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Citizen KANE(avan)


Where to start! What a fortnight!

So the greens had ten federal parliamentarians hanging on the wall. Then one green federal parliamentarian followed by a second had an accidental fall. No this is not a nursery rhyme or a drinking song. But for some green voters, they may have turned to drink if not fetal positions.

The prime minister was extremely vicious in his commentary calling the greens extremely sloppy. The alternative prime minister may have not been as vicious, but he couldn’t let the event go past without a dig either.

Malcolm Roberts from One Nation called for an inquiry. Then it came to light that Malcolm Roberts may ALSO have dual citizenship. He refused to provide empirical proof. And here I was thinking he was in love with empire and empirical proof.

But before you could say mama mia, it was revealed that Matt Canavan was, to quote the prime minister, extremely sloppy.

Barnaby Joyce held a press conference in which he emotionally reported that Canavan did indeed have italian/australian citizenship. But he assured everyone that despite having dual citizenship, Matt was still a decent bloke.

Canavan did what all good decent blokes do – blamed his mother. He insisted that he had no idea he had dual citizenship or had ever applied for it. This was followed up by members of the national party, including Barnaby who claimed they found the application form and it’s not signed.

Well he must be innocent then right? Well…. no… Before I discuss the actual wording of s44 in all its legalese, there are a few things that have happened or been reported that tend to contradict Matt Canavan and his claim that he was only transporting the headphones because his mum bought them.

One report on Wednesday was the claim made by Italian immigration people themselves. They say that it would be impossible for someone to apply for citizenship for another adult and any claim had to be done in person by the applicant. But hey, who do you trust? Matt ‘the aussie’ Canavan or a bunch of ‘eyeties’?

The second report came the day after the first report as things do in our linear time line dimension. On Thursday it was claimed that the Italian govt had been sending Matt Canavan Italian voting forms. For ten years.

Maybe Matt thought these where newspoll questions. Or recipes for Bolognese. Either way, when Matt decided he wanted to be a senator, he didn’t mention the voting forms. Or that he once filled in an application form for citizenship of another country. Maybe he thought they didnt matter. But unfortunately for Matt ‘the eyetie’ Canavan, they do.

Two things here. Firstly a little about Italian nationality law and a little latin phrase called ‘jus sanguinis’ which translates as the right of blood. This is not the working title of a vampire movie. It is in fact, the right to be Italian by descent. This is how Canavan and his mum could apply for Italian citizenship – they had the right to do so by blood. It doesn’t matter if you were born in Italy or not. It’s a birth right.

“Any child born to an Italian citizen parent (including parents also having the right to Italian citizenship jus sanguinis) is ordinarily born an Italian citizen”

Now there are a few caveats – hoops to go through etc, but when Matt’s mum applied for and was awarded citizenship as was her right, her children (Matt Canavan included) immediately became Italian Citizens by birth. Matt didn’t need to apply. And while he may have been unaware that he was made a citizen, he was aware he had the RIGHT to be a citizen and so at one time filled out a form which he says he neither signed or lodged. Fair enough. Except he kept getting those Italian voting forms and yet never asked what they were or why he was getting them. But lets push that aside for now.

s44 subsection (i) is the relevant part of the constitution that disqualifies Matt.


The last part is the part that really gets him into trouble. While he may claim that he did not know he was a subject or a citizen, he DID know that he was entitled to BE a subject or citizen by right of blood. How can I say that he knew this? He filled out a form for citizenship, that is how. He knew he was entitled to citizenship, he even discussed claiming said citizenship with his mum. He knew his mum had the right to apply.

Now he may not have signed or lodged his form, but he did something astonishing. He kept it. For over ten years. A form he never signed or lodged, he kept. Why would you do that? Saving it for a rainy day?

So while Matt can claim he did not personally apply for citizenship, he can’t say he was unaware of his right to do so. And that means according to the law of the land, he is disqualified to sit as either a member of the house of representatives or the senate.

And that is why Matt, you are in trouble. As your momma would say, and no doubt your lawyer, shaddaup your face.


Ashraf Ghebranious                                                                 27th July, 2017

From → Uncategorized

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