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A Call to (re)Consider the Monarchy July 7, 2010

Posted by J. Hawkes in Branch Business, News.
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In the wake of Her Majesty’s recent visit to Canada, the Saskatoon StarPhoenix advocates a thoughtful consideration about the future role of the monarchy in Canada.

It’s a welcome debate.

As we approach the Queen’s diamond jubilee (sorry, no similar Canadian link – yet), it makes sense to take stock of how well our current constitutional monarchy has served Canada as a state and Canadians as individuals. Those of us already convinced by the merits of our system will do well to discuss the issue reasonably with our fellow Canadians. Indeed, such a public debate can be a unifying force. It would be a powerful symbol if Canada were able to recommit to our Head-of-State, perhaps through some official gesture in the House of Commons.

Our Head-of-State serves a mainly symbolic role, one that is abstractly applied through the institutionalized concept of the Crown but also personally entwined with the Queen herself and the history of her lineage. With such expansive implications it is hardly surprising that many people object (at least superficially) to one or more manifestations of the symbol of our Head-of-State. Nevertheless, our diverse and historically unique country is capable of broad political agreement in pursuit of peace, order and good government. It is wise to pursue a similar consensus with our Head-of-State, while admitting wholehearted unanimous agreement may be impossible.

Of course, the League’s view is that the monarchy has served us well, playing a crucial role in the development of parliamentary democracy and the founding of Canada. Over time, the monarchy has been tremendously flexible. And there seems little reason to suspect that it cannot continue to play its proper role as we face the unknown pressures and challenges of the 21st century.

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