Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Proposed Australian citizenship test

The Federal Government is thinking of introducing a citizenship test for migrants, who may be asked to define things like "mateship" and other Australian cultural values.

Few answers on citizenship test - from news.com.au, December 12, 2006 12:44pm

Before this ridiculous test becomes a reality, I'd like them to take a decent sample of the existing population, say at least 10,000 people, who were born and raised in Australia, get them to take the test, and see what results they come up with. If they fail, do we strip them of their citizenship and send them off to the land of their fathers and/or mothers?

I found the quotes from other politicians quite interesting:

Mr Georgiou said he was "concerned that the toughening of the requirements" would "create unreasonable barriers to the acquisition of citizenship and will prevent people who would make a wonderful contribution to Australia from becoming citizens".

"The upshot may very well be that the successful settlement of immigrants is undermined rather than enhanced," Mr Georgio said.

Fellow Victorian Liberal MP
Russell Broadbent said he had raised his concerns with Mr Robb, saying: "The questions could be very difficult for many current Australians."

Nationals senator Barnaby Joyce has said he is unsure the proposal will succeed in its current form.

"We're trying to stop people who have militant ideas who want to destroy our nation - I've got no problem with that whatsoever," Senator Joyce said.

"What has to be proven is whether an English test is going to do it - most wackos are very well-educated."

I hear you, Senator. If all you have to do is rote-learn some answers, or just be very imaginative and lie, and then sign a piece of paper, I think the "wackos" are going to pass with flying colours. They're intelligent and resourceful, they're fervently, fanatically dedicated, and they believe beyond any trace of a doubt that we are in the wrong. And not all the nutjobs are imports, there are just as many who are homegrown, and I have no idea how we're going to weed those little daisies out. I certainly know that my personal dream of bombarding certain households with offers of free sterilisation, soap, steel wool, deoderant, and an English primer, is not going to become a reality anytime soon *sob*.

In the meantime, the poor average guy who's going through one of the most arduous immigration processes in the world, who just wants to give his family a better life and education and earn a minimum wage that is higher than 50 cents a day, who is awkwardly trying to express himself clearly in a language that is not his native tongue, a language that he has recently learned, who is full of nerves in the interview (and who isn't?), well, we might as well just slap the chains on him now and say, "Would you like a berth with a porthole or without, sir?"