Friday, 11 December 2009

Independence via evolution not revolution


Today marks the anniversary of the Statute of Westminster, a British law passed in 1931 that ultimately gave Canada and the other dominions (now called Realms) of the old British Empire legislative independence from the U.K. No longer were the former colonies subservient to Britain; instead they became equal partners.

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.
Until next time,
Robert / The D.C.

1 comment:

radical royalist said...

Well said, this is certainly true for Australia, too.