer a 21 year old guy with CP compared to a careered politician who has lived a sheltered life."

        I know what you mean my dad told me awhile ago politicians used to be engineers road crews farmers etc doing the actual hard yards but now there all uni students sheltered live never done a hard days of work

      Yeah... my uncle has cerebral palsy and I'd say he has an above average intellect for his electorate.

      Admittedly, that's Toowoomba, but either way - irrelevant.

    I don't lean hard left, but I can recognise that he's been a great voice in promoting the local gaming industry and championing Government support for development.

    Now we're left with more old white men who start salivating when you mention joystick.

      That last comment is weird.

        Yes, it's a rhetorical flourish, but my point is to highlight the stark difference in philosophy between the extremes of politics when it comes to interactive entertainment.

        One side, the Greens, were instrumental in bringing back (albeit hamstrung) funding for the industry. It used research and modelling to demonstrate the economic benefits for the country, in a climate where Australia is rapidly running out of stuff to dig (and sell).

        The other side, Libs/Nats/RWNJ parties simply think gaming is a bunch of emotional teenagers jacking off into their socks as they scream maternal obscenities at strangers over the internet.

      If it's not the 21-year-old who was 3rd on the ticket, it'll be a nominee of the Greens. Either way, more likely than not that it won't be an old white man.

        Unless they use necromancy to revive Bob Brown from his sarcophagus.

      Funny comment being that the Greens are predominately white.... but you know "old white men"

        White wasn't the leading adjective for a reason.

        Perhaps I should have prefixed the conclusion as "rich" old white men.

    Well, I guess we're back to 0 good politicians.

    My girlfriend high fived him on a train once. Say what you will about the Greens or politicians in general but he is someone I genuinely feel wants to help this country be better.

    toned abs position is pretty well untenable now...

    I will normally give Scott a listen, but this was a but dumb of him. If you moved here at 3 days then yeah you might have a point, but at 3 years you're obviously a citizen of your birth country. It's not like they wait until you apply for your learners permit.

      He knew he was born a New Zealand citizen: he says he was in his teens when he became a naturalised Australian citizen. His mistake was in thinking this process cancelled his NZ citizenship.

    Shame. He seemed like a decent person, insofar as any politician can be.

      He'll be back, once the mess is cleaned up he'll be able to run again, and he was number one on his parties' senate ticket for his state.

        Hope so. Frankly, as a kiwi-bred lad with australian citizenship, I can relate.

        Or... maybe not? Hahaha

    good. also the moderation here is downvoted to oblivion (posting again to get my moderation back)

    Nothing like a good old political discussion to have everyone at each other's throats again.

    Apoliges for helping in derailing the thread @hayleywilliams. I stand by my posts, but they did not belong on this article :)

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