As a casual fan of CBC's Power & Politics with Evan Solomon, I was a bit surprised when I came across a new segment on their programme called Your Poll. The idea is kind of cool and very 21st century. Basically, you the viewer submits a question via Email and it may be selected to be a part of an actual survey conducted by EKOS Research exclusively for CBC.
It was the tagline to help promote the segment that caught me off guard: From the monarchy to prorogation, from climate change to the economy, Canadians have many opinions about the major issues of the day. We want to hear yours.
My immediate reaction was since when did the monarchy become a major issue for Canadians? Sure, climate change and the economy are always high on Canadians' minds. And, yes it does feel like prorogation has joined hockey as a new Canadian winter tradition. But seriously, are Canadians that concerned with the monarchy to make it an apparent "major" issue?
I suspect it is just some republican - otherwise a nice guy or gal, I'm sure - working at the CBC - drawing a salary paid by you and me, remember - who simply wants to push their anti-monarchy agenda. I mean, really, I can think of a dozen or more other topics that would be considered "major" issues before the monarchy and I bet you can, too.
The bottom line is that despite what the CBC says, Canadians are NOT interested in debating the monarchy. The monarchy doesn't even register on the electorate's mind during election campaigns. Canadians are much more interested in debating issues that affect their daily lives like healthcare and education or issues like terrorism and foreign policy.
That the monarchy is a non-issue in Canada is evidenced by the mere fact that none of the major political parties in Canada has a pro-republican policy. They know that any monarchy-republic debate is not going to win them an election. If anything, it would only cost them votes. Why? Because the majority of Canadians are monarchists and the rest of us have more important matters to consider.
To quote former Governor General Ed Shreyer: "On a list of 100 things that need fixing, the monarchy ranks 101st."
Until next time,