Can it be? Can my dream gradually (inexorably?) be coming true?
The National Post has declared a poll shows “lagging support” for the monarchy in Canada: http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/11/25/despite-will-and-kate-poll-shows-lagging-canadian-support-for-monarchy/
It’s a misleading headline. They don’t include benchmark data that would indicate support has fallen, and the number of Canadians saying the monarchy is “not at all important” is just 32%. But less than a majority – just 39% - said it was a source of personal or collective pride.
OK, so it’s not a glowing endorsement of Republicanism, but clearly the royals are not top of mind for many Canadians.
Allow me to reveal my treasonous beliefs: the retention of the monarchy is an offense; a lingering throwback to a time when some people were better than other people by virtue of their heredity; when a person could be the head of an entire religion because of the family they were born into; when one person was expected to bow to another simply because of the colour of their blood; when the ability to kill and conquer was the hallmark of political legitimacy; when people were the property of their lord and liege; and when the right to free speech and political representation didn’t exist.
Pretty ugly when you read that laundry list, isn’t it? Yes, the pomp and pageantry takes a distinctly ugly turn when you think about the significance behind the rituals. Either symbols matter or they don’t. Anyone who defends the monarchy by saying it’s just a symbol, a figurehead, just lends weight to the argument we should be rid of it. And anyone who invests the role with substance must confront the litany of complaints I’ve posted above.
This has nothing to do with historical revisionism. I’m not for a moment saying we stop teaching history, or reject Anglo-Saxon culture. But remembering the past – good and bad – does not mean living the past into the future. And the laudable qualities of some Windsors has nothing to do with whether we should be ruled by them.
Anyone who believes in democracy and freedom; who thinks the law should view us as equals; who believes no person is the ruler of another, except to the limited extent a democratically-elected official has the publicly-endorsed mandate to impose laws; who thinks having to bow before another human being, or swear loyalty to that person because of what that person’s great-great-grandparents seized by force of arms, is wrong – all of those who embrace any one of these descriptions should reject utterly the continued presence of the monarchy as the nominal head of our nation.
Oh, and I hope everyone had a nice weekend.