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Sep 29, 2017

Canavan’s caravan of citizenship cant carries on

Confused about who's to blame for what in the citizenship saga? Crikey has your back.

We know it’s hard for people to keep up with the various stories on offer from the motley crew of MPs and senators dragged off to the High Court by their citizenship status. Keeping track of Malcolm Roberts’ various accounts proved tough even for his own lawyer, who appeared to more or less give up on him and told the court it should make up its own mind about how credible he was.

But Matt Canavan, too, has shown a considerable degree of flexibility in his account of his citizenship. Back in July, the senator for the great state of Denial blamed his mum, telling us

“In 2006, my mother lodged documents with the Italian consulate in Brisbane to become an Italian citizen. In doing so, it would appear that she made an application for me to become an Italian citizen as well. I was 25 years old at the time.”

But then, in August, Canavan changed his story. His lawyer told the court that in fact he was Italian by descent from 1983, after an Italian case led to a change in law. 

“When he was two years old, in 1983, a case was heard in the Italian Constitutional Court which challenged the legislation as being discriminatory and unconstitutional. The court upheld the challenge and as a result the legislation was amended so that citizenship now passed through the male or female lines, again for an unlimited number of generations, and that law was made retrospective to persons born after 1948…”

In making that argument, Canavan’s lawyer then argued that his mother’s actions were now “irrelevant”.

Yesterday, Canavan’s story shifted again. In his latest submission to the High Court, his mother is now entirely off the hook.

“The document Senator Canavan’s mother completed does not purport (a) to seek that any of the children be registered, or (b) to elect to take citizenship on her own behalf or on behalf of her children. The registration, when it took effect, did not have any effect on her or her children’s actual citizenship.”

It’s a bad idea, and a bad look, to blame your mum for anything. But to blame her and then admit she never did anything wrong… we hope Canavan of the Coal Heaps did the right thing and sent some roses and Red Tulip chockies home.

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10 comments

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10 thoughts on “Canavan’s caravan of citizenship cant carries on

  1. Nudiefish

    How all these eggs will hatch is anybody’s guess, but, my money is that the High Court will side with the executive.

  2. MJM

    His flexibility in providing three stories, so far, about how he came to be a dual citizen is in marked contrast with his rigidity about the goodness of coal and his absolute adherence to the Mineral Council’s world view.

  3. zut alors

    Canavan & Roberts are doing Oz cartoonists out of a job – it’s nigh impossible to top self-parody.

  4. graybul

    Senator Canavan is not the problem . . . only a very minor part of what is an endemic value system embedded within current parliamentarian leadership and their assorted party associates. If Canavan was the problem . . . his only course would have been to resign. Leadership does not allow him that recourse.

  5. AR

    Whatever the truth of Craven Canavan’s dubious allegiances, it is beyond me how anybody could not be disgusted to blame his mother.
    Try that excuse in the pub.

  6. James Nugent

    The timing of when his mother Maria applied for Italian Citizenship for the family is no coincidence. Read this article fr all the full details of his father’s criminal court case after being charged with a $1.6m fraud case by his father’s employer at the time, Nestle.

    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/the-canavan-file-the-curious-case-of-a-crime-and-a-senator-becoming-italian,10652

  7. Dog's Breakfast

    This isn’t just a bad look, this is conduct unbecoming a Minister, at the least, and smells far worse than that.

    If Canavan ever regains a Ministry that is just the beginning of the end. Nobody could write this farce.

  8. BalexB

    Big brave senator who told LGBTIQ people hurt by vile comment unleashed by same sex marriage survey to ‘grow a spine’ will go down in he annals of Australian political history as the only one to hide behind his own mother to explain his own incompetence. He might have earned more respect if he’d, um… grown a spine.

  9. Wallywonga

    Depressingly this very expensive saga will resolve on technicalities, and is unlikely to consider the conduct of these guys – like errant school boys, even with Mum there to help a contrived alibi. Add another C there – Canavan the confabulator?

  10. HoverBoy

    The saddest thing is: by the time the High Court rules on these individuals, they will all have sorted out their citizenship status and be eligible for parliament in time to just walk back in. There will be no penalty for their improper (illegal?) election and no net result on the parliament.

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