Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Royal Visit is a royal pain.

Imagine your young child asking about the visit of Elizabeth II to your hometown. What would you tell her?  Would you say this is an important person and then try and list off all the Queen's accomplishments? That list might present a problem, because the Queen's most outstanding accomplishment was being born into the right family at the right moment in time. Your child might ask why is the Queen important? Your answer might sound like this: Elizabeth II is important because she is the Queen; a lot like saying she is important because she is famous, like Paris Hilton only with more followers. Your child may or may not see through the circularity of this argument, but think about what she learns here, the Queen is important because people say she is important and people grant her that importance. You probably won't tell your child that she herself could never become the Canadian Head of State, because that position is reserved for the Queen or her progeny, not deserved, not earned, just because.

The Queen was in Toronto these past few days, probably not enjoying the heat and humidity much like the rest of us, she is human after all. She is also an anachronism and an expensive frill.
Sure I know why we have a Queen but as she has pointed out herself during this trip, Canada has grown up in her lifetime and I think its time to cut the umbilical with the Brits. The fact is Canada works, by-and-large so why mess with that? Many would say "it ain't broke" so leave it alone. Not only that imagine what the cost in stationary changes would be alone?  So no, I'm not advocating a referendum just yet, or looking for a more republican form of government yet; and then of course there are the constitutional issues. I'm getting a headache just thinking about what needs to be done.
So lets be economical here, cut the ties along the way as the Queen herself fades. That has been happening very, very slowly but it needs to be more deliberate.


  1. She's been in New York today. We Americans thought we cast off British rule 234 years ago, but we're still fawning over her. It's like Elizabeth is our queen too. We don't go gaga when other monarchs visit.

  2. Mike, I think that's just part of the cult of personality that seems to pervade the American and Canadian cultural scene. The British Royals are terrific at marketing their "royalness". They put on a great show far better than any other monarchy and it works to their benefit. The media tag along because its a good news story and a good contrast to oppressive heat/oil spills/economy tanks etc...


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