Monday, November 16, 2009

Cry Republic

After watching an interesting The National episode I read Andrew Coyne’s article and his defense for holding onto the monarchy. It was pretty interesting but I find it amusing that there are people who defend these royal families. I’ve lived all my life in republics where the people are sovereign. The idea of a family who is put on a pedestal, regardless if they hold any real power, is a gross thought. Even the idea of political dynasties here in the United States with Kennedies, Clintons, Daleys and Bushes make me uncomfortable.

Why should countries like Canada or Australia retain their queen? How often is the Queen of Canada actually in Canada? Or Australia? These countries run their own affairs perfectly well and on the surface, it would seem that they should be perfectly fine to transition into republics. But for a political/social system that is tied in with the crown, it may be more difficult I can imagine. Personally, I find a situation in which a parliament remains and is now choosing a head of government and head of state to be another scary thought.

I’m happy with Canada keeping the status quo. But hey, they get to live with the idea of a future King Charles and thankfully, I don’t.

1 comment:

John Provis said...

For what it's worth, I'm actually basically in favour of Australia staying as a monarchy. The main reason for this is somewhere between apathy, cost-effectiveness and laziness. If we had our own president (who would almost certainly end up being a retired sportsperson of some description, given the way these things go around here), we'd have to go through the whole process of electing them, paying to look after them, and generally not really gaining anything from having them there. On the other hand, the Queen and associated relatives come basically for free, and get on with their daily business without needing us to worry about what they're doing or who's paying for them to do it. Sure they don't visit all that often, but honestly we're reasonably comfortable with the concept of being left to do our own thing, with the Queen and/or her various offspring nominally (but effectively powerlessly) in charge. If we're going to have a figurehead who doesn't really control anything, why bother going through the hassle of electing one, when we can borrow someone else's for free?

And yes, this sort of view is reasonably widespread here. I can't speak for Canada, though.

(note: we do have the Governor-General, who is an Australian and acts as the Queen's representative in the affairs of the nation, but most people wouldn't be able to name the current holder of that job anyway, so the required level of funding, security and so on is pretty low.)