Thursday, 17 June 2010

Canada As A Postal Code: On Dual Citizenship, Anchor Babies And World Cup Soccer.

Here George Jonas writes in theNational Post about dual citizenship.

I could be a Hungarian-Canadian for the asking, since both countries permit dual citizenship — Canada since the 70s and Hungary since the 90s, I believe — but I wouldn’t dream of asking because I think dual citizenship is a contradiction in terms. I know it’s practiced in a lot of places, but so is polygamy. To me, dual citizenship makes about the same sense.
Let me stop here for a second. Some people’s instinct is to outlaw everything that makes no sense to them. I’m not of that ilk. I don’t have to sympathize with every custom, practice, or institution to let others embrace them. I wouldn’t lock up individuals who practice polygamy, never mind dual citizenship. I just want to be able to say they sound dissonant to me. To my ears, dual citizenship strikes a false note.

In this an American writer weighs in on anchor babies. Though his remarks are about the Untied States they can be applied to Canada as well.

In an interview with Business Week, director of NumbersUSA.com, Rob Beck, said, “The U.S. should pass H.R. 1868—the Birthright Citizenship Act of 2009—so all babies born on U.S. soil are no longer automatically made citizens.

“Maternity tourism is just the beginning of the silliness of birthright citizenship that goes to the babies of foreign students, temporary foreign workers, international travelers—and the millions who break the law to criminally enter this country.”

[...]

“Each of these babies becomes an anchor who retards deportation of unlawfully present parents—and who eventually will be an anchor for entire families and villages as chain migration leads to the immigration of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

“Birthright citizenship is an antiquated practice that has been abandoned by nearly all wealthy nations and emerging nations (recently India and Indonesia) and by the majority of poor nations.”

The piece makes of note of the fact that not even Mexico allows anchor babies. We do however. The most recent example is when Canada bestowed citizenship on a Ugandan child because he was born in Canadian airspace. How silly is that?

Canadian citizenship should not be automatically given to anyone born on Canadian soil or in Canadian airspace. This should be a right given to the children born in Canada of legal Canadian citizens. Anchor babies are a legal, social, and financial problem. Like the refugee stream it is another way self-selecting immigrants can queue jump and get a foot in the door. It is abuse of Canadian law and denying citizenship to children born to people who are not Canadian citizens should put a stop to it.

I don't know where I stand regarding dual citizenship. In essence I'm opposed to it but there may be benefits to it in practice. But my opposition to it stems from my numerous encounters with people who are Canadian so far as the country provides a lifestyle for them. To them, Canada is a well paying job, a shopping mall, socialized medicine, an urban sprawl home with a two door garage, an SUV for each port. They are Canadian when it means getting something out of it. Otherwise they are somebody else from somewhere else. Of course I am talking about the hyphenated Canadian, a paradoxical moniker being adopted by Canadian born citizens. Which brings me to world cup soccer.

Here is Michael Coren writing in the Toronto Sun.

The Maple Leaf might fly instead of the tricolour or cross, perhaps alongside it or maybe it would hardly been seen at all. Judging by the crowd loyalties when Canada has played against other teams, thousands of Canadians regard their true affiliations as being many miles away. In that sport is visceral and tribal and often exposes genuine feelings, this says something deeply worrying about the country.

While the fantasy is of modern Canada being composed of numerous nations, faiths and people who all come together as one, the truth is closer to numerous battling and exclusive groups carving out their own influence and place in a fractured state too nervous and self-critical to be proud in its being and aggressive in its citizenship.

I am reminded of the time many years back when Greece played Canada in an exhibition basketball match in Toronto. Much to the surprise (and annoyance) of the Canadian audience Greece was receiving the greater amount of cheering. Assuming the majority of those in attendance were Canadians then why so much excitement at seeing your country, Canada, get beaten by a visiting team. This is why I happen to agree with Michael Coren.

To understand why is to see why so many "Canadians" were cheering against their country. It is because Canada is no longer perceived to be a country. It's been reshaped into a mere postal code. It's a nice neighbourhood to live in within the world community. This is why it is possible to be Canadian and not Canadian at the same time because the Canadian doesn't exist beyond being described as someone who resides in a particular part of the world. Who you are is where you or your parents came from. To tell someone you are a Canadian is just informing them what geographical region you live in on the world map. Everyone and no one is a Canadian at the same time.

That being the case Canadian customs and traditions have no safeguards to prevent them from drowning in the flood of alien cultures introduced into the county by waves of unassimilating immigrants. Why should they? Multiculturalism argues that just because the Europeans got here first (and established the character of the country) doesn't mean Muslim or Sikh customs, as examples, shouldn't be considered as Canadian as maple syrup. Indeed, isn't that Canada's future (is it nation building or cultural suicide?).

The is the fruit of multiculturalism, of cowardly accommodating the cultural nuances of waves of immigrants who only see Canada through the prism of a sales event at the urban sprawl outlet mall. You don't live in a country. You live in a postal code.

As aside can anyone tell me if there is more to world cup soccer than slow motion replays of people sliding on the grass to rob possession of the ball from an opposing player? Seriously. That and fake dives and injuries. Are they playing soccer or competing for the Oscar for best actor? For a sport rooted in working class culture you'd expect a tougher, manly player but no. I wonder if they check their hands after each game to see if they chipped a nail.

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