back to top

This Politician Keeps Blaming His Mum For Turning Him Into An Italian And It's Ridiculous


Posted on

Just to recap, earlier this week, Liberal National resources minister Matt Canavan resigned from Cabinet after claiming to have recently discovered he was a dual Italian citizen.

Lukas Coch / AAPIMAGE

See, the Australian Constitution makes it pretty clear that you can't be a dual citizen and run for parliament. It was incredibly awkward, then, when two Greens Party senators unknowingly discovered they were dual citizens in recent weeks.

When those senators, Larissa Waters and Scott Ludlam, found out they were Canadian and Kiwi dual citizens respectively, they both resigned from the parliament.

Not Canavan, who has decided to stay and fight in the High Court because...

...his mother, Maria Canavan (below) apparently applied for dual Italian citizenship for her 25-year-old son in 2006 without him knowing.

Twitter: @telester

Canavan's story about Mamma Maria filling out all the forms and lodging them with the Italian consulate in Australia has merely added to the confusion about what actually happened.

Could Mamma Maria have signed the papers on her boy's behalf? Did Canavan sign them and then fuhgettaboutit? Or does the Italian Consulate accept unsigned documents when granting citizenship?

Canavan won't release the documents that would show whether or not the citizenship application had been signed.


The first time Matteo Canavan threw his mother under the bus was on Tuesday at a press conference, telling reporters "mamma mia!*"

Sonia Kohlbacher / AAPIMAGE

*Well he didn't actually say that, but he did blame his mother for the entire mess.

Soon after, Canavan tweeted a statement, again, placing the blame at the foot of his poor mother.


On Thursday, Canavan called a press conference after it emerged that a decade's worth of Italian mail addressed to him had reportedly been piling up at Maria Canavan's home.

Senator Matt Canavan news conference 12.30 in Rockhampton.

Mark Di Stefano is a media and politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Mark Di Stefano at

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.