A united Canada without the Monarchy
Abolishment would deliver a forceful disincentive to Quebec’s separatist movement
Canada and England would fit seamlessly into the international community without the Monarchy.
It is not accidental that the great majority of nations are republics. It has been the result of humanity’s long groping in the dark, tribulations and sacrifices.
Its first and greatest benefit for Canada is that it will deliver a forceful disincentive to the separatist movement in Quebec because after the disposal of the Monarchy, everyone across the land will take the oath of allegiance to Canada itself. We will pledge allegiance to one another and that per se will awaken a great sense of commitment, responsibility, and belonging in all of us.
Let us for the duration of time that it takes to read this article set aside the fact of the Aboriginals’ existence on this continent from time immemorial and state another fact that the French came here before the English and later on lost the colonial war to England, and England unilaterally declared sovereignty over the entire land and dumped the Monarchy on it. Wars are not any different from sports in the sense that sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, and to take the oath of allegiance to the English Monarch simply does not bring out the best in our French Canadians; it only perpetuates the feeling of a past loss.
France is a major world power, and several generations ago with its Revolution of 1789 it abolished the monarchy and the parasitism that went with it, ended the ancient regime, and became the source of inspiration for the rest of the world. Now, what does it mean to a “free French citizen” to come all the way to Canada for a new life only to be labelled as “the subject” of the English Monarch? Who is anyone else to decide for our French Canadians how they should feel about taking the oath of allegiance to the English Monarch?
As humanity’s experience has shown, a monarchy has never been a marketable system. All monarchies by their nature breed untold privileges based on someone’s birth and have been crumbling one after the other and, very fortunately, it is impossible to convince a republic to convert its system to a monarchy.
What are we waiting for here in Canada? Are we waiting for the English to arouse from their coma to dispose of the Monarchy before we decide to become a republic? The Monarchy has always worked for Canadian politicians.
One politician after the other has sought the highest office only for the sake of becoming the prime minister, and the rest was to deal with the day-to-day routines of the office and at the end to collect a fat retirement paycheque!
We must salute Australia for moving in the direction of a republican system. Its former prime minister, Julia Gillard, had the courage to make it her political platform during her campaign to end the Monarchy in Australia and, when the Queen visited Australia, she had the courage of her convictions and delivered the message by standing tall and graceful and refusing to curtsy. What a great and unforgettable moment it was for a nation moving toward a republican system! Unfortunately, a coterie of misguided and sexist politicians did everything they could to bring her down, but they cannot stop Australia from moving forward.
The best living proof that the separatist movement in Quebec will evaporate and disappear after the monarchy is ended is the state of Louisiana in the United States. Very briefly, in 1804 Napoleon Bonaparte commissioned four prominent jurists to simplify and naturalize the Roman law, which was prevalent all over Europe. Their finished work became known as the French Civil Code. In 1808 the state of Louisiana adopted it as the Civil Code of Louisiana. Even though the Code has undergone several amendments and revisions, it is still heavily influenced by the Napoleonic Code!
Now, why is it that the early settlers in Louisiana, the Canadian Acadians, who were expelled from the Atlantic Canada by the British in 1755, and their descendents, the Cajuns, never wanted to separate from the United States to form their own independent French state? Obviously, because the United States is a republic and there was no trace of any monarchy to look down its nose at them and, furthermore, they could identify with the United States because the United States itself revolted against the British and hence, the Fourth of July celebration! The secession of Louisiana during the Civil War (1861-1865) over a century after their settlement had only to do with the “slavery” issue, which was a completely different matter.
English Canada is satisfied to think that the separatist movement will go away on its own while the Monarchy is firmly in place, but the hard facts indicate that it is alive and well and only simmers down from time to time. Since Rene Levesque, the founder of the separatist party, Parti Québécois, and the first Quebec premier from that party, resigned from politics in late 1985, we have had five more Parti Québécois premiers in Quebec and there will be more in the years to come.
This leads us to the fair conclusion that it now only takes a great and charismatic French Canadian leader to rise to power and sweep them off their feet.
Time is marching on very fast and we must act decisively. We must stop once and for all falsely and complacently pointing fingers at our French Canadians. Instead, we must train our eyes and our united efforts toward removing the actual cause, which is the Monarchy and its divisive effect on our lives in Canada.
Jeffrey Cunningham is self-employed, lives in Vancouver, B.C., and his dream is a united, strong and separatist-free Canadian republic.