(Abolish) the Monarchy III

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Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture
(Abolish) the Monarchy III

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Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Liberals To Vote On Resolution To Sever Ties With Monarchy At Convention

excerpt:

The resolution makes several arguments against monarchical rule, most based around the fact that currently a Canadian cannot become head of state of their own country and that the British monarch must be Anglican. More interesting, perhaps, is the argument that Canada pays more for the institution than the British.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture
M. Spector M. Spector's picture

The Liberals are apparently trying to make themselves attractive to Quebec again.

The fact that the Liberal Party is even contemplating a vote on this simply underlines how very tame the monarchy issue is. There are far more serious "archy" issues for leftists to be concerned with.

Like getting rid of the oligarchy that rules our lives. Also the patriarchy that represses women.

At least the monarchy doesn't do anything other than suck up our wealth; by and large, they keep well out of our daily lives. Not so the others.

jas

I like monarchies. I would rather have the queen ruling us than Pete Harper. Tea and crumpets for all! 

6079_Smith_W

I think the resolution was put forward by the youth wing of the party, so it's not quite a party strategy yet. 

The new Jamaican PM on the other hand, wants the same thing, but is in a position to do something about it:

http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/We-will-detach-Jamaica-from-th...

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

I still maintain that making a priority of this issue is to waste energy dealing with complicated trifles.

Jamaica is a unitary state.  Thus replacing the monarchy is a (relatively) simple option.  It still involves and extensive rejigging of constitutional powers and conventions.

In Canada, it requires the consent of two houses of the federal parliament and all ten provincial legislatures - who need to agree not only to abolition but to the details of the proposed replacement / rejigging of constitutional authority.

All this for an institution that is essentially a harmless anachronism.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

From Wiki: In May 2010, a poll by Angus Reid found that more than two-thirds of Canadians, a 69% majority, would like to see a Canadian serving as Canada's head of state, and a 52% majority of Canadians support reopening the constitutional debate to discuss replacing the monarchy with an elected head of state, while only 32% oppose doing so. Despite 69% of Canadians having a "mostly favourable" opinion of Queen Elizabeth II as a person, only one third, 33%, of Canadians preferred Canada to remain a monarchy - the plurality 36% of Canadians said they would prefer to have an elected head of state, another 21% were indifferent, and 11% were unsure. When asked who they would prefer as a monarch after Queen Elizabeth II, three-in-ten Canadians responded by saying there should be no monarch after her. 31% of Canadians also want members of the Royal Family to stop visiting Canada.[62]

6079_Smith_W

@ Malcolm

Given the source - the Liberal youth wing -  I don't think it was made to curry political favour or waste time. Perhaps the motive might be to bring some new blood into the party, but even so I think it was probably made in good faith.

As to whether it is a practical idea or not, I could cheerfuly avoid that aspect of the discussion this time around, seing as we have beaten it to death a few times already.

 

 

pcml

I will vote for it !  youth proposed  or not

Nothing stops people from what ever worship they like privately

False gods and sports hero's  and monarchs ......oh well....some have no lives and need to dream another one

 

Picture fergy as the queen to help see how I already see the whole irrelevant circus

 

Cheers and merry Ukrainian Christmas  

OnTheLeft OnTheLeft's picture

FWIW:

Quote:

If Canadians want to, we could elect our governor general, declare that person is our head of state and stay in the Commonwealth, without quite severing our ties with the monarchy.

The Irish presidency is a good model. The Irish elect their presidents, who serve almost precisely the same function as our governors general, but with greater popular support, because they are elected. There has never been a power struggle between the two offices, which is something monarchists warn about here.

If the prime minister is able to hold consultative elections to select senators - a question the Supreme Court may ultimately decide - then surely we could select our governor general the same way.

And if it is desirable to elect senators, why not the governor general?

When Michaelle Jean once asserted that she was head of state, she was contradicted by Stephen Harper. Constitutional expert Ned Franks has argued persuasively that whoever occupies Rideau Hall is our head of state, since that person is performing all the functions of that role, but it suits prime ministers to keep the focus on Buckingham Palace rather than the potential rival for public affection on the other side of Sussex Drive.

Designating the governor general - elected or not - as our head of state strikes me as a dignified half step towards 'sovereignisation,' and having elections could help befuddled Canadian voters understand that our prime minister is not like the American president.

According to Statistics Canada, in 1981, 34 per cent of Canadians identified as of British origin. In 2006, it was 20 per cent. The monarchy is less relevant to new Canadians, and in Quebec it has always been a symbol of the conquest of New France.

I think time come - for a debate at least.

http://www.thestarphoenix.com/news/Maher+Modernizing+Canada+monarchy+could+begin+with+elected/5959235/story.html

 

6079_Smith_W

Electing a GG or other head of state makes no sense to me. 

In the first place why have an election if it is not a political position, and holding elections WILL make it political. As it stands, although the GG has complete power on paper, in reality she has virtually none, and in almost all cases is bound to protocol. 

Giving real absolute power to the position by making it political is both ridiculous and dangerous. 

Besides. We'd probably wind up with Don Cherry. Certainly it is sure to result in a string of men, primarliy military and sport figures. 

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

The problem with simply electing the Governor General (and presumably renaming the office as President or some such) is that the current constitution gives virtually absolute power to the head of state. In theory, parliament, provincial legislatures, prime ministers, premiers and ministers are all merely advisors to the absolutis head of state.

Of course, that's not how it currently works de facto.  That's because a series of conventions have evolved over the past 800 years that the monarch (or in Canada the GG and LGs on behalf of the monarch) only act on advice of a first minister and cabinet that hold the confidence of the House.  Those conventions are predicated on the reality that the head of state has no moral authority to act otherwise due to the lack of electoral and democratic legitimacy.

If simply replace the monarch and representative duality with an elected president but make no other constitutional change, then the new head of state suddenly has electoral and democratic legitimacy, and we have an executive presidency that makes POTUS look like a 95 pound weakling.  Parliament becomes even more of a pointless talking shop and there is no check on the sole executive.

So the problem is not abolishing the monarchy per se.  It's the replacing of the monarchy that's the problem.  It's defining the limitations on the new president's role (or the manner of the new president's selection) that is going to be a mare's nest of conflict when trying to get two houses of the federal parliament and every single provincial legislature to agree.

Now, it probably is possible to get it done.  But it will require the expenditure of a vast amount of political capita that, frankl, would be better expended on real problems that actually have a negative effect on people's real lives.

Once we've eliminated poverty, stopped racism and reversed climate change, then by all means tinker with the quaint anachronism of the monarchy.

In the mean time, the whole issue is an irrelevant sideshow that the right wing press dredge up to divert our attention from things that acyually matter.

Unionist

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Electing a GG or other head of state makes no sense to me. 

In the first place why have an election if it is not a political position, and holding elections WILL make it political.

I fully agree with you on not electing the G-G.

However, you appear to be blissfully unaware that since 1952, the Prime Minister of Canada "recommends" one single solitary name to the British monarch, who then names that person as Governor-General.

Such appointments are thus totally non-political. [Reaching for my vomit bag...]

I suggest we flush the British monarch down the toilet and allow the PM to appoint the G-G directly, instead of going through this phony step as at present. That way, you can have your unelected G-G and be very happy, while the rest of us can dispense with the medieval and colonial obscenity of a royal family.

I believe eliminating the monarchy is a more achievable, thus more urgent task than eliminating climate change, war, hunger, and evil.

You have my personal guarantee that no one will miss these clowns. They're not even humorous.

 

6079_Smith_W

@ Unionist

Except that now and then you get a person in the job who is able to use it in the less-partisan way, and in the interests of culture and unity it is supposed to be. I think the speaker of the house faces exactly the same challenge. Of course a choice is not going to be perfect, but removing that position as much as possible from politics (and our recent exceptions of proguement aside, it IS ) helps.

Aside from the question of the monarchy, countries need heads of state, and as I said above I think that position should be as non-partisan as possible. It makes no sense for the head of the government - our PM -to be head of state - that would even be more confusing than the U,S, president. 

I have suggested Speaker of the House, extept that the Head of State needs to be in place when the house is dissolved. 

Other countries choose their head of state with an all party committee. Personally, I don't have a problem with the PM or premier  choosing them. When they have been good, they have been good. And when they have been bad, who cares? 

And Unionist... "blissfully unaware"? Come on, what is this compulsion for pointless insults?  I know how it works, and I am not even talking about the monarchy.

 

Unionist

Smith. Listen. The PM has picked the G-G for the last 59 years. I'm agreeing with you. It should carry on that way. So why are you preaching about the need for a head of state? Problem solved. Move on.

However, this thread is about the monarchy, and I think it ought to be trashed instantly. I never thought so before, but now Harper is kissing the Queen's ass in order to create a new mythology about Canada, piss off Québec, etc. Harper and Elizabeth should join hands and leap into the septic tank together. Think of the splash it would make!

Now in the meantime, imagine progressive people trying to defend the continuation of the British monarchy in Canada. Hard, isn't it? Yup.

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I hope to see the monarchy abolished in Canada before I die.

Unionist

Boom Boom wrote:

I hope to see the monarchy abolished in Canada before I die.

You will, Boom Boom, because you've got a lot more to offer Canada than a bunch of unemployable aristocrats who send their spoiled brats to Afghanistan to turn them into real men.

When Harper glorifies the War of 1812, and puts "Royal" back in his air force, he knows what he's doing. Pity not everyone here does, but they will.

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Smile

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Unionist wrote:

I fully agree with you on not electing the G-G.

However, you appear to be blissfully unaware that since 1952, the Prime Minister of Canada "recommends" one single solitary name to the British monarch, who then names that person as Governor-General.

Such appointments are thus totally non-political. [Reaching for my vomit bag...]

I suggest we flush the British monarch down the toilet and allow the PM to appoint the G-G directly, instead of going through this phony step as at present. That way, you can have your unelected G-G and be very happy, while the rest of us can dispense with the medieval and colonial obscenity of a royal family.

I believe eliminating the monarchy is a more achievable, thus more urgent task than eliminating climate change, war, hunger, and evil.

You have my personal guarantee that no one will miss these clowns. They're not even humorous.

Well, a directly appointed GG/President raises fewer knock on problems that some elected officer.

It may be more achievable than reversing climate change - and so is putting a human being on MARS.  I don't propose wasting time with either.

6079_Smith_W

 @ Unionist

Again, why with the gratuitous insults? I make one comment on the proposal in the Star Phoenix about electing a head of state, which I think is a dumb and dangerous idea, and you accuse me of preaching? Perhaps you should move on and bark up another tree, please.

And as for doing without an official representative for the nation, Do you know a country without one? The problem with all this talk aboutplaying tinkertoys with government is that some of the proposals reveal how much some people don't understand how our system works, and how it is different from that of other countries. Not that it can't be done, but it is not a simple matter of cutting and pasting. 

 

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

Sorry, missed the last couple of threads on this issue so maybe I'm repeating what others have said.

Australia held a referendum in 1999 on abolishing the monarchy and becoming a republic.   It failed 55% to 45%.   This Wikipedia article explains the mechanics.

Basically they wanted to replace the GG with a president elected by a two thirds majority of the federal parliament.

I have no problem with getting rid of the monarchy.   The failed Australian proposal would be one I could live with.

I think that probably the majority of folks in Canada favour getting rid of the monarchy.   The tactical issue is to come up with a replacement formula that the majority of people could live with so that a constitutional amendment would be a slam dunk win.

If an amendment were to fail, then it would be years if not decades before we could try it again.

 

Unionist

6079_Smith_W wrote:

And as for doing without an official representative for the nation, Do you know a country without one?

Pay attention. Read my posts. I agree with you about the need for a head of state. No matter how much you complain about imaginary "insults", you will not create a dispute where there is none.

I'll try again:

1. The G-G should be head of state. What do you think?

2. The G-G should be named by the PM (or if you want to get fancy, by the Privy Council). What do you think?

3. This is how it has been working in practice for the last 59 years - so it's hard to believe how anyone will complain. What do you think?

4. The monarchy should be tarred, feathered, and sent to where the sun don't shine. What do you think?

Now, do you think you can actually comment about my proposal above without prefacing it with, "why are you insulting me?"

 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

radiorahim wrote:

I think that probably the majority of folks in Canada favour getting rid of the monarchy.   The tactical issue is to come up with a replacement formula that the majority of people could live with so that a constitutional amendment would be a slam dunk win.

If an amendment were to fail, then it would be years if not decades before we could try it again.

It's the same story with electoral reform. Probably the majority of Canadians would like to get rid of FPTP voting, but they never seem to like the specific replacement proposal enough to vote it in. Then when the referendum fails, electoral reform is shelved for decades.

6079_Smith_W

Unionist.

I find these kind of potshots:

"you appear to be blissfully unaware"

"why are you preaching"

"Pay attention"

to be counterproductive to the discussion, inaccurate and personally insulting. Now if you don't want to get called on stuff like that, try not to do it. How about we just talk about the issue without casting judgment on other people's comprehension and motivation?

As for your questions, I think I stated my opinion on most of them, but to sum up what I have already said, I think Canada needs a non-political head of state, preferably appointed by the PM or by a committee. I am just fine with it being the GG, although I think the Speaker of the House could also serve, if someone had a real problem with monarchism. 

As for the actual question of abolishing the monarchy, I commented here regarding the possible motives for this resolution, and mentioned the Jamaican government's plan. Beyond that, I'm not that interested in re-hashing an argument that has been re-done a few times already (and I said that too).

I think you know already what my feeling is about the issue, but so long as people stick to positions based on accurate claims, I don't care what people think about the monarchy.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

radiorahim wrote:

I think that probably the majority of folks in Canada favour getting rid of the monarchy.   The tactical issue is to come up with a replacement formula that the majority of people could live with so that a constitutional amendment would be a slam dunk win.

 

And bearing in mind that the amendment requirements in Canada (both houses of the federal parliament and every provincial legislature) are more difficult to achieve.

The Australian referendum lost because of opposition from either end.  The monarchist minority, obviously, wanted to keep the monarchy.  But there was also a populist surge against having the president chosen by the political elite - even though indirect selection managed to avoid the necessity of otherwise tinkering with the constitutional settlement and conventions.

So, while still thinking this is a silly waste of time, here is a quasi-viable way to replace the Queen and Governor General with an indirectly elected President without upsetting the constitutional balance.

An electoral college of either all MPs or possibly, to depoliticize it further, all Members of the Order of Canada, voting by secret ballot.  Rather than having some arbitrary elite decide who's on the ballot, the first tally could be a "nominating ballot" where members of the college could vote for anyone they anted.  Subseuent ballots would be cast only for those nominated on the first ballot, dropping the lowest candidate (and possibly any under an agred threshold).  The same process (either MLAs/MNAs/MHAs/MPPs or members of the provincia orders of merit) would choose Lieutenant Governors.

As a sop to the monarchists, you could even call the head of state King or Queen.  The Polish monarchy was electoral, as was the Scots monarchy (at least in theory) well into the middle ages.

6079_Smith_W

This, IMO is something demanding of complaint:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/yourcommunity/2012/01/what-should-be-done-with-th...

 

Unionist

What's demanding of complaint? The removal of the Alfred Pellan paintings, or the tendentious CBC article and "poll"?

This insulting move, initiated by the Queen-worshipping Harper government (specifically John Baird), took place months ago. It has already been mentioned on babble [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/baird-gets-his-way]here[/url] and [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/will-new-flag-law-fill-canadas.... Of course, if there were any opposition in Parliament, it might have been condemned there as well.

 

 

 

6079_Smith_W

The removal of the paintings, Unionist. I object to the removal of the paintings.  I think it is a shame that Canadian art would be taken down to be replaced by something we can see every time we buy a chololate bar.

Thanks for the extra background. Hopefully no one objects to drawing connections between current events and issues which have already been posted on rabble. I don't see a problem with it, myself (since again, this is thread number three in an ongoing series on this issue).

 

contrarianna

The Monarchy issue is a red herring.
Whether Canada happens to be a constitutional monarchy or not, has next to nothing to do with whether or not Canada is a functioning democracy with civil liberties.

As it happens, under Harper and his endorsing press, civil liberties and democracy have taken a huge hit, perhaps never to recover. But it has little to do, (except in an inverted way) with his adoption of royalist display and nomenclature.

The only real function of the monarchy in Canada is for cynical political leverage. Regardless of the ceremonial nature of the putative structure of the Queen as the "head of state", the servile nature of the political GG appointees is not in doubt.

Harper is no more a "royalist" than he is a "nationalist". The trappings of both have been on ostentatious display from the Harper Government(tm); both are rather savvy propaganda misdirections to cover the opposite direction he is taking the reminants of Canada.

Harper's foreign allegence is not to the British Crown but to the neoconservative US right and corporate interests. Under Harper we witness the greatest displays of "national pride" and "tradition" from the person who has worked the hardest for the dissolution of Canada.

Harper's cynical constuction of a nationalistic democratic mythology around the war of 1812, while eagerly embracing the undemocratic, is perhaps the most blatant of his inverted propaganda displays.

See:
Why we can't trust Stephen Harper's history of the War of 1812

By Derrick O'Keefe
| January 6, 2012
http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/derrick/2012/01/why-we-cant-trust-stephe...

Uncle John

The acquiescence of those on the so-called left in this country to the monarchy is sickeningly hypocritical. The monarchist state represents 100% Authority for the State and 0% for the individual. At any time, any monarchist State can suspend civil liberties, send the troops in, and start firing on its own people in the name of social order. For centuries, the Monarchy has dealt with 'riots' most effectively. There is no brake on the State's power in a Monarchy. We have the so-called 'charter of rights and freedoms' which can be ripped up whenever one of the Queen's governments decides it can invoke the 'Notwithstanding' clause.

So long was we have a monarchy there is ZERO chance a movement like 'Occupy' is going to work. As soon as the State gets fed up with the situation, they can move in with riot gear with absolutely no consequences.

Along with the Monarchy we get justifcation for other institutions which are just as reactionary, such as a bullshit parliamentary system  which gives some people four times the voting power of others, and an unelected Senate.

Those who say the monarchy is 'irrelevant' and then talk about bringing down 'oligarchy' and 'patriarchy' are replacing something achievable with something nebulous, and are the true enemies of social progress in this country. God forbid we are changing anything in Canada. After all, this country is just perfect, isn't it?

contrarianna

Uncle John wrote:

The acquiescence of those on the so-called left in this country to the monarchy is sickeningly hypocritical. The monarchist state represents 100% Authority for the State and 0% for the individual. At any time, any monarchist State can suspend civil liberties, send the troops in, and start firing on its own people in the name of social order...

Trudeau did not need to be directed by the Governor General to invoke the War Measures Act.
It's not at all difficult to imagine troups being sent into Canada--if you imagine it will be British troups at the request of the Queen that will cross the border, you are delusional.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

There is a story that, as the Russian Revolution broke out into violence, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church was engaged in a heated debate about the use of seasonally coloured vestments.

We face serious economic challenges, riing economic inequality and the undermining of constitutional liberties, yet so many on the left prefer we tinker with constitutional trifles that have zero practical efect on the way our system actually functions.

6079_Smith_W

Wow. You learn something every day. 

I had no idea Her Majesty was skulking behind the scenes in the kitchen, pretending to mash potatoes while she was really playing puppetmaster and bending everyone to comply with her evil  wishes.

From Wikipedia:

That night — November 4, 1981 — the Minister of Justice, Jean Chrétien, met with Attorney General of Saskatchewan Roy Romanow and Attorney General of Ontario Roy McMurtry in the kitchen of Ottawa's Château Laurier hotel. The premiers agreed to get rid of the "opt out" clause, while Chrétien reluctantly offered to include the Notwithstanding Clause in the constitution. Hatfield and Davis agreed to the compromise and told Trudeau that he should take the deal. Trudeau accepted what would be called the Kitchen Accord. The men at the table that night became known as the Kitchen Cabinet.

(the hyperlink takes you back to a larger article with more of the details on the notwithstanding clause)

And the whole time she had them fooled into thinking they were actually taking power away from her and moving toward sovreignty. The scope of her fiendish mind knows no bounds, I tell you!

And on the eve of Guy Fawkes Day too.... how serendipitous!

Fidel

Tuppence for the Guy! A farthing? Ayup

Caissa
Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Monty Python always had a knack for making fun of rulers, whether the monarchy, government, or religion. Good stuff!

Fidel

M. Spector wrote:

It's the same story with electoral reform. Probably the majority of Canadians would like to get rid of FPTP voting, but they never seem to like the specific replacement proposal enough to vote it in. Then when the referendum fails, electoral reform is shelved for decades.

What Canadians voted for in 1988 and 1993 elections and what they got were totally different outcomes, too. The cult of impotence in Ottawa is a myth. Phony majority governments really are able to get things done when they want to.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Uncle John wrote:

Those who say the monarchy is 'irrelevant' and then talk about bringing down 'oligarchy' and 'patriarchy' are replacing something achievable with something nebulous, and are the true enemies of social progress in this country. God forbid we are changing anything in Canada. After all, this country is just perfect, isn't it?

I suppose we should all move to Jamaica once that country rids itself of the hated monarchy and thereby creates a paradise of freedom and democracy. After all, they won't have the nasty Queen to take away their rights and freedoms any more.

contrarianna

contrarianna wrote:

Uncle John wrote:

The acquiescence of those on the so-called left in this country to the monarchy is sickeningly hypocritical. The monarchist state represents 100% Authority for the State and 0% for the individual. At any time, any monarchist State can suspend civil liberties, send the troops in, and start firing on its own people in the name of social order...

Trudeau did not need to be directed by the Governor General to invoke the War Measures Act.
It's not at all difficult to imagine troups being sent into Canada--if you imagine it will be British troups at the request of the Queen that will cross the border, you are delusional.

Just a reminder. Such an signed aquiescence to foreign military intervention for "law enforcement" (key provisions still secret) was eagerly embraced by the Harper junta in 2008:

Quote:
Canada-US Civil Assistance Plan finally released [in part] by Harper government
...
Pugliese, in consultation with a researcher at the Council for Canadians, notes deficiencies in what he's seen of the plan: a good part of it, 23 annexes, still seem to be missing; there's a "Canada-U.S. Combined Defense Plan" referenced on page 1, referring to “support for law enforcement operations” when the plan was supposed to be military-to-military support; and so on.

The plan, entered into by the Harper government in February this year, has raised concerns about sovereignty and creeping integration. The agreement enables troops from either nation to enter the other's for assistance during emergencies....


http://impolitical.blogspot.com/2008/05/canada-us-civil-assistance-plan-...

Phew, at least the dread Queen in her chartreuse high-heel jackboots, won't be among them.

6079_Smith_W

Chartreuse high-heeled jackboots? 

Is she a Roxy Music fan too?

NDPP

6 Quebec MPs Return Queen's Jubilee Medals in Protest

http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/TopStories/20120206/Quebec-MPs-return-Queens-j...

"...NDP Pierre Nantel who represents Quebec's Longueuil-Pierre-Boucher riding confirmed to CTV News he's returning his medal.."

bravo for that - now if he and the others stop voting yes to imperialist wars like Libya, that would be even better..

flight from kamakura

love this, i hope a lot more mps do it.  giving medals to mps in the name of the queen of the uk is just mind-bending.  these monarchist types are living on another planet.

6079_Smith_W

II hate the bloody queen!

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThrkJKxRNXo

Caissa

A couple more years and she will have reigned as long as Vicky.

mark_alfred

Often in the United States it seems that the President is generally only criticized in a humourous context (IE, talk-show hosts etc), because to seriously criticize the President often is seen as disrespectful and unpatriotic.  Here, on the other hand, we have the relatively powerless Monarchy to take the role of head of state.  So, the danger is removing a Head of State like the Queen and her representatives here in Canada (who are all relatively powerless figureheads) is that the same aura of untouchable patriotism could shift to the Prime Minister, who does have power and should be open to be questioned without it seeming as if it is unpatriotic to do so.  Thus, the Monarchy plays an important role in ensuring a climate of better accountability of our executive by ensuring our executive does not become seen as entities of patriotism that are beyond serious reproach.

jerrym

If having a symbolic head of state is important to avoid the problem of being questioned as disrespectful and unpatriotic in criticizing the government, the solution is simple: elect a president to fill this symbolic role and leave the politics to the prime minister. Since the British monarchy is based on an undemocratic aristocratic model and its empire ruled 1/4 of the world's population (including our aboriginal population and the ancestors of many of Canada's citizens) by force of arms, I see no reason to support it and every reason to terminate its rule. 

Interested Observer Interested Observer's picture

jerrym wrote:

If having a symbolic head of state is important to avoid the problem of being questioned as disrespectful and unpatriotic in criticizing the government, the solution is simple: elect a president to fill this symbolic role and leave the politics to the prime minister. Since the British monarchy is based on an undemocratic aristocratic model and its empire ruled 1/4 of the world's population (including our aboriginal population and the ancestors of many of Canada's citizens) by force of arms, I see no reason to support it and every reason to terminate its rule. 

Things aren't all rosy though, in the German Symbolic Presidential Utopia. As I understand it, the financial cost is about the same either way. I'd prefer to focus on other things and then see where things stand after Elizabeth's passing.

jerrym

No system is perfect or ever will be. However, a democratic alternative to a undemocratic system founded on imperialism is far better in my opinion. In addition, many Canadians from many ethnic backgrounds (many from First Nations, French-Canadians, Irish, Scottish and Blacks to name just a few) have little use for what this form of imperialism did to their ancestors. Many also say little on this issue, including myself generally, because they are focused on more immediate political concerns, but nevertheless would like this system to end.

6079_Smith_W

@ jerrym

Not to get into the argument again, but there is no need for a figurehead to be elected, and in my opinion, it would ibe a pointless introduction of  politics into a place where it would be not just counterproductive, but possibly damaging.  The only thing worse than the speculation around the proroguing event as it happened would be the same scenario with the GG as a partisan tool.

And if we want to get into the argument of imperialist culture and multiculturalism, I would ask you to consider the legacy of some of the people who have served recently as GG in Canada. 

 

 

jerrym

W-Smith wrote

Not to get into the argument again, but there is no need for a figurehead to be elected, and in my opinion, it would ibe a pointless introduction of  politics into a place where it would be not just counterproductive, but possibly damaging.  The only thing worse than the speculation around the proroguing event as it happened would be the same scenario with the GG as a partisan tool.

The Governor General was the unelected  representative of the monarchy during this crisis. The current GG was Harper's own choice and under the current arrangement any GG would always be subject to being picked on the basis of being used as a partisan tool. I'd rather take my chances with a respected individual being elected to be the symbolic head of state than have the potential for abuse a prime ministerial appointment brings. Note that I said if you feel you need a symbolic head of state, I would prefer an elected president. I could easily live without any such position. Every province has done away with the provincial equivalent -the lieutenant governor - and faced no significant problems because of this. Furthermore, in the 1950s, the appointed Lieutenant Governor of BC (a representative of the monarchy), helped install a Social Credit government in order to avoid  a NDP minority government (read David Mitchell's biography of W. C. Bennett). Furthermore, these monarch's representatives were the supporters of the Family Compact ruling clique in early Ontario and its equivalent in Quebec. Lets end this institution. it does not represent Canadians.    

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