Citizenship test

I know making fun of Australia’s proposed citizenship test is all the rage, but really, some of this stuff needs paragraph length answers.

9. How are Members of Parliament chosen?

The given answer is by election but the first thing I thought of was which ones? Also how?

There are important, if arguably out of date or unfair, reasons why the two Houses of Parliament are elected differently. Each member of the House of Representatives represents a reasonably equal number of people in a geographical region. Each member is elected by instant run-off voting, and the entire House is dissolved at every federal election. The Senators on the other hand are at least supposed to represent the states, with each state having twelve senators and each territory having two regardless of population. They’re elected by the entire state using a modified single transferable vote (you don’t have to assign your own preferences, you can select a pre-assigned list of preferences, normally chosen by a party) Only half the Senate is dissolved in most elections, except where they disagree with the House of Representatives too much in a particular way.

Who is the head of the Australian Government?

This one has kept the press entertained since at least the 2000 Olympics. We do still have a Queen after all, and she has a Governor-General who exercises her powers here, although not to the extent of getting to have regular little chats with the Prime Minister.

The question is usually phrased as who is our head of state? and is thorny precisely because our constitution doesn’t use the phrase. Also, despite not being a republician (far from it), the current Prime Minister does like to do many of the more ceremonial head of state-like things himself (particularly when they involve shaking hands with heads of states, make of this what you will) even though by convention either the Governor-General does them or the Queen pays us a visit. So this question is an odd one. The only correct version is discuss the role of the Prime Minister and the Governor-General in the Australian government and recent controversies surrounding it.

Serving on a jury if required is a responsibility of Australian citizenship: true or false?

I suppose this one slides by. There are lots of people who aren’t required to do jury service and a number who are forbidden from it (it varies on a state basis, actually), but someone slipped in the phrase if required!

As an Australian citizen, I have the right to register my baby born overseas as an Australian citizen: true or false?

The answers say ‘true’, but really it’s only nearly true. If you yourself have citizenship by virtue of descent (being born overseas to an Australian citizen), there’s also a residency requirement for you to register your own children.

Australian citizens aged 18 years or over are required to enrol on the electoral register: true or false?

This one is, frankly, down to sort of true, because there’s apparently nearly a million Australian citizens living overseas and they do not have to enrol on the electoral register, and in fact some of them can’t choose to either.