like to tell themselves that it is "only a
matter of time" before the Canadian
Monarchy is abolished. The reasoning is
that young people just don't support the
institution. This is closely related to a
second argument about immigrants not
supporting the monarchy (a myth I have
partially dealt with before). But I'll
leave debunking that one for another day.
For now lets have a look at whether claims that the young
don't support the monarchy have any basis in fact.
happen to be the admin of a monarchist Facebook page which
has a little over 1,200 likes. The combined result of all
teenagers and young adults compared to middle aged and
elderly produces a 40% to 60% split. Not exactly a 'horde' of
Over on /r/CanadaPolitics their 60k membership survey
had many interesting results but the one that matters in this
instance is that 93% of the user base is under the age of 44.
The user base was also about 60% leftism of some sort. This
detail is important as the monarchy is one of the few subjects
that is supposedly conservative that doesn't experience large
amounts of down voting. Clearly there are monarchists who
are young. But enough of the touchy-feely assumptions. Are
there any hard numbers?
Back in 2011 the Monarchist League of Canada (which is led
by a chairman in his 30s) noted that 15% of its membership
were under the age of 25. A survey carried out by Forum
Research in 2017 found that those 18 to 34 were slightly more
supportive of the monarchy than opposed. The age group 35
to 54 were between 5% and 7% more opposed. Finally, the
age group 55 to 65+ were more supportive by more than 11%.
So while support for the monarchy is present across all age
groups there is a slump in support for many around the age of
40. If I had to theorize why that is I'd have to say it has a lot
to do with the death of Princess Diana who died 21 years ago.
Those who are in the 35 to 54 age range are the ones old
enough to remember clearly what occurred and have it colour
their outlook. But I'm getting off-topic.
So why does any of this matter? Well, in the broadest sense
republicans misunderestimate their opponents. That is to say,
they underestimate monarchists because they don't
understand them. Believing that monarchists are a bunch of
old fogeys who will eventually die off is both comforting to
them and tends to favour strategies that involve waiting. But
this is only effective if your own supporters don't make up a
large portion of the elderly. Since 2011 polls have continued
to consistently show an even split in support. This is an
improvement from the 1990s and early 2000s when support
for monarchy was in the mid-40% range and more favourable to a republic. It very well could be that the late 1990s were the
republicans' best chance and they missed it.
That is not to say that the increased visibility of the younger
members of the Royal Family haven't helped. Being able to
identify with a member of the Royal Family of a similar age
is an important factor in supporting it (although every age
group does agree that the Queen is awesome).
A Kisaragi Colour