Friday, 27 November 2009

Cost of Royal Visit is a Bargain, Pat!

The recent Royal Visit by The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall cost us about $2.6 million. That breaks down to a whopping 7 cents per Canadian.

NDP MP Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre) thinks that's too much. In fact, according to Mr. Martin, "This is as good an argument as I have ever heard for a republic of Canada." Well, sir, the arguments you have heard thus far must be pretty bad.

The reality is that $2.6 million is barely a drop in the bucket for a federal government budget of $260 billion. Frankly, it's a heck of a bargain considering the thousands of lives that were touched by the Royal Couple's presence, the exposure communities (such as Cupids, NL) received (no amount of advertising can buy the publicity a Royal Visit can get you), and the economic activity the visit helped generate (how many people bought a coffee or hot chocolate to stay warm or grabbed a bite to eat after the royal event?).

Plus, surely Mr. Martin doesn't need to be reminded that we monarchists are taxpayers, too? Psst. We don't mind our share of taxes going towards the Royal Visit.

It amazes me that opponents of the Canadian Crown continue to argue cost as a reason to abolish the monarchy. They conveniently never take issue with the cost of hosting the President of the United States or other heads of state, or for that matter even hosting foreign Royals such as the Emperor and Empress of Japan. Nope, they only open their mouths when it comes to hosting members of our own Royal Family.

Thankfully, Canadians are far too intelligent to be suckered into manipulative games played by republicans such as Pat Martin. Yes, there may be some good arguments against the monarchy. But, cost is certainly not one of them.

Until next time,
Robert / The D.C.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Queen now 3-0

3 wins, 0 losses. That is The Queen's new record when it comes to elections. Back-to-back-to-back solid majorities. I imagine many a politician is envious of that feat. And, no doubt republican politicians continue to scratch their heads, wondering why their fellow countrymen just aren't jumping on board the republican bandwagon.

Yesterday, voters in the Caribbean Realm of St. Vincent and the Grenadines overwhelmingly rejected a republican constitution that would have replaced The Queen and Governor-General with a President as head of state.

SVG joins Australia and Tuvalu in having handed republicans a resounding defeat. Australia rejected a republic in 1999 and Tuvalu in 2008.

Of course, republicans in all three Realms aren't the most gracious losers. They will surely come up with all kinds of excuses as to why and how they didn't win. The question was rigged. The people do want a republic just not "this" republic. Blah, blah.

Call them predictable...but there are three things that republicans can be counted on:

1. They won't take No for an answer.

2. They will blame everyone and everything for their defeat.

3. They can't agree on what type of republic they want.

My question to republicans is this...Did it ever dawn on you that the people reject a republic because - maybe just maybe - they actually want to remain a monarchy? Sheesh, what a novel thought!

Until next time,
Robert.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Selecting the Governor General

The Globe and Mail's sudden change of heart when it comes to the monarchy is most welcome. As you may already know, the Globe now endorses Canada's constitutional monarchy. In an editorial last week, the paper presented a proposal that attempts to remove political patronage from the selection process for the Governor General.

I've always had mixed feelings on how The Queen's representative should be selected. Removing any perception of political patronage is certainly welcome. But, careful attention must be paid to ensure that changing the selection process doesn't politicalize the office or affect The Queen's right to appoint HER representative.

While I am happy that the Globe is now in the monarchist camp, I admit that I am not a fan of the their proposal to establish some sort of advisory board to determine who will represent the Crown. For me, it puts the selection process in the hands of the elite and weakens both the Prime Minister's prerogative and The Queen's authority - two vital features of our constitutional monarchy.

Also, I don't know if patronage is as much a problem with vice-regal appointments as some may make it out to be. Whether or not you approve of Adrienne Clarkson or Michaëlle Jean, I think you'd be hard pressed to label either of the last two vice-regals patronage appointments.

But, winds of change do appear to be in the air. And, even monarchists are clamouring for change.

So, here's an open invitation for all monarchists. Let's brainstorm together. How should the Governor General be selected?

I welcome your input. Please Email your suggestions and ideas to me at chairman@monarchist.ca.

Until next time,
Robert.

Friday, 13 November 2009

À bientôt, Your Royal Highnesses

As The Prince of Wales reminded us as he ended his speech at an official dinner at Rideau Hall, it's "À bientôt" not "Au revoir." Not good-bye, but see you soon. The Royal Homecoming of Canada's future King - the first with the Duchess of Cornwall - has now ended. The general feeling is that this visit has been a tremendous success. I, for one, look forward to their return to Canada. And, I strongly suspect that it won't be another 8 long years before Charles is back on Canadian soil.

* * *

Hats off to Jason Kenney. The Minister of Citizenship, Immigration, and Multiculturalism yesterday launched a new study guide for new Canadians. Called "Discover Canada", the book prominently explains the role of the Crown.

It is reassuring to know that new Canadians will learn that The Queen is our head of state, that the Governor General and Lieutenant Governors are her representatives, and that the monarchy is such an important element of government and everyday life in modern day Canada.


* * *

Republicans have a real gift for attracting...monarchists! Every time they talk or write, the League is sure to recruit another member to its fold. Case in point is this article in today's Montreal Gazette. A good example of a republican spewing out misinformation and ignorance. Ironically, by trying to belittle the Monarchist League the writer gives us free publicity and drives people to our cause.

It reminds me of how I first became a member of the League. One evening in the late 90s, I read a piece about John Manley's boorish desire to abolish the monarchy. The former cabinet minister never missed an opportunity to push his republican agenda. Anyway, the article I read that evening had also mentioned the League. Even though I was a staunch monarchist, admittedly I hadn't heard of the Monarchist League of Canada.

That night I visited the League's Website and - ta-da - joined the cause. I often get a good chuckle knowing that John Manley, one of the loudest anti-monarchist voices at the time, was almost single-handedly responsible for recruiting the future Dominion Chairman of the Monarchist League of Canada.

So, let me thank the John Manleys, Jeffrey Simpsons, Allan Fotheringhams, Tom Fredas, Brian Tobins, Margaret Wentes, and Barbara Yaffes of the world now. These last couple of weeks, you have sent our League many new members and maybe - just maybe - you may have just recruited another future Dominion Chairman.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Christina Blizzard puts the boots to republican

Today's Toronto Sun features a great "royal rumble" between Sun Media columnist Christina Blizzard and republican Tom Freda. Note to Freda. Nobody cares about Mitchell Sharp. Quit trying to associate the Monarchy with the Nazis and the slave trade. The strategy is absurd, offensive, and doesn't work.

* * *

Anyone else growing tired of CBC's less-than-stellar coverage of the Royal Homecoming? Really, I'd expect better from our national public broadcaster. Constantly focusing on pointless polls (of which can be easily countered by contradicting polls, I might add) suggesting Canadians are not interested (did they not see the crowds yesterday at Dundurn Castle in Hamilton or at Varsity Stadium in Toronto?), constantly bringing out so-called "experts" predicting the end of the monarchy. My favourite was a British photographer..how on Earth is he an expert? I guess, they are setting the mood for this doozie.

* * *

As our Australian friends are celebrating the 10th anniversary of the defeat of the republic referendum, a visit to that Realm by Prince William has been announced. His presence will surely be a big boost to monarchist forces Down Under. The visit to Australia was added to Prince William's first official visit to New Zealand.

* * *

In closing, I leave you with my favourite moment of the royal visit thus far. Yesterday, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall visited Dundurn Castle in Hamilton. An energetic crowd of 3000+ gathered to welcome them. The crowd erupted when the Royal Couple stepped onto the balcony to greet and wave to the crowd below.




Until next time,
Robert



Thursday, 5 November 2009

Australia: 10 Years After the Referendum

Just a quick post to mark a special occasion for all monarchists - the 10th anniversary of the Defeat of the Republic Referendum in Australia. On November 6, 1999, Australians voted overwhelmingly in favour of retaining the Australian monarchy. The referendum was defeated nationally by a margin of 55% to 45%. Further, all of Australia's states and over 70% of constituencies gave a resounding vote of confidence in the Australian Crown.

In 2001, when I was in Sydney I visited the offices of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy, one of two large Australian monarchist organisations (the other being the Australian Monarchist League). It was amazing to see the remnants of their "campaign" headquarters and to share stories with some of their volunteers.

Admittedly, I have a soft spot for Australia and really fell in love with the country. As a monarchist, I would be deeply saddened if Australians abolished their monarchy. I suspect many Canadians would. Thankfully though, ten years after they served republicans a resounding NO! Australians by and large remain a loyal realm of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

As we continue to celebrate in this country the Royal Homecoming of The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, I encourage you to raise a glass to Australia's monarchists for a job well done.

Advance Australia Fair.

Until next time,
Robert.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Quit the whining, Join the party.


As the Royal Couple continue their Royal Homecoming in Ontario ("Loyal She Began, Loyal She Remains" on Day 3 of the royal visit, I extend an invite to the party-poopers out there to quit the whining and join in the fun.

So far, we've managed just fine to get through a series of pointless polls, some nasty weather, the ever predictable Jeffrey Simpson and Allan Fotheringham columns (snooze!), and the "hilarious" reporting by Rosie DiManno, the Big Smoke's new found comedienne (she also likes to knock us Hamiltonians!). Oh, and of course we can't forget Gilles Duceppe who wants us to know that he has no time for the Royals.

But, there are a few things I really do need to get of my chest, so here goes.

First, what's with the obsession of analysing attendance figures? Funny how some media reported "large" crowds in St John's, others reported "small". What gives? And, my favourite was when those pointed out that there were fewer than a hundred people in Cupids, Newfoundland and Labrador yesterday. Ah, Cupids has all of 700 people altogether. That's 10% of the population. Last year's Super Bowl, by comparison, drew 71,000 or less about 2% of the population of metropolitan Tampa, Florida. Was the Super Bowl a flop?

Second, why do some people constantly complain about the cost? My God, the world must think we're a bunch of cheapskates. I don't know exactly how much this royal visit is costing, but I'm guessing less than $3 million. Hardly a drop in the bucket in the grand scheme of things. One republican jumped on the H1N1 hysteria machine and suggested that that money could be spent on buying more H1N1 vaccine. Good grief.

Before anti-monarchists complain about spending a few million dollars they need to consider three things: 1. Monarchists (the majority of Canadians) are taxpayers, too. We don't mind our portion paying for this. 2. The cost is worth it when you consider how many thousands of lives are touched by those royal well wishers who get out to see the Royal Couple. 3. There is an economic return on investment. Think about it. People lining up to see the Royal Couple will buy a coffee, catch a bite to eat, maybe even go shopping before or after the royal event. A royal visit is an excellent way to stimulate our recession-hurt economy.

Third, why are anti-monarchists so rude, nasty, and even hateful? The world of the Internet has given people the ability to express themselves. But, reading through some of the comments left by people is often a real chore. Sometimes, the odd republican will post a well thought out point of view. But, most in their camp are posting such insightful posts as "Stupid Royal Family," "Who cares about Chuck?," and "I hate Britain and the Queen." I have to say that republicans are the most bitter, depressing lot around. They need to lighten up.

Instead of whining, how about everyone welcome the Prince and Duchess with open arms? Learn about some of the exciting places (like Cupids) they are visiting. Consider the excitement they're bringing to many (like the young man in St. John's who gave the Prince his business card). Enjoy the cultural shows and displays they are experiencing.

So, to Jeffrey Simpson, Allan Fotheringham, Rosie DiManno, Gilles Duceppe, Tom Freda, and the other anti-monarchists out there: Join the party. It's a lot more fun on this side of the fence :)

Until next time,
Robert.