The federal government is planning to introduce a written test on “Australian values” for migrants seeking to become citizens. Media reports indicate that the test will involve multiple choice questions. While the government has not yet disclosed the precise questions, the Guardian’s account listed some examples of what they might be. I quote some of them below. Since the Guardian report did not provide any alternative answers to the questions, I have added my own.


1. Why is it important that all Australian citizens vote to elect the state and federal parliament?

a. You’ll be fined if you don’t vote. That goes for council elections too.     

b. Choosing the least objectionable person or party from a list of social misfits will train your powers of discrimination.

c. The candidates spend great quantities of lobbyists’ money to persuade you to vote for them, and we wouldn’t want all that money to be wasted.

d. Voting for people who won’t do what you want is better than you doing what you want.

e. All of the above.


2. Should people in Australia make an effort to learn English?

a. Yes. State and federal parliamentarians in particular seem unable to construct a sentence that makes any real sense.

b. What’s wrong with Newspeak?


3. In Australia, can you encourage violence against a person or group of people if you have been insulted?

a. Yes, but it’s much easier to do so if you own a major newspaper.

b. Not unless the insulters are poorer than you.

c. Yes, but it’s much easier to do if you’re a racist MP.

d. If they are Muslims, an insult isn’t necessary.

e. All of the above.


4. In Australia, are people free to choose who they marry or not marry?

a. Since December 2017, they are legally free to do so. That’s why we didn’t have a test question like this before then.

b. Yes, but watch this space. You don’t think the losers in that vote have given up, do you?

c. Yes, but if either of the spouses is political, or of a dark skin colour, the police may tell you that the wedding reception violates health regulations.

d. All of the above.


5. Do you agree that men and women should be provided equality of opportunity when pursuing their goals and interests?

a. Yes, equality with each other, but not equality with people of a higher social station. Ambiguities like this reinforce answer “a” to question 2.


6. Should people’s freedom of speech and freedom of expression be respected in Australia?

a. Yes. It will make us stand out from the rest of the capitalist world.

b. Yes, provided they can pay for it.

c. Yes, in NSW when permitted by Gladys Berejiklian-Petersen.

d. Yes, when there are enough police available to ensure that such expression doesn’t seriously threaten to change anything.

e. All of the above.