Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Canadian Cavaliers vs. Roundheads

I recently came across a podcast with a debate between supporters and opponents of the Canadian monarchy. With a proposition of "Is the Monarchy a Dangerous Relic of the Past?" one might be mistaken in believing that this debate was quite a raucous affair between the most diehard zealots on both sides. Yet in fact, despite the obvious ploy to gain attention with this proposition, the debate itself was an interesting, friendly and at times very humorous exchange. As an outsider to this debate I myself have a view that is probably typical for many Americans: I like the idea, pomp and "majesty" of monarchy but only when looking at those found in other countries because I certainly don't want one here. While our system isn't perfect and we unfortunately tend to bestow undo adulation upon musicians, sports stars and the Kennedys which others might place instead upon a monarch, we have still created our own national character without a monarchy and it definitely seems to work for us. Can the same be said for Canada? I don't know. I think that the monarchy is so much a part of British heritage and core identity that it would be extremely difficult to jettison it without losing a bit of themselves as Britons as well as jeopardizing the Union, but that's the U.K. and not Canada. Certainly it can be argued that Commonwealth realms like Canada and Australia have a bond sharing a common heritage and fraternal relationship that could be lost if they went completely republican. But to what degree? Other former British colonies besides the USA, like India, Ireland & South Africa no longer retain the monarchy as Head of State and are doing just fine. It's a tough decision for them to make and the debate in general, as well as this one in particular, is interesting to follow.


Naamloos said...

I (a Canadian) have written about this issue a few times at my blog. I am a republican because the monarchy is not cheap to support, and, in my opinion, it is quite redundant. And, as you said, several republics have successfully emerged from the commonwealth.

JohnAGJ said...

Interesting post you have on the subject. You're probably right about other former British colonies like Canada being able to become republics like the USA did, but that's something I really couldn't say for sure. Some have done it successfully obviously, others may have the monarchy too deeply ingrained in their own national identity. I guess that's something for each of them to work out for themselves.