Earlier this month the Prime Minister decided to get out of his ‘smallest target possible’ mode and say something that might win him back some support. The issue was immigration and the PM decided to listen to some concerns from all those ‘people’ out there. Like the guy buying the lovely girl some drinks at the bar, while showing interest in your personality and insightful views, he’s actually after one thing and in this case, it’s your vote. Apparently Mark Textor has been re-evaluating his view that conservative voters don’t have anywhere else to go and don’t matter anyway and the PM decided to act.

The new questions to be ‘potentially’ added to the citizenship test are things like, ‘when is it acceptable to strike your spouse’ and ‘when is it acceptable to ban girls from education or cut female genitals’. Under the proposals, those applying will have to be permanent residents for four years now instead of one, before they can take the test, good start. Oh, and if you fail three times you’ll be barred from resitting the test for two years.

Great. Ummm, if this is the new standard to reflect ‘Australian Values’, exactly what are you expecting from applicants now? Maybe I’m just old fashioned but if you’re allowing people to come here that need that question asked of them, then maybe they shouldn’t be coming here in the first place. And just how do you ‘fail’ a test that includes the basic tenets of humanity and civilisation? Hitting anyone, let alone a woman could only conceivably be condoned in situations of self defence or law enforcement. How do you ‘fail’ a test about cutting a girl’s genitals? Anyone who could actually answer that this is acceptable is a barbarian and the privilege of Australian Citizenship should not even be considered let alone allowing them to re-sit the test.

Just as bad is that if you fail the test you can still stay here until the next time around. A permanent resident can still function and operate in society just the same as a citizen. Does this mean that there will be people walking around who think girls should be banned from education until they can just ‘try again’?

This is a move to shore up the leaking conservative vote and win back those who have already left. Thanks to the PM being Labor-lite, the Liberal and National Parties got their heads kicked in during the last federal election with nearly a quarter of the voters giving their first preference to minor parties delivering a shocking result for a first term government. They have realised (again) that this issue resonates with the people because the people know it matters.  While being touted as a ‘get tough’ strategy, it’s actually an admission of the abysmal failure of immigration testing as it stands. For the Prime Minister of a liberal western democracy to tell his people that from now on we’re going to expect those wanting to become citizens to adopt our values is a joke. That it even needs to be implemented with fanfare, as opposed to already being expected is shameful.

Australian citizenship is a privilege to be valued and treasured, not given out on a lowest common denominator basis. A far better system to emulate would be the Swiss citizenship procedure where for regular naturalisation (from January 2018) you must be a resident for ten years (currently twelve years) and satisfy local as well as national requirements. For anyone thinking of using the ridiculous and worn-out argument that these beliefs can be held by citizens born here already so what’s the difference? Give it up. Just because we have people here already that indulge in criminal behaviour doesn’t mean we have to import more of it.

But for anyone out there tempted to get your hopes up, this is only a ‘potential’ change being considered. All that’s needed for a change of heart is for the ABC to produce a heart wrenching and totally distorted documentary, drop it a few weeks before the election and the PM will fold. He loves being in favour with the cultural elites and the cultural elites just can’t stand all those people out there with populist views.

Recently Jonathan Pie commented about our western elites after the first round of the French Presidential election, ‘When people vote the way we want them to, it’s democracy. When they don’t, it’s populism’. Get used to it politicians, this ‘populism’ you so disdain is only growing stronger.