Quote: Originally Posted by Dexter Sinister
That's never actually been tested, the only thing I can think of offhand is that the monarch appoints the GG, which the GG obviously can't do, unless we diddle things so that each GG appoints a successor. The broader issue is pretty murky though, with questions like, what's the status of the GG when the monarch is in the country? What if the government fell during a royal visit? Who gets to sign bills into law? Nobody knows.
The thing is, in the current system, it may be true that technically, according to the rules, the GG is appointed by the Monarch. But at the end of the day, we all know it's the party in power and the prime minister that proposes a candidate. The Monarch just gives her blessing. I can very well see the exact same system functioning with no Monarch. The blessing part could come from let's say a 66% support from the House of Commons or the Senate.
You could say that the advantage of a Monarch is for her to be neutral and apolitical. But I don't see anything ''neutral'' in being the Head of State of whole nations for the simple reason of being the descendant of past monarchs. Monarchy IS political. You can't read the history of European nations and say monarchy isn't rooted in a highly political past. There's nothing neutral about it. And I would much prefer seeing elected MPs as a collectivity be the watchdog of the GGs appointment.
But again, that's just my opinion and that goes beyond the obvious fact that Canada doesn't seem ready for this change and that there ARE more pressing concerns such as ecology and economy.
It isn't a fair characterization because it's incomplete. It IS archaic and undemocratic to a degree, but that's not all it is, it does have some real functions that are quite important to the way the system operates, and its hedged about with restrictions that render it less archaic and undemocratic than it would at first appear. I do see the contradictions you refer to, I just don't think they matter much in the larger scheme of things. Life is bulging with contradictions and inconsistencies, the ones around the nature and role of the monarchy and the GG seem pretty trivial to me, and there are some pretty serious legal issues around making significant changes. All executive power, for instance, in law is vested in the institution of the Crown (not the person of the monarch) and is permanently delegated in varying degrees to assorted officers of the government. If you take the Crown away, then what is the source of executive power? I suppose in the simplest case we could just declare the GG to be the President and change nothing else except the manner of appointment, leaving the President with the same role and powers the GG has, but that leaves it open to the same criticisms--archaic, undemocratic, and so forth--as are directed at the monarchy. It would change nothing of significance. We can't just dump the monarchy as some would have us do, it's far more complex than that.Quote has been trimmed
complex. But I think history shows us that once we get past certain challenges, new and more complex challenges inevitably appear. But that"s not a good reason to avoid the challenges in the first place. For example, slavery was a very simple and efficient system for the slave owners. But eventually the problem of human rights emerged. Now that we've moved past slavery we must face a more complex set of ethical and economical choices. Capitalism? Communism? Socialism? A mix of all that? What should be the minimum wage? Is one a slave for working at a factory with minimum wage in a job that will slowly but surely wreck your body?
Surely not many of us would accept that we should've stuck to slavery because the a world without slavery would be too complicated to deal with. We all know within our hearts that a world without slavery is a BETTER world.
This was an extreme example but it's useful for the point I want to make. It's my view that a Canada without monarchy would be a better
Canada for the simple reason that our system would be more coherent with our modern values of equality and secularity. I see it a bit as foundations of a house. Eventually, foundations erode and something must be done. Eventually we'll have to face social evolution and ''renovate'' our foundations. Now might not be the time... but it is just a question of time.
On a different note, I strongly believe that getting rid of monarchy would have a very deep effect in Quebec and would do much to boost national unity. With the Conservatives in power, the opposite is happening. But if let's say monarchy was dumped right now, it would be a potentially devastating blow to separatism which is struggling to find cohesion right now. It would certainly be warmly welcomed by soft nationalists like me who really identify to Quebec first but sees the rational advantages of being part of a larger Canadian web of solidarity. It would most definitely boost the Canadian-ness of many Quebecers like me. I think that's something the ROC should think about...