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It seems clear that Bunton could not have been appointed, but am I right in my reading that Field's appointment would still have been legitimate under the replacement wording? Timrollpickering 19:06, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
That is my understanding. He may not have been the person the ALP wanted, but he was still a member of the party, and that's all that's necessary under the amended constitution. He ceased being a member when they expelled him for accepting the appointment against an endorsed nominee, but at the time of the appointment he was still a party member. See John Devereux (politician) for a more recent similar case. -- JackofOz (talk) 05:56, 31 August 2008 (UTC)
Although, having read Talk:Gough Whitlam/archive2#Bjelke-Petersen, Colston and Field, I'm not so sure. That suggests he automatically ceased to be an ALP member the instant he agreed to accept the appointment, even before it had been made. So, by the time the Qld parliament sat to formally choose him, he was no longer an ALP member. I'd like to see some more evidence of that claim, though. -- JackofOz (talk) 13:18, 31 August 2008 (UTC)
Part of the problem is that contrary to what a lot of people think no constitution or rule book has any power whatsoever to enact changes in themselves. Most rules apply when someone who has had power vest in them declares something has actually happened to make a rule apply - in this case it would probably be a resolution of the Qld ALP Executive that would confirm that Field had breached the rules and expelled himself (and authorise a letter announcing expulsion). One could construct the argument that Colston had already been unsuccessful and that Field was technically not standing against him. An Executive (or whatever) resolution would make it clear cut, but a meeting may not be possible to convene before the state parliament could meet, leaving the membership status up in the air. It's another point where a court reading of both the constitution and party rules would be needed to settle what could be a mess. Timrollpickering (talk) 13:54, 31 August 2008 (UTC)
Yep. I'm sure there've been plenty of party members (and not just of the ALP) who've done something that was in breach of the rules and that could have seen them being expelled, but the party gave them another chance. Surely, the party would wish to have the power to exercise discretion in particular cases, and for them to make the final decision on expulsion or otherwise. They might have framed the Field case in terms such as "he brought this on himself by accepting the appointment", which is not misleading per se, but technically I strongly suspect there's a process to be gone through, a process in which the party plays a part. And until such time as that part is played, the membership is still live. Live enough for constitutional purposes, anyway. -- JackofOz (talk) 22:26, 31 August 2008 (UTC)
Something I've just noticed that isn't often mentioned about this one:
Prior to the amendment:
the new senator's term continued only until the next general election for either the House of Representatives or the Senate, or the end of the original senator's term, whichever happened earlier.
The amendment changed this procedure by providing that:
the new senator's term continue until the end of the original senator's term.
I presume this is a reaction to the Gair affair as it stops governments trying to engineer extra Senate vacancies (and altering the STV results). Was there a general feeling in 1977 that this had to be stopped, or was the amendment the product of a deal between the two sides of politics that both sides' grievances about Senate vacancies would be met in the amendment? Timrollpickering (talk) 02:10, 23 February 2012 (UTC)