What’s good for Iggy should be good for Chuck

Narrator: Why is Prince Charles back in Canada after being away since 2001? Does the future “King of Canada” plan on living here? No, instead he’s running around doing walkabouts and photo ops… just visiting. With no plans to live here, he’s not in it for Canada… just in it for himself. It’s the only reason he’s back. Prince Charles: Just Visiting.

Sound familiar? It’s adapted from a television advertisement sponsored by the federal Conservative Party. The goal of those ads: To leave voters with the impression that Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff’s 34-year absence from Canada makes him unsuitable to be prime minister.

Here’s why that’s somewhat ironic.

Take a coin out of your pocket, and turn it over to the side that shows the image of a woman’s face. Yes indeed, that’s Queen Elizabeth II.

Even though many Canadians refer to her as “the British monarch” and to her family as “the British royal family”, there’s a reason why her image is stamped on our coinage. It’s because she is constitutionally the Queen of Canada — Canada’s official head of state.

Some Canadians (including myself) favour changing over to an Irish/Finnish-style parliamentary republic, noting that most countries wouldn’t dream of allowing their head of state to hold down the same job in other countries as well. In addition to Britain, Elizabeth II is also officially the Queen of Australia (though the Aussies came close to ending their relationship with the Queen in 1999, when 45 percent voted in favour of an Australian republic in a national plebiscite), and queen of several other countries as well.

Not to mention that because the “Queen of Canada” is chosen under British succession laws which Canada has legally agreed to abide by, it means that Catholics are legally prohibited from becoming Canada’s head of state, and that the job is partially off-limits to women, unless they have no brothers.

In other words, if Prince William were to have a daughter first and a son a few years later, the son — not the daughter — would be the heir to the throne. That is, unless the son married a Catholic, in which case it would become illegal for him to become king, and maybe then the daughter would get a crack at the job.

Hardly a good example of egalitarian Canadian values at work.

Given the 83-year-old queen’s advancing age and the difficulty of amending the constitution to reform or abolish the monarchy — a major constitutional change that would require the unanimous agreement of the federal government and all 10 provincial governments — it is probable that Queen Elizabeth’s eldest son, Prince Charles, will at some point become Canada’s head of state. And that the discriminatory policies that determine who gets the job will continue for at least a few more years.

Yet, while the politicians debate the appropriateness of a man who lived abroad for 34 years to become Prime Minister of Canada, they rarely question the appropriateness of a man who has never lived in Canada — and who has not even visited the country since 2001 — to become King of Canada.

Funny, that.

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About theviewfromseven
A lone wolf and a bit of a contrarian who sometimes has something to share.

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