By Tavleen Singh
A record-breaking petition to unseat controversial independent Senator Fraser Anning has almost reached its goal of 1.5 million signatures.
The Change.org petition to force Senator Anning to resign began on the day of the New Zealand massacre.
It was in response to a press release he issued, which blamed Muslim migration for fueling the murder of 50 people as they worshiped at two Christchurch mosques.
Brenton Harrison Tarrant, an Australian man from country New South Wales, has been charged over the shootings.
At the time of publication, the petition needed less than 100,000 signatures to reach its goal.
“Senator Fraser Anning’s views have no place in the government of our democratic and multicultural country,” the petition reads.
Executive Director of Change.org, Sally Rugg said the growth of the petition was “unprecedented”.
Despite the growing pressure to ban Senator Anning from Parliament, political experts said he can not legally be removed without a general election.
Monash University political scientist Nicholas Economou said, while the Senate could successfully argue Senator Anning was incapable of sitting in the chamber during parliamentary proceedings, it could not expel an elected member.
“The Change.org petition has no constitutional bearing on the matter,” Dr Economou said.
“Censure of a senator can occur, but this does not result in expulsion in terms of someone losing their seat.”
The Senator has a lengthy political rap sheet.
He quit the One Nation party on his first day on the job to stand as an independent, after friction with its founder Pauline Hanson.
He then joined the Katter Australia Party, where he invoked Nazism during his maiden parliamentary speech by calling for a “final solution” to Muslim immigration.
A “final solution” was a phrase used by Nazis during World War II as code for murdering Jews.
Last Saturday, Senator Anning again made headlines for the wrong reasons.
He twice slapped a teenage boy in the head, after the 17 year-old smashed an egg into the back of the politician’s head.
It took place during an event titled Fraser Anning Speaks Out on African Gangs.
A GoFundMe page set up to raise money for teen protester Will Connolly, since dubbed “Egg Boy”, has surpassed its original $2000 goal by more than $75,000.
The fundraising target was then boosted to $50,000, before that amount was also surpassed.
Mr Connolly said he will donate the money raised to victims of the New Zealand atrocity.
41 of the victims have been buried in a mass grave in Christchurch, with the remaining nine repatriated to their home countries.