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  • Half of Canadians too ignorant to be Canadian

    OTTAWA (AFP) - Two days before Canadians celebrate their nation, a survey published Friday found that more than half of them would not be granted citizenship on the basis of their knowledge of their own country.

    According to the Ipsos Reid poll, 60 percent of Canadians would fail the citizenship exam, a necessary step for immigrants to be granted citizenship.

    However, an "outstanding majority" or 70 percent of newcomers scored a passing grade when administered the same quiz.

    The results are "frankly disheartening," said Rudyard Griffiths of the Dominion Institute.

    "Immigrants to Canada have accumulated more knowledge about the workings of the Canadian government, key moments in Canada's past, and the geography of Canada than the general Canadian public."

    In 1997, only 45 percent of respondents failed an identical test, indicating that Canadians' knowledge of themselves also appears to be sliding, Griffiths lamented.

    To pass the test participants had to correctly answer 12 of 21 questions on Canadian history, politics, culture and geography.

  • #2
    I suspect this is true of narive born US citizens too.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Half of Canadians too ignorant to be Canadian

      Originally posted by Jack Slocombe
      According to the Ipsos Reid poll, 60 percent of Canadians would fail the citizenship exam, a necessary step for immigrants to be granted citizenship.

      However, an "outstanding majority" or 70 percent of newcomers scored a passing grade when administered the same quiz.
      Are these comparable stats? It is not clear who they define as newcomers; people applying for citizenship or resident aliens they pick at random. If newcomers are the ones applying for citizenship then they would be expected to do well on the test since they would have known it was coming and had time to prepare for it.

      If it is anything like the US exam there are only a few questions (~100) and it does not take long to familiarise yourself with the answers. Although if you asked random US citizens on the street to take the test with no preparation you can be sure that at least 60% would fail it.

      Example of real questions on the US immigration test:
      • In what month is the new president inaugurated?

        Which president was the first commander in chief of the U.S. Army and Navy?

        What is the introduction to the Constitution called?

        Where does Congress meet?

        What is the most important right granted to U.S. citizens?

        What are the first 10 amendments to the Constitution called?

        What were the 13 original states of the United States called?

        What did the Emancipation Proclamation do?

        Who was the main writer of the Declaration of Independence?

        What special group advises the president?


      You think the average US citizen would pass a test like that?

      8)

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by lonewolf
        I suspect this is true of narive born US citizens too.

        They would do much much worse.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Half of Canadians too ignorant to be Canadian

          Originally posted by Daisy
          What is the most important right granted to U.S. citizens?
          OK, I'll bite. What do the test writers think is the right answer to that one?

          I don't think there's a single right answer. For those who have come here to avoid political persecution, it may be the right to free speech. For those who've come her to avoid religious persecution, it may be the the right to worship as one chooses.

          I suspect that the answer they may be looking for is the right to vote, but I also suspect that if you asked all the people who've ever come to this country why they came, that would not top many lists of reasons.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Half of Canadians too ignorant to be Canadian

            Originally posted by Daisy
            Originally posted by Jack Slocombe
            According to the Ipsos Reid poll, 60 percent of Canadians would fail the citizenship exam, a necessary step for immigrants to be granted citizenship.

            However, an "outstanding majority" or 70 percent of newcomers scored a passing grade when administered the same quiz.
            Are these comparable stats? It is not clear who they define as newcomers; people applying for citizenship or resident aliens they pick at random. If newcomers are the ones applying for citizenship then they would be expected to do well on the test since they would have known it was coming and had time to prepare for it.

            If it is anything like the US exam there are only a few questions (~100) and it does not take long to familiarise yourself with the answers. Although if you asked random US citizens on the street to take the test with no preparation you can be sure that at least 60% would fail it.

            Example of real questions on the US immigration test:
            • In what month is the new president inaugurated?

              Which president was the first commander in chief of the U.S. Army and Navy?

              What is the introduction to the Constitution called?

              Where does Congress meet?

              What is the most important right granted to U.S. citizens?

              What are the first 10 amendments to the Constitution called?

              What were the 13 original states of the United States called?

              What did the Emancipation Proclamation do?

              Who was the main writer of the Declaration of Independence?

              What special group advises the president?


            You think the average US citizen would pass a test like that?

            8)
            If I recall correctly, those are multiple choice answers which makes it easier.
            "A beautiful theory killed by an ugly fact."
            by Thomas Henry Huxley

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by MJD
              Originally posted by lonewolf
              I suspect this is true of narive born US citizens too.
              They would do much much worse.
              Only the whiny baby-boomers, you Canuckian bigot . . .

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by bad hammy
                Only the whiny baby-boomers
                me me me!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Half of Canadians too ignorant to be Canadian

                  Originally posted by Daisy
                  Example of real questions on the US immigration test:
                  • In what month is the new president inaugurated?

                    Which president was the first commander in chief of the U.S. Army and Navy?

                    What is the introduction to the Constitution called?

                    Where does Congress meet?

                    What is the most important right granted to U.S. citizens?

                    What are the first 10 amendments to the Constitution called?

                    What were the 13 original states of the United States called?

                    What did the Emancipation Proclamation do?

                    Who was the main writer of the Declaration of Independence?

                    What special group advises the president?


                  You think the average US citizen would pass a test like that?

                  8)
                  Seven of ten of these were easy. One is way too subjective to be able to answer (most important right) and two have numerous correct answers (name of original 13 states, and the special group of Presidential advisors, although I am guessing they are looking for Cabinet here).

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Let's go north of the border. I doubt this one is on the test, but...

                    For what is Tommy Douglas most famous?

                    This is hardly trivial; CBC's 2004 public poll named him the greatest Canadian of all time. I'll give you a hint: the few Americans who could answer this probably learned it from Michael Moore's latest movie.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Mighty Favog
                      Let's go north of the border. I doubt this one is on the test, but...

                      For what is Tommy Douglas most famous?
                      .
                      He's Jack Bauer's grandfather.

                      Here is a link to the test: Do You Know Canada OR Should You Have Your Citizenship Revoked?

                      cman

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Around here, he's better known as Bill Bowerman's father-in-law.

                        19 out of 19 for me, and my ancestors left the country three generations ago. Apparently "Hockey Night in Canada" and "The Rick Mercer Report" are the only prep I need to pass the test.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Half of Canadians too ignorant to be Canadian

                          [ the special group of Presidential advisors, although I am guessing they are looking for Cabinet here).[/quote]

                          The first thought that came to my mind was monied corporations, as represented by their lobbiests. (is that spelled with a y or i?)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Special advisors not regular like The Kitchen Cabinet?
                            Tom Hyland:
                            "squack and wineturtle get it"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Half of Canadians too ignorant to be Canadian

                              Originally posted by tandfman
                              Originally posted by Daisy
                              What is the most important right granted to U.S. citizens?
                              OK, I'll bite. What do the test writers think is the right answer to that one?

                              I don't think there's a single right answer.
                              The official answer is "The right to vote"

                              I think the problem here is the test writers are expecting people to memorise the answers. Thoughtful answers may well be marked wrong.

                              Originally posted by Pego
                              If I recall correctly, those are multiple choice answers which makes it easier.
                              They are not multichoice. You might be mixing it up with the driving test. My favourite question on that test is along the lines of "If in an accident, how much safer are you wearing a seat belt?" A) 2x B) 4X C) 6x or D) 8X. Obviously there is no good guess, you have to have memorised their driving manual to be able to answer such a question with any confidence. Do you notice a trend here?

                              Originally posted by bad hammy
                              Seven of ten of these were easy. One is way too subjective to be able to answer (most important right) and two have numerous correct answers (name of original 13 states, and the special group of Presidential advisors, although I am guessing they are looking for Cabinet here).
                              Actually the question did not ask for you to name the original states. It was "What are the 13 original states of the U.S. called?" The answer is "Colonies" but I agree it seems to be a trick question, but you'd be fine if you had memorised the answers.

                              For the advisors, you're right they were looking for the cabinet, although I agree with Helen S that loggyists would have been a more fun answer.

                              Official answers
                              Originally posted by Daisy
                              Example of real questions on the US immigration test:
                              • In what month is the new president inaugurated?
                                January
                                Which president was the first commander in chief of the U.S. Army and Navy?
                                George Washington
                                What is the introduction to the Constitution called?
                                The Preamble
                                Where does Congress meet?
                                In the Capitol in Washington, D.C.
                                What is the most important right granted to U.S. citizens?
                                The right to vote
                                What are the first 10 amendments to the Constitution called?
                                The Bill of Rights
                                What were the 13 original states of the United States called?
                                Colonies
                                What did the Emancipation Proclamation do?
                                Freed many slaves
                                Who was the main writer of the Declaration of Independence?
                                Thomas Jefferson
                                What special group advises the president?
                                The Cabinet
                              bad hammy, you say they are easy and for most of us that is true. But what about a random sample of the population? You think the US population as a whole would do any better than the Candians?

                              Comment

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