So he’s come.  Prince Charles, the man who, against my will, I had to pledge allegiance to, the future King of Canada.   Like all naturalized Canadian citizens I had to take the citizenship oath or be denied.  The oath says 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. Trust me no American wants to plege allegiance to the English monarchy but at least we were warned. 

We we’re warned that when it comes to it an unelected Royal representative, the Governor General of Canada, would yield true power. And yield it she did.   As we all know  in 2008 Governor General Michaëlle Jean prorogued the Parliment preventing a coalition government from forming.  A coalition government that represented 1 million more votes and a majority of seats over the conservative government. 

The Royal representative essentially backed a Prime Minister who to the dismay of constitional scholars, political scientists, and anyone who took a Canadian civics class, framed the coalition government as an “affront to democracy” and who failed to denounce Natural Resources Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn who said the opposition deal was a “coup d’etat”.

The proposed coalition was none of these things of course; it was democracy in action.  Unlike having citizens pledge allegiance to someone whose main credential for the job is being born or as I call it ” rule by genetics.”  And in terms of the Governor General we are clearly not talking about just opening parks, meeting dignitaries, and reading budgets.  We are talking about affecting major real world policy and the make up the government itself.  Yes the Governor General is essentially appointed by the Prime Minister (but not necessarily the one in power) but it all goes back across the pond and across a colonial history and doesn’t seem to have a lot to do with democracy.

Given that, I can’t get too excited about our future King’s visit.  In fact in makes me royally sad.

Matthew Adams

Matt moved to Toronto from the U.S just in time for Mike Harris to take power in Ontario and has been stunned ever since. Matthew Adams is a co-founder of the Catalyst Centre (a social justice popular...