Is it time to make citizenship tests mandatory?

I am trying to figure out why someone wanting to immigrate to Canada is held to a higher standard of education and civic knowledge then I am. I don't know if I could pass that same basic test, that is administered to a person wanting to join up with our version of a democratic country.

I am starting to think that all citizens should be asked to pass some sort of basic civic knowledge and history before being allowed to participate in the general election process. I know this sounds a little Heinlein Starship Troopers military republic.

My worry is that a lot of the basics of civic education are not being passed along in our various kinds of educational systems.

I would like to think I understand the Canadian civic process, but it is still pretty much a superficial understanding. I was and still am mostly clueless about how our financial systems work.

I honestly believe that there are some basic pieces of knowledge that make people better and more responsible citizens. I often wonder why I have to actively seek out such knowledge rather then being taught the practical essentials.

I know if I had to pass a course or a test to be able to vote, I would make understanding it priority one if it was dependent on my taking part of the greater process.

I don't know that it would create a better class of politician, but it might create a more aware group of citizenry.

Views: 2

Tags: Canada, Citizenship, Democracy, Mandatory Tests

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Comment by JayBarti on September 25, 2009 at 10:28am
This reminds me of a similar question: why are adopting parents held to such higher standards but any 13 year-old with a 10 spare minutes and a willing partner can become a parent?

Oh don't get me started on this one. This is one where my ideals of personal freedom and choice, come in direct conflict with my solid stance on realistic solutions to realistic problems. The problem of un-educated and un-prepared parenting is something I have yet to make a definitive stance on, other then to see that the problem that you have stated above needs some sort of solution.
Comment by John Secular Smith on September 22, 2009 at 9:20pm
This reminds me of a similar question: why are adopting parents held to such higher standards but any 13 year-old with a 10 spare minutes and a willing partner can become a parent?
Comment by Scott on August 2, 2009 at 2:54pm
Get it while the gettin's good!!! I am a tattoo artist, not a banker, so I can't shed any light on the financial systems!
Comment by JayBarti on August 2, 2009 at 2:52pm
The same could be said of many financiers.

That seem to be a scarily accurate statement. Lewis Black has a great rant about the economics class he took in college, this is a complete buchery of the punchline and I apologize in advance.

What the hell are you doing teaching this stuff at this hour of the day, what are you trying to do keep this stuff a secret.

If it's necessary for an immigrant to learn it to be a productive citizen, why isn't it necessary for everyone else?


I sometimes wonder if patriotism is confused as the same thing as civic duty when it comes to being a productive citizen. Some people it seems think that being patriotic is the same thing as being a good citizen and are required, they are not necessarily one in the same.
Comment by Nate on August 2, 2009 at 2:25pm
I was and still am mostly clueless about how our financial systems work.

The same could be said of many financiers.
Comment by Joey on August 2, 2009 at 2:23pm
I am trying to figure out why someone wanting to immigrate to Canada is held to a higher standard of education and civic knowledge then I am.
It's the same way in the United States. Most of the stuff an immigrant has to learn is stuff the average citizen doesn't.
If it's necessary for an immigrant to learn it to be a productive citizen, why isn't it necessary for everyone else?
Comment by Scott on August 2, 2009 at 2:13pm
When I was in school civics was a mandatory course, but, they shoved it down your throat in the eigth grade so you were too young to draw your own conclusions. I think a full understanding of the Constitution should be a requirement for voting. It may not immediately change the quality of our politicians but eventually smarter voters would elect better politicians. I too wonder what type of questions the U.S. government asks of potential citizens

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