Almost 900,000 signatures on petition calling for removal of Muslim-blaming Australian senator Fraser Anning
Close to 900,000 signatures have been consolidated on the petition to remove Queensland Senator Fraser Anning from Parliament after his remarks following the Christchurch mosque massacre.
The petition gained this traction in less than two days.
What he said
Senator Anning said that he was opposed to violence of any form, but “what it highlights is the growing fear within our community, both in Australia and New Zealand, of the increasing Muslim presence”.
Who started the petition?
In fact, there were two separate petitions started by two different people an hour apart from each other after Anning’s statement on the Christchurch shooting was released.
The petition starters are Sydney doctor Kate Ahmad and a Melbourne author Harris Sultan.
It was their first petition.
Two petitions merged into one
The two separate petitions have now been merged into one, making it by far the largest in Australian online petition history.
Biggest petition ever
Executive director of change.org Sally Rugg told Sydney Morning Herald it was not just the petition with the most signatures since the platform began, but also the fastest-growing.
Almost 250,000 people signed up in the first 18 hours.
Expulsion not possible though
However, there is no mechanism for expelling politicians from Australian parliament, unless they are criminals or dual citizens.
But the fact the petition has gained so much traction is telling.
One research done on change.org, SMH reported, shows 75 percent of signers have only ever signed one petition and the remainder tend to sign only in the area they care about.
To have close to a million signatures shows that the vast majority of people are against senator Anning’s bigoted speech.
Rugg told SMH the petition was a lightning rod for those who did not support anti-Muslim sentiment in some sections of the media and parliament.
The Parliamentary Privileges Act 1987 in Australia cannot possibly be amended in such a short period of time, so as to take effect before the election expected to take place in a few days’ time.