A Kisaragi Colour
This is the second of two French language videos that was recently produced by the Monarchist League of Canada.
A Kisaragi Colour
Monarchist League of Canada Interview with Historian Jacques Monet on the Monarchy's Significance to Quebec
This is the first of two French language videos produced by
the Monarchist League of Canada. Jacques Monet is a well-
known historian, archivist and educator. He has also
received a Gold Badge from the League for his services in
educating the public about the Canadian Crown.
The Monarchist League's YouTube page has been steadily
growing over the last year which is good to see.
A Kisaragi Colour
Let's not kid ourselves the past 5-10 years have been very good for the monarchy. The current government has been at, least nominally, monarchist in leanings. It has brought the monarchy to the forefront through frequent Royal Homecomings, restoration of Royal designations to the different branches of the Canadian Armed Forces, and the creation of a Citizenship Guide that now has a greater emphasis on the monarchy and Canada's history. Further, the succession laws have been updated without the entire process becoming a reason to call for a republic. On the judicial front another baseless attack on the Queen's presence in the Citizenship Oath has been defeated just recently.
This is quite different from 2002 when Deputy Prime Minister John Manley commented that the monarchy should be abolished only days before he served as Her Majesty's minister in attendance.
It can sometimes be hard to figure out where to go as a movement when things all seem to be going your way. While educating Canadians about their system of government can and will continue it is an open question what 'big' projects should be pursued. This is my attempt to create a list of issues that have either been left unresolved or have been off the radar which monarchists may wish to advocate in favour of.
1. Again send the Queen a shortlist of Governor
General candidate names rather than a single name.
For many years it was customary for the Prime Minister to
send the monarch a shortlist of names for the position of
Governor General. The current process has the Prime
Minister send a single name to Her Majesty for her to
approve. The current system is flawed for a couple reasons; it
renders Her Majesty's prerogative in selecting her
representative a mere 'rubber stamp' as well as creating the
impression of the Governor General as being a mere partisan
appointment. Prime Minister Harper partially rectified this
issue by creating the Advisory Committee on Vice-Regal
Appointments which is non-partisan and in fact does create a shortlist of names for the Prime Minister. However, the
Prime Minister makes the final selection and still sends the
Queen only one name. In the future it would be nice to see the
Prime Minister take a 'hands off' approach. But since the
current Advisory Committee is still greatly preferable to the
Prime Minister selecting a candidate on his own this idea is of
2. Have civics as a mandatory course in Canadian
high schools. As long as ignorance pervades Canadians'
understanding of their government and constitution the
monarchy will be easy prey for republicans who are able to
use pleasant-sounding, but ultimately empty, arguments in
favour of their ideology. Education is uneven across Canada
due to it being a provincial responsibility so it is impossible to
generalize. However, if the situation across the country
resembles that of Ontario, we are in trouble. Requiring
civics education would also go a long way towards getting
young people engaged with the political system and voting.
3. Again send a brief to the sitting government with
department-by-department recommendations for
full expression of the nation’s monarchical identity.
Back in 1985 the Monarchist League of Canada submitted just
such a brief to the Mulroney government titled Canada’s
Monarchy, Authentic Evolution. With a federal election
approaching this is an ideal time for this effort. The
Conservative Party has been in power for ten years now and
that tends to be when parties in government start running out
of ideas due to the pressures of running a government and
being unable to stop and reflect. A brief with well thought out
recommendations may well be appreciated. If one of the
opposition parties form the government it will be equally
importance to remind them about the importance of the
monarchy to Canada.
4. Find the hidden monarchists in all the parties in
Canada. The monarchy will be in danger as long as its
support is perceived to be concentrated in one party. It moves
the monarchy towards being a partisan wedge issue. Once
that happens the monarchy's role in uniting Canadians begins to break down. Finding monarchists in all of the parties and
encouraging them to be vocal in supporting Canadian
institutions would go a long way towards securing the
monarchy. This may well involve monarchists with an
interest in seeking political office coming together to support
5. Have some sort of statement regarding the Queen
be recited before the start of legislature/parliament
business. A recent ruling by the Supreme Court has ended
prayers at the beginning of municipal council meetings as well
as those in legislatures that still have them. This has left
different levels of government scrambling to figure out what
to replace the traditional prayer with. Currently, the preferred
alternative is a period of silence. This unimaginative option
lacks a key feature the prayers possessed; it called the
elected officials to behave in an honorable manner. Perhaps
the prayers could be replaced with a short statement by the
Queen detailing the quality of behavior she expects her
legislators to aspire to? Not only does this conform to the
court ruling it would give the monarchy a further symbolic
presence in the legislative branch.
Let's not rest on our laurels and always be considering the
future of the Maple Crown.
A Kisaragi Colour
Canadians don't know a lot about how their system of government works. This is, I feel, an extension of the powerful apathy that has taken hold in the population in regards to politics in general. It is not surprising then that Canadians also tend not to understand the role the monarchy plays in Canada. That is why when there is a chance for a teaching moment it should not be wasted. Back in February Premier Kathleen Wayne had such a moment when she created a video answering common questions students often asked her about government. While the rest of the video is accurate, the section dealing with the monarchy has glaring errors. Video starts at 3:03.
The question itself is flawed but a common error for a child to make. The Premier had a chance to educate and she missed it completely. Her Majesty serves as Queen of Canada and while it might have been too lengthy to discuss how this came about, it was not acceptable to leave the title 'Queen of England' unchallenged. This is because that title has not existed in a formal capacity since the 1700s! And even it did still exist it is proper to use the title that is applicable to Canada. This would have been an excellent opportunity to explain that the Queen is the sovereign of many countries, which explains the need for vice-regal positions such as the governor general. As I said, an opportunity was missed.
The next issue I had was the use of the word 'technically'. It is basically a filler word with negative connotations. A better way to put it is thus:
"The Queen is in charge but a long time ago it was found that the monarch needed help in governing. In time these helpers came to be chosen through democratic elections. The Queen has an important role in making sure there is always a premier or prime minister to govern for her. Her Majesty also carries out ceremonial duties that help bring the people of Canada together."
Finally, the Premier talks about the appointment of the lieutenant-governors and governor generals. Here she makes a final mistake in saying that both positions are appointed by the prime minister when in fact they are not. The Queen appoints the governor general and the governor general appoints the lieutenant-governors. Both are advised by the prime minister in who would be good at the job.
Perhaps in the future the Premier could ask someone knowledgeable before releasing a video that is going to be presented to school children.
A Kisaragi Colour
This website is intended to be a resource for those arguing in favour of Canada's monarchy, researching Canada's royal past, or wondering what the various vice-regal representatives of the Canadian Crown are up to currently. As well, articles about other monarchies may appear from time to time.