Yet again, the idea of an Australian Values and Language test gets trotted out. I can only think that the howard Government is attempting to divert attention from other concerns such as the war in Iraq, and interest rates, by taking advantage of a xenophobic climate and focusing on what is an absolutely useless peice of legislation.
I have said it before, and it looks like I'll say it again, it is extremely dangerous mixing the concepts of law and values.
The beauty of the rule of law (or atleast the theory of it) is that everyone is treated equally under it, regardless of race color, creed, sexual preference, ability to speak a particular language etc.... When people start to talk about things like values in the same sentence, there is a very subtle shift in the logic. I personally do not want John Howard or any Government for that matter dictating to me what my values should be. There are very few values I would say are "Universal" to Australians, and even those values need to be challenged from time to time.
As for the "History test", aside of the question about which version of history you follow, studies have been done that show that migrant children generally know more Australian history than children of Australian citizens, so in other words we'd be asking them to do more than we are even willing to do.
The language test I think is just a watered down version of the "White Australia Policy". I think it is also a great opportunity for indigenous Austrlia to perhaps do their own language and values test, and go around to every Australian citizen that can't trace their heritage back more than 250 years and insist that they sit an indigenous version of the language and values test, or otherwise go back to where they came from.
tags: Australian Politics Values