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The British Royalty: How come this never seems to come up in Federal e

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On 2017-05-24 at 8:24 AM, SpankyMcFarland said:

Monarchs come and go - but not quickly, usually, and we have no choice in the matter. We were lucky with Liz. Charles would be a bit ridiculous for Canada. He has no real connections to the place. Let's grow up and choose our own figurehead. The current situation, where the GG is an appointed flunkey of the PM, is intolerable in a democracy. 

 

 

OK,  who would you suggest to be our figurehead (King, Queen, whatever you want to call them)?    You think the RCMP and Armed Forces would swear allegiance to that person and would they protect and obey that figurehead in the event someone tried to seize control of the government and set up a dictatorship?  The GG is not a flunkey of the PM actually.  In our system, the GG actually represents the Queen in Canada.  The PM cannot remove the GG or tell the GG what to do when it comes to Constitutional powers of the GG.

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On 2017-05-19 at 10:53 AM, Queenmandy85 said:

The GG represents the Queen and therefore must not be tainted by politics. If we elect the GG, we simply put one more politician into power. The ultimate authority resides with the Queen. The power of the House of Commons is the control over taxes. The Queen of Canada can declare war on Paraguay but only Parliament can vote money to pay for it. It is the perfect check and balance.

(Edit: no offence to Paraguayans)

You are partly correct.  The Queen cannot send Canada to war.  Parliament would have to approve the country going to war.   I know there is one exception in circumstance like the FLQ separtist threat in Quebec;  the PM has the power to invoke the War Measure Act which he did in about 1970 for the FLQ crisis.  Not sure in what other circumstances the War Measures Act can be used.  Ultimately Parliament has to approve, which includes the Senate and GG.

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8 hours ago, blackbird said:

OK,  who would you suggest to be our figurehead (King, Queen, whatever you want to call them)?    You think the RCMP and Armed Forces would swear allegiance to that person and would they protect and obey that figurehead in the event someone tried to seize control of the government and set up a dictatorship?  The GG is not a flunkey of the PM actually.  In our system, the GG actually represents the Queen in Canada.  The PM cannot remove the GG or tell the GG what to do when it comes to Constitutional powers of the GG.

Of course they would if they were loyal to their country. My preference would be to have an elected Canadian President as head of state - somebody who lives here. 

As a practical matter, the GG is appointed by the PM. Therefore, in any disputes between political parties, their judgement looks suspect. Regarding the monarchy, if we can't rid ourselves of this ridiculous and humiliating foreign anachronism, let us at least choose our own GG so we can have more faith in their decisions. 

 

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8 hours ago, blackbird said:

You are partly correct.  The Queen cannot send Canada to war.  

That one would have to say that is evidence enough of the lunacy of the current arrangements. 

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7 hours ago, SpankyMcFarland said:

Of course they would if they were loyal to their country. My preference would be to have an elected Canadian President as head of state - somebody who lives here. 

As a practical matter, the GG is appointed by the PM. Therefore, in any disputes between political parties, their judgement looks suspect. Regarding the monarchy, if we can't rid ourselves of this ridiculous and humiliating foreign anachronism, let us at least choose our own GG so we can have more faith in their decisions. 

 

I kind of agree with you; if monarchy didn't exist nobody today would want to invent such a system.

On the other hand, in all the European countries where the monarchy still exists it is a very popular system, far more popular than any suggestions to move into a republic. If they are fine with it then who are we to judge?

I personally think that as it is a medieval institution from time when people seriously believed that monarchs were chosen by God to reign over them and that gave them their authority. Nowadays when nobody believes such claptrap the whole institution is a joke and the insistence with which people want to cling onto it is somewhat amusing.

 

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5 hours ago, -TSS- said:

I kind of agree with you; if monarchy didn't exist nobody today would want to invent such a system.

On the other hand, in all the European countries where the monarchy still exists it is a very popular system, far more popular than any suggestions to move into a republic. If they are fine with it then who are we to judge?

I personally think that as it is a medieval institution from time when people seriously believed that monarchs were chosen by God to reign over them and that gave them their authority. Nowadays when nobody believes such claptrap the whole institution is a joke and the insistence with which people want to cling onto it is somewhat amusing.

 

What people fail to understand is how the Constitutional monarchy works.  That is the reason many people say we can get rid of it.  If they understood it's value, they might have a different view.

As I said before on this string,  the Queen is responsible for ensuring our Parliamentary democracy continues to exist without some dictator taking over.  The fact that the RCMP and Armed Forces swear allegiance to the Queen as our head of state means nobody, such as a renegade PM, could suddenly decide one day to dismiss the GG, dissolve Parliament, and set himself up as a dictator.  The Armed Forces and RCMP, acting in loyalty to the Queen, would be required to stop such an insurrection.  Also, it might come as a surprise, but the GG actually does, as the Queen's representative in Canada, have constitutional power to dissolve Parliament when there is a non-confidence motion passed.  The renegade PM cannot ignore the GG or overrule him because it all comes back to the Queen as head of state.  When a large number of people support the monarchy and institutions swear allegiance, it ensure stability of our system of government.

Coup d'etat and totalitarian dictatorships with human rights violations occur from time to time in some African and South American countries.  This is less likely to happen where there is a system such as what we have. 

Edited by blackbird

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The way I see it the reason you have kept the present system is because there would be too much hassle to change it especially when there are many people in Canada who would oppose any change.

Another reason is that the present arrangement of constitutional monarchy and Canada as a Commonwealth-member sets it apart from its giant neighbour and Canada is yearning for anything to make it a distinctly different country.

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I support Blackb's comments on the current monarchy system. I also defer to the comments of TSS and Spanky.

Having now spent a lot of time studying the intricate layers of the symbolism involved in monarchy, probably beause I am older and my closed mind to convention changed, I see so many valuable things is preserves. Its kind of weird to think out of a family of psychos, tyrants, sex maniacs, syphilitics, cold blooded killers and inbred lunatics, came a system to encourage and maintain civility and democratic values but it did. It bares witness to democracy and how democracy has resisted challenges from both within and from outside.

Monarchy is a series of symbols of continuing society down a path of civilized behaviour. Its supposed to be  a beacon always there no matter how to be able to find no matter how bad the storm is.

My bias for it is I believe its the pith and substance of the values that defeated Hitler and can and will be used in the future to help us resist challenges to democracies from other ogres.

 

Edited by Rue

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15 minutes ago, Rue said:

I am  coming out of the closet hear and now! I am a monarchist. I support the current monarchy system. I also defer to the comments of TSS and Spankme I mean Spanky.

My only trepidation is Camilla Parker Bowels.

Having now spent a lot of time studying the intricate layers of the symbolism involved in monarchy, probably beause I am older and my closed mind to convention changed, I see so many valuable things is preserves. Its kind of weird to think out of a family of psychos, syphilitics, cold blooded killers and inbred lunatics, came a system to encourage and maintain civility and democratic values but it did. It bares witness to democracy.Monarchy is a series of symbols of continuing society down a path of civilized behaviour. Its supposed to be like a beacon always there no matter how bad the storm to be able to find. I like the Queen for her contributions and what she stands for. Strange as it sounds that monaechy system meant a lot to soldiers for Canada in WW2 including my father. It was the values they held to in the face of Hitler to defeat him. I just think its too valuable a tool to help us protect democracy to get rid of  We may need it soon in the face of more attacks. Nothing wrong with strong symbols to  remind us where we came from, who we are, and so where we can go.

 

I like the Queen too, and will be quite upset when she goes, but I don't think the Monarchy can survive as it is in this age.  The idea that the monarchy is different from us plebs has been unravelling for decades, and with their every move under a microscope, combined of course with their seeming need to show that they are just like us anyway, I see it fading after Charles becomes King.  They'll be up there with the winners of Strictly Come Dancing as far as celebrity goes.

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If I were British, Danish, Dutch etc I just might support constitutional monarchy. There are very good arguments in its favour. For example the classic if it ain't broken don't fix it or the more important argument that monarchy stops politicians from becoming too powerful.

Or I might not support such a system as it is hopelessly antiquated but I would still understand the views of those people who do support it if I were from a European country with a system of monarchy.

The thing which I don't understand is that how could people in countries such as Canada, Australia or New Zealand accept a foreigner as their head of state. After all, you do regard the UK as a foreign country, don't you? Don't you?

If we in Finland had the king of Sweden as our head of state and our army and the policemen had to swear an oath of allegiance to him I don't think that would go down too well.

The funniest argument in this thread, but probably not at all uncommon in Canada, was the one about the foreign queen being the head of state stopping any idea of a military coup. If Canada were a country where milirary-coups happen every once in a while I don't think swearing an oath of allegiance to a foreigner would stop that from happening.

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Speaking to the civilized Finn, TSS, yes your history is far different from Canada's and I could understand why it might not fit.

In our country, we could easily go the way of the republic and switch from one figurehead to another yes. That is my point. In a democracy

you end up with a non political symbolix figurehead. Its part of the fiction or script required in a democracy.

So my attitude is once we have one why is a President any different than a Queen?

Especially if the President dresses up at night.

Sorry I had to throw the last sentence in.

Seriously what's the ultimate difference?

Made in Canada? If we really are concerned about the head of state being a foreigner, then what does that mean?

Should it make a difference? To me it does not. To some it does. So the debate goes.

If someone wants to come up with a made in Canada fiction or script for the head of state they will.

It'll just waste a whole bunch of money if you ask me and seriously you just end up with a President instead of Governor General

and some new title for the LT. Gov's each province but what changes?

The colour of the uniforms? The Title?

I do not see why the Queen of the UK can not be the Queen of Canada. I like that link. Its a purely historic one.

I know it pisses off some Quebecers and some Canadians.

They Quebec anti  monarchists need to get over Gen. Wolfe already. I mean come on guys, he died right after that war.

As for you people who don't swear allegiance to the Queen, unless you stop swooning over Justin who you kidding.

 

 

 

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That's true, Rue.  Kind of like Catholics with the Pope, he's foreign too, and we don't give a damn.  Besides, at least Canadian taxes don't go to the Crown (the Brits learned that one the hard way, cough-American-cough).

Yeah, I mean, it's better they swoon over a Queen, who's pretty harmless, than a prime minister or an elected president.

Not only that, if I understand what I have read about your Constitution then it makes sense to retain a monarchy.  The downside is that, of course, that the GG will continue to be picked by the PM, which as I said, is a no-no in parliamentary democracy (if I understand the principle of it correctly).  So a better solution would be to have the privy council as a whole recommend the appointment to the Queen rather than the PM alone.  They could go through a crap-ton of resumes and narrow it down to one candidate for recommendation, or maybe several from which the Queen can choose.  (And if you're afraid of the Queen choosing the wrong person, the Council can simply recommend one obvious candidate and several shitty ones.  Kind of like a magician's conjuring trick--pick any card, you always pick the one the magician wanted you to pick.) Maybe, there could be a stipulation that the government members of the council would have to abstain so they cannot force their choice on the rest of them.  I read your cabinet is sort of a sub-committee of the Privy Council so if they were there, you know?

I know I voiced my opinion that an elected president would have greater independence from the government than a GG would, but this suggestion of mine might make sense.  You could have the best of both worlds with a council appointment rather than an elected president.

Have we mentioned the 1975 constitutional crisis in Australia? Maybe we did.

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If I'm not mistaken, please correct me if I'm wrong, this is not a serious issue in Canada. In Australia it is most definitely a serious issue and they even had a referendum on it and though the republic lost the referendum the issue has not died away.

While in New Zealand there has never been any real republican-movement. Don't know really about some other Commonwealth-members as Jamaica or some of those other small Caribbean countries.

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It's always an issue with some in Canada but I don't think it is one that rates very highly with a majority of Canadians. I think it is more an emotional issue than a practical one, because it is difficult to make a case for it harming the country or to come up with something that will actually work better.

Edited by Wilber

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On 2017-06-06 at 1:51 PM, -TSS- said:

If I'm not mistaken, please correct me if I'm wrong, this is not a serious issue in Canada. In Australia it is most definitely a serious issue and they even had a referendum on it and though the republic lost the referendum the issue has not died away.

While in New Zealand there has never been any real republican-movement. Don't know really about some other Commonwealth-members as Jamaica or some of those other small Caribbean countries.

Australia is a continent with a clear idea of itself. It is also more British than Canada e.g. sport. In contrast, Canada is a New Zealand-like appendage (without a Tasman Sea) which is in constant fear of being absorbed at least culturally by its more populous neighbour. The monarchy serves as a small symbol of our difference from the US. Most people don't think about it much at all between royal visits. 

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On 5/14/2011 at 9:17 AM, Smallc said:

Parliamentary democracy pretty much requires both. Germany, Israel, Italy, etc, etc. A parliamentary republic is very different from a presidential republic. The cabinet in a parliamentary system is accountable to the lower house of parliament. The job of a president (or a monarch) is to ensure that there is always a government that can command the confidence of that house. There has to be someone who can make independent, non partisan decisions in a time of crisis.

When I look at our government , there are several labels ..

Constitutional monarchy, Representative democracy, Parliamentary system, Federal monarchy

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On 6/4/2017 at 8:31 PM, JamesHackerMP said:

That's true, Rue.  Kind of like Catholics with the Pope, he's foreign too, and we don't give a damn.  Besides, at least Canadian taxes don't go to the Crown (the Brits learned that one the hard way, cough-American-cough).

Yeah, I mean, it's better they swoon over a Queen, who's pretty harmless, than a prime minister or an elected president.

Not only that, if I understand what I have read about your Constitution then it makes sense to retain a monarchy.  The downside is that, of course, that the GG will continue to be picked by the PM, which as I said, is a no-no in parliamentary democracy (if I understand the principle of it correctly). 

Catholicism is a religion, not a country. Many people are adherents to religions with a hierarchy outside Canada. That is different. By keeping a British Anglican as head of state, we have chosen to mix religion and politics which is no longer a good idea if it ever was. We saw what happened when the Brits suddenly decided to change their laws on succession despite Harper's public misgivings - he was forced to do the same. That's not the way a country like Canada should operate.

Anyway, we have a dwindling band of monarchists who are fanatically devoted to the current set-up, a larger cohort of (dare I say mainly female) celeb watchers who think it's vaguely neat, a growing apathetic group and a small gang of republicans like myself. The monarchy is probably too much trouble to get rid of but we should elect the GG. 

 

 

       

Edited by SpankyMcFarland

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3 minutes ago, SpankyMcFarland said:

Many indigenous people see the Crown as a protector of their treaty rights - so another reason to leave the Windsors in place. 

 

OK...so how well has that worked out since 1867 ?

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Just now, SpankyMcFarland said:

For whom? For us immigrants it has worked well enough. 

 

Indeed....exactly my point.   Maybe the Queen of Canada should be "aboriginal".

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On 6/17/2017 at 10:57 AM, GostHacked said:

When I look at our government , there are several labels ..

Constitutional monarchy, Representative democracy, Parliamentary system, Federal monarchy

Wow, that's a blast from the past.

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On 17.6.2017 at 5:21 PM, SpankyMcFarland said:

Australia is a continent with a clear idea of itself. It is also more British than Canada e.g. sport. In contrast, Canada is a New Zealand-like appendage (without a Tasman Sea) which is in constant fear of being absorbed at least culturally by its more populous neighbour. The monarchy serves as a small symbol of our difference from the US. Most people don't think about it much at all between royal visits. 

Indeed, Australia is definitely more British than Canada. All the more reason to wonder why it is Australia so eager to shed itself of the vestiges of the British heritage.

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