With the news of the resignation of Julie Payette as Canada’s Governor General there has been talk about the relevance of the position in Canada.
However, I support our Constitutional Monarchy and believe it works quite well. Here are some reasons why I support Constitutional Monarchy and am loyal to Her Majesty:
- The Monarch is non-political. Unlike a President, the Queen is not loyal to a political party or base. As such, she is not influenced by party politics.
- The Crown is part of Canada’s culture. Many organizations have the ‘Royal’ designation, such as The ROYAL Agricultural Winter Fair, The ROYAL Canadian Legion, The Royal Canadian Yacht Club, The Royal Montreal Golf Club, The Royal Victoria Hospital, The Royal Victoria College, The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, etc.
- The Crown is part of our Heritage. As with the many organizations with the Royal designation, the St. Lawrence Seaway was opened by Queen Elizabeth II who also personally signed our current Constitution into law in 1982, Queen Victoria helped with the decision of Ottawa as our nation’s Capital, and many locations in Canada are named after members of our Royal Family, including Victoria, B.C.; Regina, Saskatchewan; and the Province of Alberta.
- The Queen isn’t a ‘foreign ruler’, but is Queen of Canada. This means that she really is our Queen.
- The Monarch is a ceremonial role – The Queen doesn’t make our laws, does not infringe upon our rights and freedoms, but at the same time the Monarch, through the Governor General and Lieutenant Governors, acts as a balance in politics – someone who ensures that the Government doesn’t overreach with its powers. The most example of this is ensuring that an election occurs when required. If a Prime Minister or Premier refused to request an election at least once every five years (per the Constitution), the Monarch is there to make sure that an election is called – protecting our right to vote for the people who make the laws that we live under.
- Succession is simple and straight forward. When one Monarch passes away, another Monarch automatically takes over. There is never a moment when there is a question of who the Head of State. Even with regards to the Governor General, if a vacancy occurs due to death or resignation, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court temporary takes over the duties of the position until a new Governor General is appointed. The Chief Justice of a province would do the same thing in response to the resignation or death of a Lieutenant Governor. Plus, the Monarch’s successor, currently Prince Charles, has been brought up to become King and has been taught about the rules around Constitutional Monarchy. How many politicians are taught about politics and their jobs prior to their first election?
- Any changes to the Line of Succession must also receive Canada’s approval. While we share the same Monarch as 15 other countries, no other Government can force a change to the Line of Succession without getting our approval. If the Monarch wasn’t truly Canadian, then we would have no say in something like this.
- The main power lies with the Prime Minister Federally, and the Premiers Provincially, as the Head of Government where the real political power in Canada rests.
- The Monarch reigns on the advise of the Government. The Government, which is elected by the people, makes the decisions that affect our lives.
- The Monarchy helps to make us different from our neighbour, and major trading partner, the United States.
- The Governor General, and the Lieutenant Governors, are appointed on advise of the Prime Minister. The advise provided to Her Majesty may be questioned, but her decision is based upon that advise which was provided to her by an elected Government. If the advise is questioned, the Government, not the Monarch, is accountable for the advise.
- For the most part, with the notable exception of the behaviour of the current Governor General, our Constitutional Monarchy has worked well for us, even prior to Confederation, over 150 years ago. If the system work well, why change it?
- The Queen is also the Sovereign of 15 other countries and is the Head of the Commonwealth. She helps to provide us with a connection to up to 54 other countries!
- As mentioned by the Monarchist League of Canada:
“The Sovereign, however, is a force of unity, who as head of state embodies all Canada and all Canadians. The monarchy protects and exemplifies the things Canadians agree about, and remain constant, regardless of an election: community, tolerance, nationhood, the rule of law. And by presiding at events such as the Montréal Olympics and Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill, The Queen emphasizes the non-partisan, unifying nature of great national occasions.”
- Oaths made by new Canadians, newly appointed judges, and elected officials, etc. are made to the Queen, not to a political person. The Crown, ultimately, represents us, so those oaths are ultimately made not just to Her Majesty, but to all Canadians.
- The Crown represents multiculturalism, something that is part of the Canadian culture. The Monarch is also the Monarch of 15 other countries spread around the wold is the Head of the Commonwealth, a group of 54 countries spread around the world, and from every continental. Now, how is that not Canadian?
On the issue of getting rid of the Monarchy, there are a couple of issues:
- If we go with a strong Prime Minister and weak President system (such as in countries like Germany and India), the system we have is essentially the same. So, why ‘rock the boat’ and get rid of a system that would will have zero change in our life?
- In some countries, such as Germany, the Head of Government (the Chancellor in Germany or Prime Minister in Canada) already runs the country and is elected by politicians, not by the public. Ultimately, this isn’t much different from what happens in Canada already.
- If we have a strong President position, then having a separate Head of Government becomes redundant. And again, it’s a similar system to what we have now where the Prime Minister is the powerful position.
- A President, unlike the Monarch, a Governor General, or Lieutenant Governor, is not neutral. At the end of the day the person will be accountable to the people who put him/her in the position. This was strongly seen in recent years in the United States with Donald Trump as President.
- Depending on how a President is elected, the person may not truly represent the majority of citizens – in the United States, George W. Bush (2000) and Donald Trump (2016) were elected with support from less than a majority of citizens. But multiple elections, and more expense to the taxpayers, would be required to elect a President – even if there was only a one round election, or with multiple rounds (to ensure that the President has support of a majority of citizens.
- Getting rid of the Monarchy will not save money. A President will require a salary and benefits, and there would be additional costs associated with elections. It is possible for the republican system to cost the taxpayers more money.
- You still require a Line of Succession for a President – someone has to do the job.
So, at the end of the day, we have a system that is democratic, works well, and is a link to our heritage. Why change a system that has been proven to work, and not just in Canada but in many other countries!!!
GOD SAVE THE QUEEN OF CANADA!
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