Ship of Fools – The Citizen Ship of Fools.

There seems a nuance missing from the current debate on immigration levels in Australia.  Yes, the numbers of people here is an issue.  But the issue is also citizenship because, as the ad used to say, membership has its privileges.

The general requirements to become a citizen of Australia are:

  • have passed a citizenship test (unless over the age of 60)
  • be a permanent resident at the time of application, and also, at time of decision
  • satisfy the residence requirement
  • be likely to reside, or to continue to reside, in Australia or to maintain a close and continuing association with Australia
    be of good character.

The residence requirements require that at the time you apply you must have been:

  • living in Australia on a valid visa for the past 4 years
  • a permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen for the past 12 months
  • away from Australia for no more than 12 months in total in the past 4 years, including no more than 90 days in total in the past 12 months

But the Minister (of Immigration) has significant discretion on residence and other tests.  There is also a very odd residence exemption for people who:

engage in activities that are supported by particular organisations, such as the Australian Olympic and Paralympics committees, Tennis Australia, Cricket Australia or a federal government agency

Yep.  Athletes and public servants get special treatment over entrepreneurs, business people and other Joes average.

But remember.  Citizenship comes with certain privileges.  You get to vote and you get to travel on an Australian passport; meaning that the Australian government can’t cancel your visa while you are overseas as Mr Huang Xiangmo discovered when his visa was cancelled.  The government also has a policy to deport non-citizen criminals, something they can’t do for citizens.

Fortunately, Australia does not have birthright citizenship, but becoming an Australian citizen seems too easy.  Can we please have a discussion about Australian citizenship.  For one, TAFKAS would like something closer to the Swiss model where citizenship is a privilege and not a right:

  • It takes 10 years of residency to be eligible, and this includes being physically in Switzerland for 3 of the immediate 5 years prior to application.
  • Applicants must be “well integrated into Swiss society”.  Integration can be demonstrated through among other things, proving that the applicant respects public order and security, poses no threat to internal or external security, supports the integration of family members and possesses good written and oral command of one of the official languages.
  • If an applicant was dependent upon social welfare anytime during the three years prior to application, then the requirements for Swiss citizenship are not met. Previous dependency on social welfare does not pose an obstacle if the applicant has completely repaid the amount of welfare assistance received before the naturalization application.

Consider this also.  A Dutch vegan who applied for a Swiss passport has had her application rejected because the locals found her too annoying.  The applicant:

a vegan and animal rights activist, has campaigned against the use of cowbells in the village and her actions have annoyed the locals.

The resident’s committee argued that if she does not accept Swiss traditions and the Swiss way of life, she should not be able to become an official national.

Because she was too annoying she did not get Swiss citizenship.  Sadly you can’t take citizenship, Australian or otherwise, away for being too annoying.

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19 Responses to Ship of Fools – The Citizen Ship of Fools.

  1. John Bayley

    Athletes and public servants get special treatment over entrepreneurs, business people and other Joes average.

    Panem et circenses.
    Bread and circuses.
    Even the Romans were on top of that one.

  2. Mak Siccar

    Couldn’t agree with you more strongly but, unfortunately, it seems too few people care.

  3. cuckoo

    Have they ever tracked down all those athletes who went AWOL in Australia during the Commonwealth Games? They should have actually offered automatic citizenship for the winner in each event: might have made it interesting.

  4. max

    Yes Swiss system is better, have flaws which will lead to downfall.

    my opinion is that citizenship by birth is bigger problem.

    Suffrage Debate, N.Y. Constitutional Convention of 1821
    Chancellor James Kent
    The tendency of universal suffrage, is to jeopardize the rights of property, and the principles of liberty. There is a constant tendency in human society, and the history of every age proves it; there is a tendency in the poor to covet and to share the plunder of the rich; in the debtor to relax or avoid the obligation of contracts; in the majority to tyrannize over the minority, and trample down their rights; in the indolent and the profligate, to cast the whole burthens of society upon the industrious and the virtuous; and there is a tendency in ambitious and wicked men, to inflame these combustible materials.
    Thou shalt not covet; thou shalt not steal; are divine injunctions induced by this miserable depravity of our nature.

    The notion that every man that works a day on the road, or serves an idle hour in the militia, is entitled as of right to an equal participation in the whole power of the government, is most unreasonable, and has no foundation in justice.

    the individual who contributes only one cent to the common stock, ought not to have the same power and influence in directing the property concerns of the partnership, as he who contributes his thousands. He will not have the same inducements to care, and diligence, and fidelity. His inducements and his temptation would be to divide the whole capital.

  5. max

    Because modern humanism’s theories of government self-consciously exclude a public religious confession as the basis of civil government, the West has broken with its past. The freedom of the European medieval city was based on a Christian covenantal confession; without this explicitly Christian confession of religious agreement, the medieval city might not have developed.
    In the modern world, this covenantal basis of civil jurisdiction has changed drastically. Because citizenship is based on blood (birth), or passing an examination (written or verbal test), or some other non-theological characteristic, the modern world has been threatened by the rise of mass democracy, the politics of “one man, one vote.”

  6. One ScoMo doesn’t make a Spring

    Wow how good would that be to have applications rejected because ‘annoying’. Think of the targets
    99% QandA panelists
    Das Projekt
    Anyone appearing in an SBS ad over past 2 years
    ABC personnel

    Oh and that guy that cut across two lanes of traffic to slow down in front of me in the right hand lane.

  7. Up The Workers!

    That sounds remarkably civilised to me.

    Ban all potential Labor-voters, head-loppers and Mung-Beaners!

    (Or is that a tautology?)

  8. Bozo

    It is way to easy; demonstration of integration should be required.

    My father, uncles and grandparents had to advertise in the newspaper that they intended to apply for naturalisation; presumably so that if anyone objected they could complain.
    They also had to get people to say they were of good character.
    Welfare? Before coming they had to acknowledge that on arrival in Australia they may have been required to work in remote areas.

    It looks like we once had what the Swiss have now.

  9. One ScoMo doesn’t make a Spring

    And if rejected they can have an all expenses paid one way ticket to Haiti, Ethiopia or Venezuela to live out their dreams. Which leads to realty TV shows ‘I’m an activist get me out of here!’ ‘My dogma rules’ ‘Revolution Rescue’ coming to Givermint near you.

  10. gary

    In the year to Sept 2018 there were 287,800 Overseas Departures, 527,800 Overseas Arrivals leading to a net migration of 240,000 in one year.

    For the next five years they could have 287,000 Arrivals a year, which would allow 1.4million new people into the country, but with the people leaving there would be no population growth from migration which would allow the country to catch up on infrastructure.

    Everyone would get something they want, everyone wins.

  11. jupes

    The only immigration policy that is in Australia’s national interest is a discriminatory immigration policy.

  12. Boambee John

    One Sco Mo

    Did you see my info about Salamaua on the previous page of the open thread?

  13. Destroyer D69

    No citizenship test over the age of 60….. Seems like a get in free ticket for those with 60 plus years of anti Australian teachings before arrival on our fair {game} shores.

  14. 2dogs

    Swiss model where citizenship is a privilege and not a right

    If you are wondering how the Swiss managed to get it right, there have been attempts to lower the bar for new citizens that got vetoed at referendum.

    The Swiss don’t have a minimum wage for much the same reason.

    The Swiss have a great constitution.

  15. BorisG

    I think this is a very important point. For instance Australia has a refugee program , helping people in need. Ok but why give citizenship ? It makes no sense.

  16. John Constantine

    Their branch stacking shortreich will appoint panels of wannabe bader Ginsburgs to assess the two million visa holders and overstayers for full voting rights.

    And family reunion voting rights.

    Voteherds and branchstacking is what shorten does.


  17. Texas Jack

    Love the Swiss model, but it ain’t gonna happen while the Libs are happy for confirmed career-minded statists who lied on their application forms run for lower house seats. They’ll let all and sundry in.

  18. Bruce

    Switzerland? MORE COWBELL!!

    And, as Ronald Reagan pointed out; “A nation that cannot control its borders is not a nation.”

  19. Rabid Koala

    Why don’t we ban all non Australian born from citizenship. To be a citizen you need to have been born here and your parents need to have been citizens or if your parents meet certain residential requirements (All the requirements the Swiss have for citizenship should be a requirement for PR) and you still have to pass a test more stringent than the Swiss.

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