God save Ms. Windsor!

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On the occasion of Her Majesty’s diamond jubilee, this newspaper would like to thank Elizabeth Windsor for her decades of service as Canada’s head of state – sincerely – but her services will no longer be required.

We have no illusions: the monarchy has plenty of supporters in Canada, and plenty of supporters among our readers. There are practical and historical reasons to maintain Britain’s monarch as our country’s titular leader. But there is one overwhelmingly powerful reason to make the change to a republic.

At the risk of being blunt, it should offend every believer in freedom, democracy and enterprise that we have a hereditary leader.

“She’s just a symbol, though. She doesn’t have actual power. It’s the Queen that leads us, not Ms. Windsor.”

Except symbols either matter or they don’t. If the symbol of monarchy doesn’t matter, then monarchists won’t mind if we dethrone the Queen. If symbols do matter, then it’s valid to challenge what they stand for.

The Queen stands for centuries of tradition and a long history of English-speaking peoples – none of which changes if, in 2012, we open a new chapter and move forward without the Queen. History books won’t be rewritten, and the proud moments – and ugly – will still have taken place.

But the monarchy also stands for one person being better than another because of their bloodline. The Windsors are human beings. Fallible human beings. Yet for numerous ceremonies in this country, one human – perhaps you – needs to swear loyalty to another: a woman living in England that you’ve never met and wouldn’t be allowed to meet if you called for an appointment.

Only a Windsor will get to be the head of state. Not a Smith or Kirkpatrick. Not a Belliveau or Doucette. Not a Sappier or Chen, Sharma or Azzi.

The monarchy isn’t reflective of the diverse, modern, egalitarian society we’ve created in Canada. We should elect our head of state because it’s the right way to lead a 21st century nation.

Geographic location: Canada, Britain, England

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Recent comments

  • sueb
    June 07, 2012 - 10:05

    I get your point, but really, how many ordinary people get elected as leaders of democratic nations? Perhaps in the past but certainly not in modern politics. I could be wrong, but in the last 40 years I don't recall any leader of the free world being less than a lawyer by profession and certainly none have had an average income prior to stepping into the political arena. They are able to run because they are rich and successful; not necessarily because they are intelligent, but definitely because they are charismatic and manipulative. Also, most significantly, because they have connections - usually family connections. The odds of a father and son both being elected as leaders of the same country at different times should be astronomically slim in a society where equal opportunity breeds a free vote, yet it has happened in the US and it's very likely to happen here in Canada at some point when Justin Trudeau ends up on the throne. Trudeau will get there because he's heir to his late father's political connections and he's been born into a life of privilege. He's charming and politically savvy, but no more brilliant than you or I. The chance of this particular individual being elected Prime Minister should be almost non-existent but in fact it's pretty much a given that he will one day lead Canada as his father did before him. There are also plenty of other dynastic examples in Canadian politics, (i.e. Elmer and Peter McKay). A monarchy may not be the answer, but we're kidding ourselves if we think our form of democracy is much different.

  • Fuzzy Bear
    June 06, 2012 - 09:55

    I like using this comment so it is truly fitting here...."What he/she said" And lets not forget (Mr/Ms article writer) the cost to Canadian taxpayers every time one of the royal bloodlines show up here in Canada. It seems like one or more of them is visiting every year costing us millions and millions of dollars in security and other pomp and circumstance ceremonies. Enough is enough...it's time for Canadians to get out of the nest and fly on our own! Think of it like a family... every child eventually has to move out of their parents house and I think we should look for our own place and legacy.

  • john cassidy
    June 05, 2012 - 12:59

    Constitutional monarchy is the most stable form of government ever devised, and has a political benefit that most people do not recognize. It separates the political head of state from the political climate of the day. That separates real physical power (police and armed forces) from the head of state. Banana republics only get that way because the republican form of government allows megalomaniacs like Syria's Bashar Assad to directly control the armed forces and turn them loose on their fellow citizens. This is impossible in our system of constiitutional monarchy. Does Canada want to have Syria and South America as role models for its form of government ? I think not. And don't forget how long it took to unseat Richard Nixon compared to the almost painless removal of Margaret Thatcher, Be warned, Canada, or you might get what you wish for !!!