I am totally against the idea of cutting ties with the monarchy. It is a historic institution that belongs to Canadians, whether English or French, and is an important part of our cultural heritage. The crown is a link between Quebec not only with the rest of Canada, but also with other peoples beyond our borders. Today it represents the promise of an egalitarian Commonwealth where the peoples of the British Empire can continue to progress without breaking the ties that unite them.
I do not recognize my country in the fantasies of self-sufficiency or characterizations of “foreign monarchy” that fuel this discussion. We walk side by side with the other nations of the earth and have historical ties with some of them – let’s preserve them. We have traditions that go beyond pure nationalism. Let’s preserve them, even if they smell a little dusty, as we preserve the old houses on our territory.
Nor does the monarchy hinder Canadian and Quebec democracy, which is doing perfectly well. She simply plays a ceremonial role that would in any case be played by a ceremonial president if the post of governor general were to be abolished, as is the case in Germany or Italy. The Crown can at least claim to represent all Canadians, whereas an elected president would likely be a member of a political party. Don’t we have enough politicians?
The financial argument doesn’t hold water either – if there are savings to be made on this side, let’s just cut the Governor General’s budget.
I also disagree with the argument made by Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin in his article on the monarchy. Relations between Quebec and the British Crown have not always been rosy, but would there have been a “better” history within France, which was broken up soon after the conquest of Canada by several revolutions and against – bloody revolutions? It is far too vast a subject for this kind of letter, but I do not believe it is at all certain.
In my opinion, the Jamaican government is on the wrong track with its approach. Let’s not follow him.
The monarchy no longer has any reason to exist. This is crude archaism at best. As head of state, the sovereign should have a say in the governance of the country, but this is no longer the case. Why maintain a high-priced institution that no longer serves? The monarchists have nothing left but symbol and tradition to offer as an argument. Canadian democratic institutions no longer need the use of royalty to function. The Speech from the Throne is a joke of constitutional appearance, without any effect on the orientation of this or that government. I love England. The citizens I met there are of a prestigious kindness. But, it is high time to get rid of this medieval symbol that is their royalty.
In Canada alone, according to the La Presse report on Friday, the monarchy costs us 47 million a year. Instead of spending this money on something completely useless, why not invest it in education and health, two areas that need it?
I opt for the stability of what I could call good practice. Costs are secondary. The current parliamentary system works very well. I like to live in peace and security. I am an entrepreneur, I build, I improve and I achieve success, at least I try. My children have careers that are reflected internationally. They don’t have to worry about the government structure. Free expression, the possibility of getting involved in politics to ensure stability and development, is the freedom that the current system allows us. It is better to be a member of the Commonwealth, to protect against interference. If the coronation ceremonies bother me, there’s always Netflix.
Beware of those who would like to cut ties to save money. It would then be necessary to have another form of head of state that would come with the cost of an election. This dignitary (president, chancellor, etc.) would have his entourage, travel and protocol expenses. And since the character would be elected, certain things would have to be changed to bring them up to date every four years.
We could cut the bridges gradually, without upsetting the whole house (the Constitution). First we will have to think and discuss the replacement system and for the moment we could already do as in Australia: change the apparent symbols and the imagery of the currency by characters that are meaningful to us, or eliminate the oath of allegiance to the federal government… To this day, only the Prime Minister is keen on all this insignificant theater.
The “monarchical institution” argument would be valid if the monarchy really, urgently and concretely worked for the well-being of its subjects throughout the world. To be relevant, the monarchy must embody new values. One could keep the monarchy as a charitable institution if it uses its position and disposes of its wealth for the well-being of the population and thus helps to correct the injustices it has created, much like a foundation. But it would be necessary to definitively disinherit and lay off this family of sovereigns of which Charles is the sad representation.
The abuses committed by this regime in Canada against Aboriginals, Acadians and Francophones (assimilation policy, scorched land policy) as well as in other colonies (in India in particular) must be denounced and certainly not object of a servile allegiance. Also, in our political system, the costly office of Governor General is only useful during dissolutions of Parliament. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court could add this task to his duties, without an office, without a residence with gardens. The time of hereditary and divine right monarchies is over.
The steps to take to abolish the monarchy in Canada are virtually “mission impossible”. It will require the consent of the House of Commons, the Senate, the provinces as well as constitutional reform, etc. Some claim that it would be easier to abolish the monarchy in the UK than in Canada!