Wednesday, 23 December 2009
In 2010, we will welcome home Her Majesty The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, welcome a new Governor General, and celebrate the League's 40th anniversary.
Thank-you for your continued support. All the best.
Queen Elizabeth II's first Christmas message was delivered in 1952. Sitting in the same chair and using the same desk as her father and grandfather had previously done, she began with, "Each Christmas, at this time, my beloved father broadcast a message to his people in all parts of the world. Today I am doing this to you, who are now my people."
The following year, The Queen broadcast her Christmas message from New Zealand. 1957 marked the first televised Royal Christmas Message.
The advent of new media in 21st century means that The Queen's Christmas message is not only broadcast on television and radio, but is also available for podcast download and shown on YouTube.
Over the years, the The Queen's Christmas messages have chronicled both the life of the Commonwealth and of the Crown. The broadcast is one of the rare occasions when The Queen does not speak on government advice. Instead, The Queen gives her own views on events and developments which are of concern both to Her Majesty and the public.
Monday, 21 December 2009
Mr. Hulls announced that beginning next year criminal proceedings in Victorian courts will be brought in the name of the "Director of Public Prosecutions" instead of The Queen. His rationale? Modernization, of course. Oh, and apparently using the word "Queen" makes the court process all too "mystifying," according to Law Institute of Victoria. I am sure people will now be much more at ease knowing they're up against the Director of Public Prosecutions. Good grief.
Creeping republicanism is a spiteful game played by republicans who deep down realise that they simply cannot achieve their ultimate goal of turning their country into a republic. So, they resort to chipping away at references and visual images associated with the monarchy little by little, piece by piece, with the hope that one day people will simply forget about it and suddenly agree to abolish it.
Like Australia, we have experienced plenty of creeping republicanism here in Canada. Whether, it is removing The Queen from the oath taken by civil servants. Taking down The Queen's portrait. Or erasing The Queen's name from diplomatic Letters of Credence. Unfortunately, creeping republicanism does rear its ugly head every now and then.
The good news is that no act of creeping republicanism does a darn thing to alter the fact that we are a constitutional monarchy. It's more frustrating to monarchists than damaging. But, monarchists also have the ability to fight back. How best to fight back? Creeping monarchism.
Long ago, the Monarchist League of Canada shifted from being a reactionary organization that would sit back and wait for the next opportunity to defend the Crown to being a proactive organization that would go on the attack to promote the Crown.
The positive results are starting to appear. Creeping monarchism can reverse the trend of creeping republicanism one step at a time. Portraits of The Queen have been restored at many post offices, thanks to our members. References to the Crown and The Queen in particular are plentiful in the federal government's new citizenship guide book. Politicians are even making monarchical references in their speeches again.
So, Rob Hulls can go about his merry way and play the creeping republicanism game. But, no matter how hard he tries, no matter what he does, he knows deep down that he simply cannot win. He cannot turn his country, Australia, into a republic. For in 2010, despite his removing The Queen from court proceedings, Australia - like Canada - will still be a constitutional monarchy.
Until next time,
Robert / The D.C.
Thursday, 17 December 2009
My initial reaction was why in the world would the Canadian Secular Alliance be invited to participate as issues of church and state are irrelevant in Canada vis a vis the Crown. And, since the host of the debate, Centre for Inquiry, also promotes secularism it appeared as though they wanted to both host and participate in the debate. Ultimately, I suspected that the CFI/CSA might be just another republican group, which would give the republican side a clear advantage.
Then, my investigative nature kicked in, the great amateur sleuth that I am. I came across this blog posting by Justin Trottier, CFI's executive director...and low and behold the President of the Canadian Secular Alliance, too. He was also the guy who was to be the neutral moderator of the debate. The icing on the cake was his post on the Citizens for a Canadian Republic's Facebook group:
I'm a supporter of your organization and the Executive Director of the pro-secular Centre for Inquiry. I just posted a blog entry in support of this issue to our international blog...
November at 16:36
Not surprisingly, I respectfully declined to take part.
This lead to Justin Trottier twittering the following:
Monarchist League refuses to debate validity of monachy @ CFI. When you don't have a point in your favour you'd avoid informed debates
Not quite, Mr. Trottier. I am all for debate, especially "informed" ones. The same old tired arguments put forth by republicans can be refuted - most quite easily as matter of fact. But, where's the objectivity and fairness in a debate organised by republicans, moderated by a republican who publicly supports one of the republican participants and is president of the other republican participant?
Until next time,
Robert / The D.C.
Wednesday, 16 December 2009
News of Prince William's increasing official royal duties created quite the frenzy this week, often borderlining on downright insane. Somehow, visits to New Zealand and Australia suddenly morphed into some Shakespearean tragedy complete with sinister plots to somehow oust the Prince of Wales.
Friday, 11 December 2009
The Statute of Westminster also sets the basis for the continued relationship between the Commonwealth Realms and the Crown. This is why, for instance, each country where The Queen is head of state must agree on changes to rules of succession.
As part of Canada's constitutional law, the Statute of Westminster is one of the most important milestones on our road to independence - something we Canadians achieved through a process of evolution rather than revolution.
Canada's first major step towards true independence came with Confederation in 1867. Our final step was the repatriation of the constitution in 1982.
It is truly quite remarkable that our country has been able to mature from colony to country with such ease - and without a single drop of blood lost in some revolutionary war. This is especially true when you contrast our road to independence to that of our republican neighbour to the south.
That Canada chose evolution and not revolution is most certainly a result of Canadians' loyalty to the Crown. From the time of the early colonial settlements to the founding of a new country to the day we severed the constitutional link to the British Parliament, Canada has steadfastly stood behind the Crown. Under this Crown - now a distinctively Canadian Crown - we continue to demonstrate our independence and have become one of the world's great respected voices.
Incredibly, those who would rather Canada become a republic argue that one of the reasons we should abolish our monarchy is that only then could we be an independent country. Of course, this argument is nothing more than a republican myth. The reality is that Canada is a fully independent country and has been for years. Any reasonable person would agree.
While we share the same Queen with the U.K. and the other Commonwealth Realms, we also share the English language, common law, Shakespeare, and other cultural traditions. Do these make us less independent? Of course not.
Abolishing the monarchy is not going to make us any more independent then what we already are. Period.
Tuesday, 8 December 2009
Mr. Roach was born in Trinidad and Tobago and is a permanent resident in Canada, refusing to take the Oath of Allegiance to The Queen required for citizenship. This, despite having sworn allegiance to The Queen twice in the past.
Mr. Roach argued that the Oath violates the Charter's freedom of conscience provision and ridiculously compares the Crown to Nazis saying, "I feel that we [blacks] were colonized as a people by the British throne, and we were enslaved as a people by the British throne and, to me, taking an oath to the monarch of Great Britain, without any disrespect to the Queen herself as a person, is like asking a Holocaust survivor to take an oath to a descendant of Hitler."
The court's decision hopefully puts an end to this silly time and money wasting adventure. Case closed!
* * *
The Governor General is not a constitutional judge. Former BC Premier Bill Vander Zalm is apparently "stunned" that Her Excellency won't wade into the contentious harmonized sales tax debate. Mr. Vander Zalm had written to Mme Jean asking her to determine the legality of the proposed tax. She rightfully referred him back to the Government of British Columbia.
Of course, all Canadians are welcome to write the Governor General to express their views on a particular issue. And, the Governor General has every right to advise, to be consulted, and to warn, sharing her concerns with her government.
Until next time,
Robert / The D.C.
Monday, 7 December 2009
Friday, 4 December 2009
Tuesday, 1 December 2009
A quick background. The Act of Settlement includes provisions that bar Roman Catholics from inheriting the throne and prevent the Sovereign from marrying a Catholic. It was passed by the Parliament of England in the aftermath of the Glorious Revolution, which saw King James II of England (a Catholic) overthrown in favour of his son-in-law William of Orange (a Protestant). William reigned jointly with his wife Mary as William III and Mary II. To ensure a Protestant line of succession (and to prevent any of possible claims by the deposed James II), the Act of Settlement was thus passed.
Flash forward to the 21st century, and the same provisions that bar Catholics from sitting on the throne and prevent Sovereigns from marrying a Catholic are still in effect. A leftover that is controversial at best and discriminatory at worst from a bygone era.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is leading a charge to update the Act of Settlement. The Sovereign and heirs to the throne would no longer be forbidden to marry a Catholic or convert to Catholicism themselves. Also, the rule of primogeniture where men take precedence over women would also be scrapped.
The League supports these changes for a number of reasons.
First, we recognise the discriminatory nature of the provisions that exclude Catholics from becoming King or Queen of Canada. And, we recognise the discriminatory nature of favouring men over women.
Second, removing the provisions that exclude Catholics and favour men effectively eliminate two arguments republicans consistently make against the Crown.
Third, perhaps the most important from a Canadian monarchist perspective, amending the Act of Settlement provides solid proof that the Canadian Crown is completely separate and independent vis-à-vis the British Crown (and the Crowns of the other Realms where the Queen is head of state). After all, without Canada's approval, these changes can't happen. Another republican argument eliminated!
Of course, there are plenty of details that would need to be addressed. But, I believe that making these changes can only increase support for the Crown here in Canada and abroad.
Until next time,
Robert / The D.C.