The bill introduced today isn't as bad as I was expecting, but I still think it's a football to score points with nationalistic voters, rather than something that is going to solve problems.
First and foremost, it makes the world less safe. We have strong anti-terrorism laws in Australia, and there's no garuentee that people that meet the necessary requirements are going to be prosecuted in their other country of citizenship. To repeat an analogy I've heard elsewhere, if an Australian citizen was found guilty of mass murder, would we be happy stripping them of their citizenship, and allowing them to walk free in another country?
The downside is that locking dangerous people up costs money, and I can understand the perspective of people who think this shouldn't be our burden for dual nationals who immigrated to Australia. I would counter this point by suggesting we still hold some responsibility for them, because we either didn't screen them appropriately during the application for citizenship, or they were converted/recruited while they were a citizen of Australia.
Secondly, I don't think this is going to act as a meaningful deterrent, and if anything, will worsen the situation with home grown terrorists because it promotes an us-against-them ideology. The situation with young men and women who are recruited by terrorist organisations while living in Australia is complicated, and defies simple reductions to good people vs bad people. Cultural identity is a powerful force, and everyone wants to belong to something. I think we could be doing more to make Muslims feel like they're welcome in Australia, and that we value their input and traditions that are compatible with the Australian way of life (i.e. family, friendship, good food, great architecture, freedom of religion). This wouldn't solve the terrorism problem, but it might result in less isolation, and better community integration, which in turn impacts on motivation to identify as something other than Australian.
So it's a bill that doesn't necessarily punish or rehabilitate those guilty of fighting in immoral and unlawful wars, and it doesn't necessarily deter others from joining them. The main thing it would achieve is to reduce costs to taxpayers, at the expense of the safety of Australian soldiers and citizens working, travelling, or living abroad, as well as the citizens of other nations involved in these conflicts.
Edited by tastywheat, 24 June 2015 - 10:53 AM.