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Wednesday, February 20, 2008 

Canada Needs To Ditch Queen Elizabeth

I was born a Canadian and as a result, I have never had to swear an oath to 'Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth'.

Thank gawd (!) because I don't think I could swear that oath without crossing my fingers. So why do we require new Canadian citizens to swear an oath to "be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors ..."

But now, thankfully, the Queen's place in Canada is going to trial. This comes about as a result of the federal government's failure to stop a Charter of Rights and Freedoms challenge of the reference to the monarchy in Canada's citizenship oath. Three judges of the Ontario Court of Appeal have denied the federal attorney general's request to dismiss the case.

I know that monarchist types have a number of arguments as to why we 'need' the British figurehead in our structures of state. Their arguments are complete hogwash.

Canada does not need a Queen (nor a King when the time comes). It is a ridiculous remnant of our history and has NO place in the 21st Century.

I am not advocating that we use the French model for eliminating the monarchy, but elimination should be our goal as a nation as soon as possible.

Regina Leader Post

Sweet! I'll be eligible for citizenship in a few years, and the fact that I was going to have to swear allegiance to the queen and her heirs and successors really, really stuck in my craw.

Im curious on what grounds someone could challenge an oath to the Queen under the Charter. I too would like to see the monarchy done away with.

As a new Canadian, I did have to swear that oath, and I was fine with it. I still am, and I really don't see why it would be better not to have the monarchy than it is to have it. The fact that it's the 21st century doesn't really mean much; it's just a number. Lots of modern countries still have constitutional monarchies, and it can be a very fine form of government.

My feeling about this one is that they should get rid of any and all references to the Queen in any and all Oaths.

As for the monarchy itself, there should be a rule change that the incumbent monarch can stay as she is, but upon her passing Canada should become a republic -- with the Governor General becoming the President, and future heads of state chosen by some method that makes sure it's not just a patronage appointment.

If you are not advocating the French (or American) republican model, where Head of State and Head of Government are the same (with all the inherent problems that criticism of the government becomes disloyalty to the state), then what are you proposing? What would replace the Queen as Head of State?

I am sure we can creatively solve that minor glitch - but that should NOT deter us from ditching the monarch asap!!!

Perhaps we could determine our Head of State each year by a random lottery.

Maybe a special role-up-the-rim cup from Timmy's could be the method.

Mark I like that because a 'real Canadian' could be our Head of State for a one year term!

I'm a monarchist myself, but not a RABID one. Though I DEFINITELY don't think we should do anything during Her Majesty's reign (she takes an awful lot of flack for all the good she does, and I'd hate for us to dump the monarchy on her watch) but I wouldn't scream over some well considered change or another in the future. What I DON'T want is an ELECTED Head of State. Elected sounds great (all pretty and democratic) but elected also (often) means partisan and divisive (and elections are hardly the environment to bring out high mindedness and togetherness). Of course, an appointment process (as with Governors General) can be pretty divisive (and, though much less so, partisan, though I can't think of a truly PARTISAN GG in our history... not REALLY). Partly though, that has to do with who is doing the appointing (i.e. partisan politicians, no matter how well-meaning, non-partisan and sincere in their selection process).

I always kinda liked the idea of members of the Order of Canada (which is to say, not "Members" proper but all those in the Order... Members, Officers and Companions) choosing a Head of State for a fixed term (maybe 5 years... heck, maybe even 10 for the sake of continuity). And, hey, there's no reason our Head of State couldn't continue to be styled "King" or "Queen" of Canada, as a nod to tradition (there are elected Monarchs in the world after all, including those who serve fixed terms, and most people's objections to Monarchy aren't to it's style, or even operation, but to its hereditary nature).

Whatever the case, what I DON'T want is another political position. I think it's great to have a Head of State who is ABOVE politics, especially as I see the HofS's role as more symbolic and ceremonial... a unifying figure of unity and community... not just another political role. Which is not to say the GG or the Queen herself are perfect in this regard (especially for those who don't like the Monarchy!)but I think it's a lot better than an elected President say, whom half of the country (or more!) could end up despising (not that I'm thinking of any President in particular...). While people may not love our GG, or Her Majesty, I don't think many people are livid about them (and any who are livid, I'd guess, are more livid about the POSITION, not the manner in which these ladies have fulfilled its duties).

Anyway, some thoughts from a Monarchist who'd just as soon keep the monarchy but isn't inflexible. I just think we need to keep in mind the advantages that do exist in our system if we're going to change it. Let's not throw out the baby with the bath water!

Interesting case.

I'm a bit confused as to how a provincial judge could decide that a case objecting to a requirement for citizenship doesn't have to do with citizenship (equally confusing, that a Charter challenge isn't considered the domain of the federal courts).

The case is basically "I object to having been required to take the Oath of Citizenship in order to become a citizen" yet there's "nothing citizenshippy" about it?


A citizen is basically suing the federal government over a federal citizenship requirement based on their rights in the (federal) Charter of Rights and Freedoms but somehow it's determined that the matter is neither federal, nor "about citizenship"???

Seems to me if you looked up "forum shopping" in the dictionary you'd find this case.

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