We were all ready to write an editorial about an intense debate raging around the world. Yes, of course, that’s the suddenly divisive use of ‘OK, Boomer’.
However, before we could get going on that, it occurred to us that we couldn’t care less about ‘OK, Boomer’. If you use ‘OK, Boomer’, go right ahead. If you are insulted by ‘OK, Boomer’, continue to be insulted.
It’s a silly and tedious debate. There are more important things.
So we’re going to write about dual citizenship. It’s not as topical as ‘OK, Boomer’, but we’ve been thinking about it since the federal election when it became public knowledge that Conservative leader Andrew Scheer has dual Canadian a
nd American citizenship.
Scheer’s dual citizenship doesn’t bother us. While he was born and grew up in Canada, his father was born in the U.S., so Scheer’s dual citizenship is his family heritage. (However, it would have been bizarre if he had become prime minister whi
le registered for the draft in the United States.)
For all people born as dual citizens of Canada and the United States, or Canada and some other country, we have no right or reason to say anything about that.
However, we do have a problem with Canadians becoming dual citizens of other countries and retaining the privileges of being Canadian.
By becoming a citizen of the United States, for example, a Canadian automatically renounces his or her loyalty to Canada.
That’s not our opinion. It’s in black and white in the oath a person recites to become a naturalized American citizen.
Here’s how it begins: “I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen….”
It cannot get any clearer than that. Say what you will about Americans, they sure know how to write an oath.
Most people born in Canada have never had to swear an oath of allegiance to this country. So by becoming a citizen of the U.S.A., the oath to that country may be the only one a transplanted Canadian may ever make.
The Canadian oath is as brief as it is embarrassing: “I swear (or affirm) that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada, and fulfil my duties as a Canadian citizen.”
Many Canadians, born and raised, would balk at swearing allegiance to a non-resident of Canada. (Note to outraged monarchists: please direct complaints – with optional calls for this editorial writer to be fired – to an NNSL editor in Yellowknife.)
But we are getting sidetracked. We were talking about dual citizenship.
Canada is a free country and, if some Canadians want to leave it and become citizens of other countries, that’s their personal choice.
However, dual citizenship – again, except for people born into it – is a contradiction in terms. People cannot loyally serve two countries.
If you think they can, the citizenship oaths of the U.S.A. and Canada demand otherwise.