The government is proposing stricter rules on new citizenship applications.
Looking at the questions I suspect they are substituting some no-brainers for problematic questions. The no-brainers:
* Does Australia’s principle of freedom of religion mean that it is permissible to force children to marry?
* In Australia’s multicultural society, under which circumstances is it permissible to cut female genitals?
* While it is illegal to use violence in public, under what circumstances can you strike your spouse in the privacy of your own home?
* Under what circumstances is it appropriate to prohibit girls from education?
Mind you – there might be some fun answers and variations to those questions. For example:
*Does Australia’s principle of freedom of religion mean that it is permissible to persecute Catholic bishops for supporting the law of the land?
* While it is illegal to use violence in public, under what circumstances can you disrupt traffic and fellow employees on a picket line?
But it is the old questions that caught my eye.
Which of these statements about Australia’s system of government is correct?
a) The Queen of Australia chooses people to form the Australian Parliament
b) The government is elected by the people
c) The PM chooses our Members of Parliament
Which of the statements about government in Australia is correct?
a) The government does not allow some religions
b) Government in Australia is secular
c) Religious laws are passed by Parliament
The old problem with multiple choice questions – select the most correct answer.
No – alas the Queen of Australia does not select MPs. But the government is not elected by the people either. Individuals votes for MPs. That MP that commands a majority in the House of Representatives is invited by the Governor-General to form a government. While it is correct to say that all (lower house) MPs are elected – the people do not elect the government, nor the PM.
Then it isn’t clear to me what the correct answer to the next question is: Government in Australia is meant to be secular, yet I observe that the Lord’s Prayer (protestant version) is recited in the Parliament. The Parliament is opened each year with a smoking ceremony – this pagan ritual has religious connotations. Then religious laws are passed by the Parliament – try go shopping on easter Friday (to be fair – maybe they mean the federal Parliament only in the test). To be clear, I have no problem with the smoking ceremony – a bit of pomp and ceremony is a good thing, and it is an inherently Australian custom. The Lord’s Prayer is a bit more problematic. Overall, however, it does suggest there is no correct answer to the question.