(Abolish) the Monarchy II

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Uncle John

Democracy is the whole basis of our society. The lack of democracy is a root problem in our system. Increasing democracy will help us solve a host of other problems, including the apathy many people feel because they think they have no power over the system. There IS a democratic deficit in this country. A more democratic Canada will not be the same as this. There IS a tangible benefit from having more democratic institutions. Too much power is in the hands of one person, and we have to trust that he does not exercise that power capriciously or irresponsibly. Changing our institutions so that that is less likely to happen can only be to the benefit of the Canadian people.

Oh and I forgot. He not only controls the legislative and the executive, but he also appoints judges on the highest courts in the land including the Supreme Court. That means ONE PERSON controls legislative, executive, and judicial. How can you put up a wall within yourself to protect from the inevitable conflicts of interest which arise, no matter how well intentioned you are as Prime Minister?

He is criticized for being a micro-manager. However with all of this power, you pretty well have to be! More people sharing responsibility is a good thing!

6079_Smith_W

@ Uncle John

Again, are we talking about the monarchy here, or concentration of power in the PM's office? 

And He doesn't actually control the legislative and judicial branches. He appoints judges, but the federal government has lost a few cases there, and he can't overrule the supreme court except by using the notwithstanding clause.

And just a few months ago the speaker found the government in contempt, and they have failed to get a few things passed, so he doesn't always get his way in the legislative branch. As for why he has a majority and more control in the house now..... you can thank democracy. 

But I don't see how giving more people the power to shut things down actually helps get anything done.

 

Uncle John

The GG gives the Prime Minister a cover for his actions by giving "Royal Assent" which is a bunch of BS. Abolishing the monarchy will lay the Prime Minister's power bare. Having a President elected by a true majority allowed to veto the Prime Minister means we have some adult supervision of that Prime Minister.

And as you say, there is the notwithstanding clause which gives the Prime Minister even more power.

If you call 39% + 1 democracy for absolute power, I guess you can call it democracy. 60% + 1 did not vote for it.

And they dont shut things down if they compromise...

6079_Smith_W

Uncle John wrote:

The GG gives the Prime Minister a cover for his actions by giving "Royal Assent" which is a bunch of BS. Abolishing the monarchy will lay the Prime Minister's power bare. Having a President elected by a true majority allowed to veto the Prime Minister means we have some adult supervision of that Prime Minister.

Adult supervision? I suppose.... unless John Baird decides to run for the position. Where are you then?

And the monarchy is a cover and getting rid of it will solve everything by making people realize that Harper is a control freak? I'm not so sure about that.

 

 

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

John, you make a good argument - a good argument for adddressing the consentration of power in the PMO, not an argument for making reform of the head of state a priority.  No one has actually put forward any kind of coherent argument for that.

Frmrsldr

Malcolm wrote:

Fmrsldr, all I've ever talked about in this regard is Canada.  Whether the UK wishes to abolish the monarchy or not is the UK's business.  You are deliberately trying to confuse the debate by misrepresenting what I've said and lying about my position.  It's bad enough you have no clue what you`re talking about.  Your constant lies only add to the confusion.

I provide quotes of what you say.

So if there's any confusion, misrepresentation, cluelessness of what one is talking about and lying - it's coming from you.

Malcolm wrote:

The Canadian Constitution establishes all executive authority in "the Crown" - which means the monarch or (de facto) the Governor General acting as the delegate of the monarch.

The Canadian Guvnah is not the British crown.

The two are different identities.

It's that simple.

Malcolm wrote:

The Crown or its replacement (assuming no other Constitutional amendment) has absolute executive power.  By convention (and convention does have constitutional significance in all Westminster systems) the Crown only exercises its authority on the advice of the person who holds the confidence of the House of Commons (except in extremis).  This is because the Crown lacks democratic legitimacy.

That is very sloppy logic.

In the Westminster systems the crown (if Britain) or Guvnahs Genral (if the other countries, excluding Canada) only exercises its authority on the advice of Parliament.

By contrast it's in Canada, where the Guvnah (over recent decades) exercises its authority on the advice of the "person who holds the confidence of the House" i.e., the Prime Minister.

Malcolm wrote:

If the replacement office holder is elected - directly or indirectly - then the office will have democratic legitimacy and the previous convention will cease to have effect, barring further and extensive amendments to the Constitution delimiting the power of the office.  As a result, the elected President, in Canada, would hold and be free to exercise the full notional authority of the office, without let or hindrance by the House of Commons or anyone else.

This is simply a fact, Fmrsldr - a fact that has been explained to you countless times over the past few months and a fact you defiantly ignore because it does not conform to your ignorant prejudices.

You're just talking parallel with me.

I fully understand the point that you're making. That according to both conventions and the wording of the Candian Constitution the Guvnah has extensive despotic power. The fact that the Guvnah is appointed, therefore lacks democratic legitimacy is a check on the Guvnah becoming a tyrant. Make the position an elected one. The position has democratic legitimacy. There no longer is any restraint on the position. The person holding the position now becomes a despot.

I addressed that issue by searching for countries that were monarchies that were similar to the Canadian situation that became republics. The examples I used were Germany, the Irish Republic and South Africa.

The question I asked was that given this was the case, would these countries become despotisms?

The answer is, no they haven't.

I'll ask you again, given that some similar countries to Canada (Germany, Ireland and South Africa) went from monarchies to republics and didn't become despotic, why do you have this (theory based) paranoia that should Canada abolish the monarchy it, unlike the other countries, would become a tyranny?

Malcolm wrote:

 

There are significant complications in any proposal to abolish the monarchy, quite apart from the need to win the consent of Parliament and all ten provincial legislatures.  Indeed, the seemingly simplest solutions actually create the most complications.

    Two points:

    1. When the Constitution was originally ratified the requirement was for a supermajority of 7 out of 10 provinces. How did it later change to a unanimous 10? Trudeau and/or Trudeau and his government made that change? That should be questioned right there. The unanimous 10 clause was not agreed to by the ten provinces. Quebec did not ratify the Constitution. Therefore, how can the unanimous 10 province clause be met?

    On this basis, neither the unanimous 10 (provinces) clause nor the Constitution are legally valid or properly speaking, law.

    2. The nature of Westminster Parliamentary government: Every time a new (majority) government is elected, it is not burdened by the policies of the previous government(s). It can institute policies that are a complete 180 degrees of difference, contradicting everything the previous government did. If this government is replaced by a different (majority) government, the new government can again do something completely different and contradictory.

    Nothing (in theory, no conventions) prevents Herr Harper's government or any future government from either tearing up or modifying the Constitution as they please. It's just decorum, respect for the wishes of others, practical political expediency, possible desire for stability, etc., that prevents this from happening.

    Frmrsldr

    Malcolm wrote:

    As it is, it [the British crown] is merely a strange quirk, about as embarrassing as a zit on one's nose, and about as important.

    Why don't we burst this "zit" and be done with it, then?

    Frmrsldr

    Malcolm wrote:

    Uncle John, the United States, France, Russia, Syria, Argentina, Pakistan, China, both Koreas and Singapore (just for a few examples) have no monarchs.  I am pleased to learn that these countries are all egalitarian utopiae with no meaningful amount of class division or social exclusion.

    If you believe that changing the Governor General to the President will get rid of the idea that some people are better than others, then you are seriously deluded.

    Yeah, and if we are to bring your argument to its logical conclusion: Canada with its hereditary, inegalitarian monarch and foreign head of state, is so much better than those other countries and because of it and, unlike those other countries, does in fact, "have no meaningful amount if class division or social exclusion."

    Frmrsldr

    6079_Smith_W wrote:

    .... you can thank democracy. 

    No, you can thank FPTP.

    Which continues to exist in Canada because enough people are resistant to change.

    - A similar process that keeps Canada being a monarchy.

    Frmrsldr

    Uncle John wrote:

    I believe that changing an unelected person for an elected one is a good thing.

    Malcolm wrote:

    Indeed, it is.

    But why should changing a largely irrelevant ceremonial office be a priority when there are real issues to deal with?  That's what none of you hot-to-trot republicans have been able to answer.

    You just don't get it, do you?

    Actually, you probably do "get" it and that is why you keep harping (no pun intended) on the irrelevant and ceremonial nature of the British crown/monarchy (in the hope that enough people will be disuaded from demanding its abolishment.)

    The fact of the existence of the British crown/monarchy as Canada's head of state is bad enoough.

    What it symbolizes is even worse.

    Let's look at two analogies and see if your claim of the insignificance and irrelevance of symbolism holds:

    I go up to a group of African Americans and show them my tattoos of a Klansman and the letters "KKK." According to you, they shouldn't get all emotional, after all no one should get emotional over (insignificant and irrelevant) symbolism, right?

    I go up to a group of Jewish people and show them my tattoo of a swastika. According to you, they shouldn't get all worked up over this either because again, this just more (insignificant and irrelevant) symbolism, right?

    I go up to a group of Canadian Indigenous people and start extolling the virtues of the British queen and the monarchy and how it's all good and how I'd be sorry to see it go, etc. Now just what symbolism would the British crown/monarchy have for them and how do you suppose they would react? Any idea?

    6079_Smith_W

    Hey Malcolm, you know what? 

    Our phone company here in Saskatchewan - they call it a "Crown" corporation, but I checked my bill, and I think they're lying. She doesn't actually run it. My cheques don't go to Buckingham Palace. 

    And I got my Christmas tree last year on "Crown" land, but now that I think about it I didn't see any corgis running around when I was out there. I don't think she has ever even been there!

    And on the news yesterday there was this trial and they were talking about the "Crown" lawyer. But it wasn't her either! Just some guy in a dress and a white wig. Was he making fun of her?  

    Maybe it's some kind of scam or they're pulling some identity theft on that poor old lady. I had no idea!

    Krago

    Frmrsldr wrote:

    I go up to a group of African Americans and show them my tattoos of a Klansman and the letters "KKK."

    I go up to a group of Jewish people and show them my tattoo of a swastika.

    You may want to get those removed.Frown

    Frmrsldr

    Frmrsldr wrote:

     

    I go up to a group of African Americans and show them my tattoos of a Klansman and the letters "KKK."

    I go up to a group of Jewish people and show them my tattoo of a swastika.

    Krago wrote:

    You may want to get those removed.Frown

    IF I had them, Then definitely.

    Just like the monarchy!Wink

     

    Frmrsldr

    6079_Smith_W wrote:

    And I got my Christmas tree last year on "Crown" land, but now that I think about it I didn't see any corgis running around when I was out there. I don't think she has ever even been there!

     

    Most humorous and very cogent.

    I wonder if you told that joke to any of Canada's Indigenous people whose Reservation might be close by, if they'd share your sense of humor.

    Uncle John

    Monarchists, as we remember, sat furthest to the right in the French Parliament.

    Now, of course, we have fascism, which is further right than that.

    Supporting the monarchy and making excuses for keeping it is reactionary behaviour.

    This is a progressive site, and I find myself correcting myself and being corrected for the things I write. Which is cool, because like everyone else, I am trying to learn.

    For many of us, symbolism is EVERYTHING. Please consider this. Democracy not only has to be done, but it must be SEEN to be done.

    Progressivism is very much tied up with Democracy.

    Malcolm Malcolm's picture

    Fmrsldr, you demonstrate your ignorance yet again.  The Governor General (BTW your misspelling is childish and stupid) IS the personal representative of the Crown.  Your faulty argument is based on your faulty misunderstanding of the system.

    Uncle John, please don't join in Fmrsldr's campaign of lies.  No one here is defending the monarchy as an institution.  We are rejecting the argument that abolition should be a priority and we are correcting a series of very serious misunderstandings about how the system actually works.

    Frmrsldr

    Malcolm wrote:

    Fmrsldr, you demonstrate your ignorance yet again.  The Governor General ... IS the personal representative of the Crown.  Your faulty argument is based on your faulty misunderstanding of the system.

    So this is now your latest definition?

    My definition always has been:

    Frmrsldr wrote:
    The Canadian Guvnah (Genral) is the British crown/monarch's representative in Canada when the British crown/monarch is not in Canada.

    Apart from clarity, simplicity and detail I don't see how your latest definition substantially differs from mine.

    After I've presented my latest arguments, this is the best you can do?

    Awww Malcolm, you disappoint me.

    Malcolm wrote:

    Uncle John, please don't join in Fmrsldr's...

    Listen to this guy, will you?

    First he betrays his elitism.

    Now he's strutting around like king Malcolm I commanding other babblers to do his bidding.

    Malcolm wrote:

    ... Frmrsldr's campaign of lies. 

    Lies denotes a willful intention to decieve; dishonesty, misrepresentation, disingenuity.

    Since when are opinions, beliefs, ideas, arguments honestly persued and presented, "lies"?

    Malcolm wrote:

    No one here is defending the monarchy as an institution.  We are rejecting the argument that abolition should be a priority...

    I judge a person's political values and beliefs by the amount of time they spend arguing for, defending, explaining, rationalizing and justifying a particular issue.

    Apart from the occasional inconsequential little tidbit thrown out in "recognition" of representative democracy and egalitarianism, the vast majority of said person spends their time arguing why the Canadian political situation makes it near impossible to abolish the monarchy.

    (The question as to why Germany, the Republic of Ireland and South Africa can do it, whereas Canada (seemingly) cannot still hasn't been answered, btw.)

    So if anyone is being disingenous and misrepresenting themselves, I would wager it is the person in question. And not I.

    Malcolm wrote:

    ... and we are correcting a series of very serious misunderstandings about how the system actually works.

    And a fine job you are doing of it (in these last quotes) by resorting to ad hominem arguments, calling people liars and commanding others to support your monarchist crusade.

    Snert Snert's picture

    Quote:

    I go up to a group of Canadian Indigenous people and start extolling the virtues of the British queen and the monarchy and how it's all good and how I'd be sorry to see it go, etc. Now just what symbolism would the British crown/monarchy have for them and how do you suppose they would react? Any idea?

     

    Why don't you ask them, instead of just hijacking their voice?

     

    It's a bit dishonest to pretend that the supposed urgency of abolishing the monarchy is "because it offends Natives" or "it offends Quebecois(es)" or "it confuses Americans" or whatever when it really appears that the real reason is a few individuals who feel personally insulted and humiliated by the existence of someone who thinks they're better'n them.

     

    How insecure do you have to be to feel personally belittled by a symbolic figurehead. Seriously. I doubt the royals are wasting their time laughing at you like you think, but I'm laughing.

     

    Please, everyone, stop whatever you're doing right now and work to get rid of the monarchy so that Frmrsldr and Uncle John can feel good about themselves again! Don't let a symbolic figurehead continue to erode their dignity like this!!

    Frmrsldr

    Frmrsldr wrote:

    I go up to a group of Canadian Indigenous people and start extolling the virtues of the British queen and the monarchy and how it's all good and how I'd be sorry to see it go, etc. Now just what symbolism would the British crown/monarchy have for them and how do you suppose they would react? Any idea?

    Snert wrote:

    Why don't you ask them, (instead of just hijacking their voice?)

    I won't put too fine a point on it, but I have.

    Aside from that, it's an open invitation for anyone to ask Canada's Indigenous peoples.

     

     

    Uncle John

    Malcolm you are saying "we" this and "we" that. Are you the official spokesman of the Monarchist League of Canada? You just said no one is defending the monarchy as an institution, yet you seem to be holding on to some concept that abolishing it is not important now, while refusing to say WHEN. If not today, how about tomorrow? Next week? Next month? Next year? Next century? You are using this "delay" tactic to deny democratic constitutional change in Canada. I suspect you have no intention of abolishing it at all, and you just want to stall stall stall until it blows over.

    You then say there are more important priorities. Well, with the current autocratic system, ONLY THE PRIME MINISTER SETS THE AGENDA. *I* do not, and *You* do not, unless you are a policy-person-toady in the PMO. Whatever is an "Important Priority" will only be dealt with if the Prime Minister deems it to be so. That is exactly the problem. The people cannot set the agenda because democracy is sadly lacking in this country. What are your more important priorities? F35s? More jails? More attacks on the working class and the poor? More union busting?

    Malcolm it is OK to be a right wing reactionary monarchist, as this site welcomes freedom of speech. Not only that but you called me deluded, and you called farmersdlr a liar. Please try to stick to the issues, and refrain from personal attacks on the other posters. It is not an attack to call you a right wing reactionary monarchist, as that is the behaviour your are displaying. Your contempt for democracy is apalling.

    Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

    Frmrsldr wrote:

    Frmrsldr wrote:

    I go up to a group of African Americans and show them my tattoos of a Klansman and the letters "KKK."

    I go up to a group of Jewish people and show them my tattoo of a swastika.

    Krago wrote:

    You may want to get those removed.Frown

    IF I had them, Then definitely.

    Just like the monarchy!Wink

    But even in that not all people would agree with you.  ManWoman loves swastika's and hates Nazis.  Go figure!!

    The swastika was one of the most ancient and revered symbols in many aboriginal cultures. The Nazi appropriated a symbol of goodness to hide their evil.  That only makes the Nazis evil not the ancient symbol.

    I find the eagle to be a far nastier symbol since it seems to show up in every imperial system as the symbol of authoritarian might.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUSgJmQxjs0&feature=related