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Role of the Monarchy in Canada
Transcript of Role of the Monarchy in Canada
Westminster-style parliamentary democracy. The monarchy has been
headed since 6 February 1952 by Queen Elizabeth II. Queen's representative is the governor general. Per the Canadian constitution, the responsibilities of the sovereign
and governor general include summoning and dismissing parliament,
calling elections, and appointing governments. Further, Royal Assent
and the royal sign-manual are required to enact laws, letters patent,
and orders in council. History of Monarchy The historical roots of the Canadian monarchy date back to
approximately the turn of the 16th century, when European kingdoms
made the first claims to what is now Canadian territory. Monarchical
governance thenceforth evolved under a continuous succession of French
and British sovereigns, and eventually the legally distinct Canadian
monarchy. Debates Debate between monarchists and republicans in Canada has been taking
place since before the country's Confederation in 1867. Interesting fact Polls on the Canadian monarchy have been regularly conducted, since
the 1990s. It has been noted and confirmed by polls, that Canadians
are not well educated about the monarchy and its role. In 2002, the
majority polled thought the prime minister was head of state, only 5%
knowing it was the Queen. Political Cartoon Representative The main symbol of the monarchy is the sovereign herself, and her image is thus used to signify Canadian sovereignty and government authority — her effigy, for instance, appearing on currency, and her portrait in government buildings. SOVEREIGNTY In each of
Canada's provinces, the monarch is represented by a lieutenant
governor, while the territories are not sovereign and thus do not have
Role of the Monarch Canada's constitution is based on the Westminster parliamentary model, wherein the role of the Queen is both legal and practical, but not political. As the monarch is a constitutional one, he or she does not rule alone, as in an absolute monarchy. Instead, the Crown is regarded as a corporation, with the monarch being the centre of a construct in which the power of the whole is shared by multiple institutions of government — the executive, legislative, and judicial— acting under the sovereign's authority
Newspaper Monarchy debate on hold ... for now: Blizzard
Sunday, June 27, 2010 10:27 PM EDT On the eve of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip's visit to Canada, the debate about the monarchy's future in this country is heating up once more.
Should we continue keep the Crown - or look at home for a presidential style of government?
Even the most fervent republicans seem reluctant to rock the status quo as long as the Queen is, well, our Queen.
"As public opinion polls show, while Canadians do have an affinity for the Queen, they do think it is time we looked at least at the discussion of looking beyond the Queens' reign and what our options are," Tom Freda of Citizens for a Canadian Republic said in an interview.
His organization represents about 6,000 people across the country.
"If you look at the evolution of every major country in the world, even the ones with their resident monarchies, most people think that democracy and equality are values that are strived for when a country is developing," he said.
"Monarchy, to a lot of people, just doesn't equate to any of those values," he said.
His organization would like to see a parliamentary debate on the future of the monarchy.
Not surprisingly, a spokesman for the Monarchist League of Canada disagrees
"A constitutional monarchy is the only system of government that can give you a non-partisan head of state, and I think that's extremely important in an era where politics seems to be so divisive," said Robert Finch.
"It's given us a sound, stable system of government.
"All the things we take for granted - democracy, the rule of law, have been able to flourish under the Crown," Finch said. His organization boasts 10,000 members nation-wide.
Freda puts forth the prorogation controversy as an argument for doing away with the monarchy, while Finch uses prorogation as a reason to keep the Crown in Canada.
"The governor-general had no power at all to check the abuse that a lot of Canadians felt the PM was using," Freda said.
"You look at parliamentary republics around the world where countries have evolved their governors-general into ceremonial presidents.
"They have incorporated some emergency constitutional power that can be used in rare circumstances in addition to ceremonial duties they are performing," he said.
"It is extremely important to have that non-partisan head of state when you need a neutral referee," he said.
If you look at that (prorogation) it's assuring to know that the person who will ultimately have the authority is not a politician.
"It's the GG," he said.
One province the Queen won't visit - and rarely sets foot in - is Quebec. Montreal-based Leger Marketing recently polled the country on their attitudes to the Crown in a poll for QMI.
"The most loyalist provinces are B.C., Alberta and Ontario," said Jean-Marc Leger in an interview.
"In Quebec, the majority of people said the Queen should not come," Leger said.
"Here, they have no interest in the Queen and I think the Queen has no interest in Quebec either," he said.
Leger reports that in the rest of the country, the Queen is very popular. In Alberta, B.C. and Ontario, 49% of those polled said they enjoyed the Queen's visits.
Only 12% of Ontarians said she shouldn't come.
"In Quebec, mostly they are indifferent.
"They don't care. It's not their Queen and they don't care about her," he said, adding that few Quebecers could even tell you the Queen's name.
Ironically, though, Quebecers appreciate outgoing Governor-General Michaelle Jean and believe she has a great deal of credibility.
"Quebecers like Michaelle Jean - despite the fact that she's governor general," he joked.
On Monday afternoon, the Queen's plane will touch down at the Robert Stanfield airport in Halifax for the start of three-province tour.
Among other events, in Halifax she'll review the international fleet, marking the centennial of the Canadian navy and attend a Mi'kmaq celebration.
On Wednesday, she heads to Ottawa for Canada Day celebrations, then she'll head to Winnipeg for a brief whistle-stop before landing in Toronto in time for the Queen's Plate, July 4.
An avid horse race fan, the Queen has often been on hand to watch the race that's named after Queen Victoria - who donated the first prize money for the famed turf event.
The Queen has made more than 20 state visits to Canada and the Royal Family has strong ties to our country.
Prince Andrew attended Lakefield school in Peterborough and is a frequent visitor to the area.
The Queen Mother was hugely popular with Canadian troops, especially during World War II.
She was colonel in chief of the Toronto Scottish regiment for 64 years and maintained a close relationship with the regiment.
The regiment was the first non-British regiment to guard and Buckingham Palace during the war and members of the regiment always remembered the announcement the Queen Mother made on BBC at that time.
"Fear not," she told listeneres. "The Canadians are on guard."
One thing is certain. No matter what her place in our government, Queen Elizabeth has earned enormous love and respect from most Canadians.
For the next 10 days, at least, the debate's on hold.