Disappointing life incidents that you can definitely blame on your parents

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No sooner had Malcolm Turnbull decried the Greens’ “incredible sloppiness” after senators Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters fell victim to provisions of section 44 of the constitution, which prohibit dual citizens in Parliament, than Resources and Northern Australia Minister Matt Canavan quit cabinet.

Turns out Canavan is a dual citizen, too… but he blames his mum. Yes, according to the Minister, Mama Canavan signed him up for Italian citizenship without his knowledge. A stance that has been met with some scepticism by other members of parliament. 


I’m not going anywhere: Canavan

Nationals senator Matt Canavan has rejected calls to quit after revelations he’s a dual Australian-Italian citizen, vowing to fight for his right to remain in politics.

“I am a citizen of Italy. I was not born in Italy, I have never been to Italy, and to my knowledge have never set foot in an Italian consulate or embassy,” Canavan said.

“In 2006 my mother lodged documents with the Italian consulate in Brisbane to become an Italian citizen. In doing so it would appear she made an application for me to become an Italian citizen as well. I was 25 years old at the time. My mother was born in Australia but was able to obtain Italian citizenship through her parents, who were both born in Italy.”

Canavan went on to state that he had no knowledge of his own dual citizenship, which seems like a stretch (but then again, so do many things about the LNP). As Barnaby Joyce himself said, chastising the Greens, “everybody should check when they become a member of parliament. That’s section 44 of the constitution. People know what it’s about. They should check.”

(Greens leader Richard Di Natale stepped it up a notch after Canavan’s revelations with the devastating throw-down, “A real Italian never blames his mum”. Saucer of zuppa inglese for the Di Natale table!)

Now, perhaps I’m salty about my own lack of dual citizenship, and I freely cop to not being an expert in diplomacy, but I feel like a successful dual citizenship application is something that someone other than your mum is responsible for informing you about? Also, “25 years old at the time” doesn’t really cut it in the “I was so much younger then” stakes; just ask Wyatt Roy.

In any case, regardless of whether Canavan’s mum forgot to tell him, the consulate forgot to tell him, his own passport kept the truth hidden from him, or there’s another hopeless variable that I’ve forgotten about (I blame my mum!), he’s got his story and he’s sticking with it.

Here are a handful of other grown-up situations where it might be fun to blame your parents.

DISAPPOINTING GRADE AT UNI

Take it from me: nothing stings like an H2A. But take it up with your supervisor or head of department by bringing them some intel they can’t argue with: if only your parents hadn’t signed you up for university without your knowledge, you might not be drifting through classes while checking Facebook on your phone.

LANDLORD WANTS TO INCREASE YOUR RENT

We all know how hard it can be when your landlord decides it’s time to hike up your weekly rent, but all is not lost! Request a meeting with said landlord, and then explain that as your parents never encouraged you to charge Big Ted and Barbie rent when they played in the cubby house, they never instilled in you an understanding of the way the rental industry works. If that doesn’t work, just start crying.

BREAK-UP

Wait, people always blame their parents for their own romantic issues; this one isn’t even a joke. Next!!

PARKING TICKET

Caught out by the tyre-chalk brigade? Why not put on your best crumpled expression and try explaining that because your parents never took you to one of those “traffic school” playgrounds with the little stop-signs and intersections, you have such a loose grasp of road rules that you’re amazed you can even drive a car.

SHORT ON CHANGE AT SUPERMARKET CHECK-OUT

“Oh, I’m sorry, I seem to be $1.75 short. It’s because my parents encouraged me to question capitalism, without my knowledge, by reading me stories like Ginger & Pickles and The Tale Of Two Bad Mice. I was fiveyears old at the time.”

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