The Institute of Public Affairs has today expressed its alarm at the bipartisan, anti-democratic, and unconstitutional motions passed in the Victorian Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly to exclude any elected member who is not vaccinated against COVID-19.
“This is not about public health. It is about removing from parliament elected members who could oppose the Andrews government’s legislative agenda,” said Morgan Begg, Director of the Legal Rights Program at the Institute of Public Affairs.
“Using vaccine mandates to determine who gets to be a member of parliament is not only an anti-democratic attack on the rights of elected members, but a denial of the people they represent to be heard in parliament.”
Analysis by the IPA suggests a mandate on MPs to be vaccinated is inconsistent with sections 19, 20, and 21 of the Victorian Constitution, which preserves the rights and privileges of members of parliament to be summoned to parliament to exercise their duties without obstruction.
“Since vaccinated individuals can still carry and transmit the virus, a mandate on members of parliament to be vaccinated is an arbitrary requirement.”
“There is no provision in the Victorian Constitution or any other Westminster tradition that would give the bare majority of the parliament the right to kick out their political opponents,” said Mr Begg.