Monday, September 21, 2009

The Republic of Canada

What an idea!. Canada becoming a Republic, while I can appreciate and understand why some would be hesitant about becoming a republic I believe it is an idea that has merit.

I am from a Crown Loyalist Family, that is to say my ancestors left the newly formed Republic of The United States of America because we had to. We fought against the revolution, thus we wore out our welcome. I am of the opinion that my ancestors felt that it was an act of treason to raise arms against the King. We settled in Upper Canada and have lived there ever since. As such I think I am more than qualified to speak on this topic.

Canada is a Constitutional Monarchy with a Parliamentary democracy. This all good but there are problems within this Country that cannot be addressed under the current state of affairs.

The first and largest problem is; we are a democracy. Which is the rule of the majority, therefore the minority always suffers. So it's no great shakes being in the minority, however if you happen to be from the most populous region of Canada you get to dictate to everyone else. Ontario is the most populous Province in Canada with 12 000 000 souls and counting, Quebec is second. In years gone by before the Bloq Quebecoise Quebec was a key Province to carry for our National Parties therefore appeasing Quebec was job one. Many of our Prime Ministers were from La Belle Province. Since the formation of the Bloq, the voters of Quebec have in essence thrown their vote away by electing Bloq party members to Parliament. I say thrown away because the BQ will never form the Government.

Which leaves Ontario and its 106 seats in the House of Commons which when compared to the rest of Canada's 107 seats (excepting Quebec and the Territories) it requires 8 provinces to surpass Ontario's representation in Government. While it might be representative democracy it is hardly fair. But then when has democracy been about fairness? This in essence gives one province the ability to drive the national agenda. It would require 1 party to sweep all of Ontario and 2 more in other regions to run the slate. Conversely it would require one party to sweep every other region in Canada to negate Ontario.

While overly simplistic and not our present reality it is not outside the realm of possibility. Strange things happen in Politics all the time.

There is also the undemocratic side of our system. Constitutionally speaking Parliament is OMNIPOTENT. Nothing stands in the way of a majority Government. We do not have the checks and balances our neighbour to the south has built into their system. In fact we actually have Parliaments supremacy built into ours.

Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. That is why we need to reform our Constitution and make Canada a Republic. While it's nice to be able to have the appendage "Royal" attached to our institutions the world won't come to an end if over the next 20 odd years became entirely severed from the Crown.

As it is today we have an unelected head of State, The Queen and her representative the Governor General. Which the latter is appointed. Our Prime Minister is merely the leader of the Party that got enough seats to form the Government. However the Prime Minister is actually more powerful than the President of the United States. He does wield supreme executive power but was not ever directly elected.

But the single greatest argument for a republic is The authority of the Government comes from the PEOPLE. As it stands today we in Canada only elect our dictators who's authority is derived from The Crown of England. The English Parliament enacted the Statute the created the super colony of Canada in 1867. In 1982 the final act of the English Parliament was to grant our Parliament its autonomy and to enable Parliament to amend the Constitution. We as Canadians gained nothing and we still pay for the privilege of have the "Royal" appendage.

It is no wonder that Quebec did not sign onto this. Why would they nothing changed for them. However by them not signing the Constitution, they made it de facto law not de jure.

We need now more than ever to unite our Country under a republic with reforms that will equalize the electorate stabilize and moot Quebec separatist. and bring our Western Provinces in out of the Cold.

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