There's been much beard-stroking in the media coverage about why senator-perhaps Matt Canavan is a special case compared to former senators Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters, so it's fair that, instead of resigning, the High Court should consider his position. It's more of the charmed media life that Canavan seems to lead. His extremism on coal (he called for a boycott of Westpac for not wasting enough shareholders' money on unviable coal projects) and on abortion (he stood up for the rights of those nutjobs who harass women outside reproductive health clinics) rarely seem to get mentioned in media coverage. Instead, Canavan is portrayed as an energetic rising star of the LNP. And now, here he is, a victim of his mother's application for Italian citizenship -- he didn't even know and he's never even been there. Surely it's just a minor hurdle in his ever-upward career trajectory? Not like those sloppy Greens senators.

In fact, Canavan's case compares poorly with those of Ludlam and Waters. They, too, didn't know they were citizens of New Zealand and Canada, respectively, courtesy of their parents. Ludlam at least was a kid when he was brought by his family to live in Australia, where he was naturalised as an Australian. He can remember being in New Zealand. Waters was a baby, the child of Australians temporarily in Canada who moved back home soon after. Waters acquired Canadian citizenship like you'd pick up a cold while travelling. Indeed, the relevant Canadian laws were changed just after her birth -- as the law stood when she was born, she wouldn't have been a Canadian, but the new law was retroactive.