Could we see a pirate party candidate in the by-election?
Could we see a pirate party candidate in the by-election? MoreISO

POLLIE TICKLED: Dogged by dual citizens

It's a by-election, but not as we know it. Fresh from his dismissal by the High Court, Barnaby Joyce did what he does well - lashed out at the situation.

In words straight from a rodeo or a boxing ring, he threatened to damage Labor's chances in the Queensland election by letting voters know that the ALP was on about making "poor people poorer".

And he peppered it with multiple references to "fella" - so many I thought he might be offering to go a few physical rounds with Bill Shorten.

Given that Joyce has his own election battle coming up, it might pay to tone it down, but we are talking a bull in the proverbial china shop.

Not to be outdone by Joyce, Wonder Woman Pauline Hanson even managed to make the Queensland election date about herself. She accused Annastacia Palaszczuk of waiting until Hanson left the country before cutting short her visit to her granny so she could get the Governor to issue writs for the election.

Next Joyce offered a referendum to address various shortcomings in the Constitution, that fuddy-duddy old document that has protected us from all sorts of disasters.

Those disasters included him and several colleagues who couldn't read neither it nor their citizenship status without the aid of a High Court guide and millions of our dollars.

But their ignorance of its meaning had them making decisions that may now cost us all more millions of dollars. Ignorance or ignoring its meaning? I have to wonder. If only Turnbull would govern instead of outsourcing his decision-making to the High Court and a plebiscite, we might have a government instead of a mishmash.

But sure, Joyce, give us another referendum. You know how much Australians love a referendum. They rank just behind blowfly swatting in the index of popular Aussie activities.

But any referendum is a chance to give politicians the finger and as a result few get passed.

He's even offered to be bipartisan, let Shorten put in a question on the republic. But that was only to get Bill to back Barnaby's plan because all referendums need both sides plus the third political force - the Catholic church - to have any chance. He'll need lots of help there, but a republic referendum will give Tony Abbott wings. Just when those wings are about to fold after the same-sex marriage postal plebiscite (sorry, $122 million meaningless, unbinding fiasco to tell the government what the average wombat could have told them), Abbott will be able to call back the favours the Catholic hierarchy owe him for the same-sex marriage opposition he provided.

And Joyce may regret forcing all those staff at the APVMA compulsorily to the New England electorate. Given it was move or lose their jobs in the public service, they might suddenly move there just to vote against Joyce. Such a move would be valid, after all. And paid for by the taxpayer.

But I'm hoping someone has had the foresight to change their name to Johnny Depp to stand against Joyce in New England. I think the Pirate Party would back them. I'm sure the local pound can supply some suitable lapdogs. Pistol and Boo, your country needs you, you can be the world's first dual citizen dogs.

What do you think? Leave your comments online at the opinion section of our website.

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