Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Queen and Canada - she should be here a lot more.

We are a monarchy in Canada, Elizabeth is our Queen and the embodiment of the Crown in the country, but where is her role in our day to day governance of this country?

If we are to continue as a monarchy we need to have a direct relationship with the monarch.  We need to see the Queen in our country on a regular basis.  We should expect the Queen to spend part of each year in Canada fulfilling the duties of the monarch.   We should expect the Queen to normally read the Throne speech.

The populations of the countries that have Elizabeth as Queen.

  • England - 51 million
  • Canada - 33 million
  • Australia - 22 million
  • Papua New Guinea - 6.7 million
  • Scotland - 5.2 million
  • New Zealand - 4.4 million
  • Wales - 3 million
  • Jamaica - 2.8 million
  • Northern Ireland - 1.8 million
  • Rest of the Caribbean. 8 countries - 1.45 million
  • Rest of Pacific, 2 countries - 0.5 million
  • Channel Islands and Man - 0.24 million

This is a total of 132 million people.   She should spend her time in the countries on a equal basis, though the smallest should all get at least three days of her time leaving 326 days for the rest of the countries.

Canada and Australia have provinces and states and therefore have more roles for the head of state fulfill and need more time because of that.

Here is how I propose the Monarch should spend her time:

  • England - 105 days
  • Canada - 95 days
  • Australia - 65 days
  • PNG - 17 days
  • Scotland - 12 days
  • New Zealand - 11 days
  • Wales - 8 days
  • Jamaica - 8 days
  • Northern Ireland - 5 days
  • Small Countries - 39 days

The Queen would be spending a total of 139 days in British Isles, 99 days in the Pacific, 95 days in Canada and 32 days in the Caribbean.   She is still spending the largest amount of her time in the British Isles.

If this is too much for the Queen, she should abdicate in favour of her son.   If the whole family thinks it is too much, they should step down as monarch of the countries that they feel are too much.

Since was already have Government Houses for the representative of the Crown, there is no added cost to having the Queen being in numerous nations.   There is enough space to house the Queen in these buildings.

It really should be an expectation that the Monarch read the Throne speech in all of the legislatures.  We should expect the Queen to be in BC once a year for a week or two which would include the time for the Throne speech.  We should expect our laws to be given royal assent by the Queen.

Canada should expect the Queen to be in Ottawa for Canada day.  The Jamaicans should expect her in Kingston for Independence Day on August 6th,  the Kiwis on February 6th for Waitangi Day, the Australians on January 26th for Australia day and other places for their national days.

The Prime Minister should expect to meet with the Queen on as regular a basis as the UK Prime Minister.

If this seems overly much for the Queen, then she needs to rethink her role.   She is Queen by choice and if she can not properly fulfill her role for all the jurisdictions she is Queen of, then she needs to step down.

In this process there should be a Governor General for the UK as there is in Canada.   Since the UK has had the Queen most of the time, they should have lowest priority on her time for a generation.  They will need a representative of the Queen to deal with this.

Either she is the Queen of Canada or we should do away with the monarchy as it is now.


David J. A. Foster said...

There's already a member of the royal family living in Montreal, Peter Phillips. He could become King of Canada.

Anonymous said...

I don't think your idea is the only one that is workable to making the monarchy more relevant to Canada. In fact, you seem to relish the idea of creating a rigourous itinerary that an old lady like the Queen cannot possibly execute in order to achieve your real desire - the abolishment of Canada's monarchy. A nice suggestion, but you give absolutely no idea of how Canada's Head of State would be chosen in a non-partisan manner if we did so.

Bernard said...

I admit I did not suggestion a replacement for the monarchy, if we are to remain a monarchy, we should take it seriously and expect the monarch to take is seriously.

We could say that for the next generation the Windsors base themselves out of Canada, generation after than in Australia and so on.

My preference is an elected head of state with the same powers as the current Crown. I would also want elected heads of the provinces as well.

Elected heads of states that have powers works well elsewhere. It would be much better than what we have at the moment.

Anonymous said...

I have thought about it and looked at other countries and it would be near impossible to have an elected Head of State who isn't from one of Canada's major political parties the way that French President, or Russian Presdient, or President of any other Republic is. As Sir John A. Macdonald pointed out, this is the great deficiency of the American Republic.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I've thought that when Queen Elizabeth no longer reigns, it would be best to have the titles of Monarch of the United Kingdom and Monarch of Canada should be vested in different persons.

That is to say, Charles should become King of the United Kingdom and the next eldest child of Elizabeth, Anne, should become Queen of Canada. (And Anne's son is already married to a Canadian.)

In that way, the Monarch of Canada could actually live and be involved in Canada.