Canada’s citizenship process is a problematic piece of political theatre. Here’s why I did it anyway

A somewhat self-indulgent commentary, given many countries have comparable “political theatre” and contradictions.

But hopefully the government will finally get around to releasing the revised citizenship guide, first promised six years ago, along with related test questions. And we will see if the budget includes the platform commitments to eliminate citizenship fees:

Most imagery surrounding Canadian citizenship ceremonies involves crying immigrants holding flags, being joyfully accepted into this great nation. My experience was a little different; a dishevelled, begrudging presence on a massive Zoom call.

Too often citizenship is given some sort of quasi-spiritual meaning, but for me it was a bureaucratic decision, like renewing a licence plate sticker. I found the whole process deeply troubling, from the questions on the citizenship test that disingenuously framed Canada’s history, to having to swear allegiance to the Queen. I was troubled by just how easy it was for me, as a middle class, white Australian, compared to those from other countries, particularly agricultural workers.

Source: Canada’s citizenship process is a problematic piece of political theatre. Here’s why I did it anyway

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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