Monarchy or anarchy: what will be the future of Canada? There are no third options, as I will soon explain.
Having had a little glimpse of our Queen in Toronto last weekend, and of anarchy the weekend before, I will be voting to retain the monarchy. That is to say, voting for more of what we have had in both English and French Canada, since before Champlain.
What do I mean, no third option? How about a “republic” of some kind?
People who want one of those are quite welcome to move to the United States, and frequently do. In that sense, it remains a practical option. Immigrants from afar may choose the U.S. over Canada, if they have some objection to the British Crown. They might also consider staying in their own, quite possibly dysfunctional, societies if they are partial to ethnic, cultural, and religious traditions in conflict with Canadian ones. For it has long been a principle of reason—since the creation of this universe, at least—that when two things are contradictory, you can’t have both.
That is, incidentally, the problem for most who believe in “third ways.” Generally speaking, there are none, only dreams of some easy way out. There are indeed some “both/and” propositions (requiring a dancer’s balance). But the hard questions invariably come down to “either/or.”
Years ago, and for satirical purposes, I proposed to found the Very Conservative Socialist Monarchist party, as a way to straddle the middle of the Ontario electorate and thus bring an end to what had then seemed like centuries of Progressive Conservative provincial rule—by effectively promising even more “both/ands” than the premier of the day (Bill Davis).
Alas, though I easily found eager supporters for my new party, not everyone “smoak’d the jest” (got the point of the joke): that politicians come to power, and sometimes retain it, by promising contradictory things. More spending and lower taxes would be a good example. “Multiculturalism” would be an even better example—a policy with the merit of offering self-contradiction within a single word.
Democracy being the worst system of government, except for all the others, it is up to an electorate to hold politicians’ feet to the fire; to make them commit themselves when they do not want to; and force them to tell us whether they are selling this, or that. And judging from the results of elections, most electorates fail miserably.
There is no accounting for the native stupidity of the human race, and no stopping people from imagining there may be some clever fellow who can deliver both the penny and the bun. We must live with the consequences of that, and our children must likewise pay for them. One way or another, we all buy into the heritage of suckering.
In the case of the constitution of a nation state, however, there is very little play. The thing is as it is. It can be changed and adapted, by tiny increments, over time, or it can be broken in a revolution. But there is no such thing as a smooth revolution. Moreover, people who think they can vote for such a thing are, to that extent at least, quite babbling insane.
Inevitably, from the moment she alighted on Canadian soil, our media began trotting out polls suggesting that perhaps half of Canadians would like to dispense with the services of our Queen—the linchpin of the Canadian constitution, and also perhaps the best value for money in all of our machinery of government. And they would like to replace her with—whatever.
That “whatever” is the recipe for anarchy, also condensed into a single word. Where there is no obvious, precise, comprehensive, and singular alternative, “whatever” means, “let’s just start wrecking everything and see what turns out.”
The “why” behind Canadian “republicanism” isn’t interesting. A majority of the population have been raised from infancy on the hallucinogenic pablum of progressive change, and in the belief that movement along the path of any contemporary trend is inevitable, and therefore somehow a good thing. They have also been taught in our public schools that the Queen is “a relic.”
These people have been used. Two generations of Liberal and allied politicians played with the idea of “redefining Canada” in their own image, and systematically undermined all public, symbolical references to the indispensable monarchical component of Crown in Parliament. And here is the result: people who don’t know what they want, but know they don’t want this.
It was incredibly irresponsible to play at changing what cannot be changed, without demolishing the whole Canadian constitutional order. It was incredibly foolish to start stripping the lion and unicorn off public stationery, and the Queen’s portrait from all public places.
Her Majesty being above politics, it was an incredibly vile act of disloyalty to politicize her office.