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Sunday, November 16, 2008 

Canada's Future Should NOT Include A 'King Charles'!!


"But those who believe that Britain needs an ‘active’ sovereign for the 21st century claim that it would be a waste of his experience and accumulated wisdom for it to be straitjacketed within the confines of an annual Christmas message or his weekly audience with the prime minister."
Jonathan Dimbleby
Prince Charles's biographer


When the day comes that Queen Elizabeth II is no longer the monarch of England and the British Empire, Canada should rid itself of its archaic attachment to the British Crown!

Thre is NO logical reason to continue with the British monarch as our Head of State. No arguments brought forward from any monarchist can convince rational Canadians that we should continue with this tradition.

I don't want to have King Charles III as the Head of State for Canada. In fact, I don't want a King William or a King Harry or ANY of them!!

There are a number of options that we could pursue. We could elect our Governor General who would continue to function as currently exists. The 'head of state' position would remain largely ceremonial with the Prime Minister retaining the status quo as de facto 'leader' of the nation. Fancy dinners, presenting of awards, entertaining other heads of state could fall to the elected and ceremonial Governor General of Canada.

Canada needs no further connection to the British monarchy. It is insulting that the situation remains as it is.

Edward VIII abdicated before a coronation could happen and that meant he was not fully and constitutionally Sovereign.

His younger brother then succeeded him.

Charles could do the same thing--abdicate and let his son become the next king. After all, ab adulterer can hardly qualify as a defender of the faith.

Well .... even if Charles DID abdicate ... in his stead, I DO NOT WANT to have King William IV as 'king' of Canada. It is time for canucks to do away with this ridiculous attachment!!!!

Leftdog,

I am astounded by your un-Canadianness in you! Canadian soldiers fought in WWI and WWII for the king and democracy. I think all Canadians should support the monarchy as it represents goodness, Canada's great democratic institutions, and stability in our way of like. I expect all good Canadians to support the monarchy and its next king so long as the king is I!

Absolutely! It is time to do away with this medieval nonsense. If we must have a monarch, let it be someone like Emperor Norton of California and not this bunch of inbred Hanoverians.

Leftdog, your argument betrays your ignorance of how our government works.

1) Enourmous constitutional power is invested in the office of GG. The only reason she does not use it is her lack of legitimacy. If she were elected by the people of Canada, she would be as powerful as the American president. I can't believe she would then be content with holding tea parties and letting HER prime minister (whose power as "leader" is purely a result of tradition) run the country.

2) The GG, by defintion, is the monarch's representative in Canada. You can't take the monarch out of the equation without completely changing what the GG is. And since all politcal power in our country comes from the GG, we would have to tear up the constitution entirely in favor of an American-style republic. (Aren't lefties supposed to be afraid of creeping Americanism and all that?)

Newsflash: the current situation of having a cerimonial monarch (who sits back and lets responsible government do its thing) has worked splendidly in Canada. I could flip your question around: is there any rational reason to get rid of the monarchy? I mean, besides that you find it irritating?

I would submit that the monarchy is worth keeping around solely for its historical significance to the people of Canada. Getting rid of an ancient cultural monument when it isn't doing any harm (and is serving as the lynchpin holding our constitution together) is idiotic.

While I have often believed that Canada would be a better democracy as a Republic, I would wonder what parliamentary political life would be like without the Monarchy. Let us be clear: the Queen of England has no power over the Canadian political economy. More embarrassing is maybe the Governor General, a position often politicized and used to the benefit of the image of the government-of-the-day.

And while the throne speech and all the processions around parliament and door knocking and everything is quite silly and useless and does nothing to enhance the lives of taxpayers - it is our tradition and it was, in the beginning, what separated us from the Americans.

Without it, we would lose a fundamental political piece of the puzzle of what makes Canada and Canadians different from our American liberal counterparts, and that is something that I'd rather keep than give up.

"You can't take the monarch out of the equation without completely changing what the GG is."

BEN ... that is what I am saying ... completely change the equation! I don't want 'this' to have anything to do with Canada!!!!

"BEN ... that is what I am saying ... completely change the equation!"

Original post: "The 'head of state' position would remain largely ceremonial with the Prime Minister retaining the status quo as de facto 'leader' of the nation. Fancy dinners, presenting of awards, entertaining other heads of state could fall to the elected and ceremonial Governor General of Canada."

So you want to "completely change" our system of government. Why? So it can do exactly what it does now, in exactly the same way?

As I explained, electing the GG and/or getting rid of the monarch would have tremendous consequences for the way our government operates.

The former would create a president-style official with sweeping consitutional powers and the legitimacy to exercise them. The later would rob our entire system of government of its constitutional powers, thus requiring a complete redraft of our democratic system.

That's a big change to make just because you find the royal family icky.

Ben ... you are arguing for the sake of arguing.

I believe that we keep our current system of electing MP's to a House of Commons ... (we'll leave the Senate out of this argument for the moment)... so we continue to elect a head of government .. the Prime Minister as we already do. HOWEVER, the PM is not the head of state. That role would move from the Monarch of England to an elected Governor General ... who no longer represents the Queen, BUT continues to fulfill all current functions:
-speech from the throne
-dissolution of parliament
-request to form 'government' after an election.

You are making this FAR more complicated than it needs to be simply because you are a bloody Tory! (and a mon-ark-ist to boot)!

POSTSCRIPT:
The French had the right idea of how to deal with the Monarchy!!

"so we continue to elect a head of government .. the Prime Minister as we already do."

Except we don't elect the PM. Never have. The GG is free to appoint anyone (ANYONE at all) to the office of Prime Minister. It is only tradition for her to choose the party leader with the most MPs. Even then, he has no real power except insofar as he gives advice to the GG, and she follows it (ie: responsible government.)

My point is only that you can't change what the GG is/does without reforming the entire constitutional system. There is more to the office than cerimonial duties. Presently, no law can be passed or cabinet appointed or war waged without the GG's consent. She is the rock on which our entire government functions.

"The French had the right idea of how to deal with the Monarchy!!"

So I guess we know which side of the American revolution you would have been on.

Do you *really* want to remove another barrier to the Rt.Hon Stephen Harper and his baby eating minions assuming absolute control over this country?

Sorry Leftdog, I prefer a monarchy that is powerless and far away to a president of a republic close and with undefined powers. It gives me a cold shiver thinking of a President Preston Manning, for example.

Ben said ... "Presently, no law can be passed or cabinet appointed or war waged without the GG's consent." (All ceremnonial .. a trained seal could do what the GG does)!

"She is the rock on which our entire government functions." (Huh ... the 'rock'?? - again, a trained seal could do what she does)!

"All ceremnonial .. a trained seal could do what the GG does!"

Or, alternatively, someone with a politcal agenda could. In which case, they would be the most powerful person in the country as they picked and chose which laws, cabinet ministers and wars to give appproval to.

"Huh ... the 'rock'?? - again, a trained seal could do what she does!"

My point is not that the GG's job is difficult to do, just that it must get done for our government to function as the constitution currently stands.

If you want to completely redraw our constitutional democracy, more power to ya. But you clearly have no understanding for what effect this would have on the way our government functions nor have you made any rational argument for why this radical change would be desirable.

-"My point is not that the GG's job is difficult to do, just that it must get done for our government to function as the constitution currently stands."
(My proposal does not remove or replace the GG - only the way they are selected! Your position is ridiculous)!

-"But you clearly have no understanding for what effect this would have on the way our government"
(Nonsense! You are merely being insulting to me on my own blogsite for political reasons! You have NOT demonstrated ANY 'effects this would have on our government' only your right wing bias!

I'm tired of people referring to the Crown as the "British Monarchy." Since the statute of Westminster (in the 1930s!), the role of Queen of Canada and the entire monarchy are separate and totally different from the role of Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. All of her roles as Queen of numerous sovereign nations are separate and unique.

Canada becoming a Republic is a lot more than just getting rid of Her Majesty. There's a lot more structural questions.

The worst part is that Canada would have to open its constitution to abandon the monarchy. Seriously... do you remember EVERY SINGLE TIME we tried to open the constitution... it's a mess, it's a huge mess, and it's something that should NEVER, EVER, EVER happen, unless it's very important.

Prime Ministers had been trying to update he constitution since the 30s, and it took Trudeau (and Chretien) in the 80s to finally do it. Then came Mulroony and the shithole that were the Meechlake and Charlottetown accords.

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