NDP leadership candidate Nathan Cullen has called for a national referendum on the monarchy. Next week at their convention young Liberals will debate a somewhat similar resolution:  Should we elect a Canadian head of state? The  Liberals say the monarchy is out of touch with our multicultural, democratic country.

In Quebec the monarchy is seen as anachronistic and alienating.

In this morning’s Gazette, national affairs columnist Stephen Maher writes “I hope we will have a debate about this because without a debate it’s hard to know how Canadians really feel.”

If Canadians want to we could elect our own governor-general, declare that person our head of state and still remain in the Commonwealth.

How do you think a referendum on the monarchy would turn out?

Should we have one?

What do you think?


  1. 1

    Here is what the amending formula of our constitution has to say about any change in the constitution regarding the monarchy:

    41. An amendment to the Constitution of Canada in relation to the following matters may be made by proclamation issued by the Governor General under the Great Seal of Canada only where authorized by resolutions of the Senate and House of Commons and of the legislative assemblies of each province:

    (a) the office of the Queen, the Governor General and the Lieutenant Governor of a province;

    Note the language “each province”. That means unanimity: not only the Senate and House of Commons need to approve a change to the constitution regarding the monarchy but each of the ten provinces must be on board, too.

    Sorry, this is a non-starter; you ain’t gonna get unanimity on this and it simply isn’t such a burning issue that you’re going to get the kind of support to put it through.

    And, besides, if People Magazine is any indication — as well as the media at large — there is a certain segment of the population that loves all things monarchic who simply won’t go for jetting the Queen and her disfunctional family.

    I like the idea of the monarchy myself. The Queen represents our history and our institutions such as the common law and parliament, all things that are part and parcel of our daily life. Nice to have an institution like the monarchy to represent all that.

    But I don’t want to see the nutcase Charles as King. He has abdicated his responsibilities as far as I’m concerned when he actively took partisan positions on issues such as Global Warming. He must step aside for his son.

  2. 2
    SUZANNE Says:

    I’m ambivalent. We’ve had referendums before and it’s very divisive. Are we burning to overthrow the monarchy? Do we know what will replace it? I say this as someone who does not agree with the monarchy.

  3. 3
    Neil McKenty Says:

    It seems to me, Tony, that if the people were consulted on this issue and they voted overwhelmingly to jetison the monarchy, then the politicians at all levels would have to sit up and listen.

  4. 4
    Neil McKenty Says:

    Furthermore, Tony, if Chaltes does not want to leave, how do you get him out of there? You don’t. He will be our King.

  5. 5

    I don’t approve of jettisoning the Monarchy when we have so many economic challenges ahead. It would take up a great deal of time, effort and money.
    It’s like separation, the time has come and gone!
    Besides, I like having some oldy-moldy traditions, at a time when marriage, family responsibility, religion etc. are all at risk of disappearing.
    I like the modern young couple, (Will & Kate) and I think they will reflect our values all over the world.
    I don’t think Charles & Camilla will be an issue at all. Bad Mojo.

  6. 6
    Peter Westenhangar Says:

    It’s a shame to read people swallowing and repeating the anti-Charles propaganda that has been pumped out by the vile Murdochian (and others) press for years. No doubt the monarchy has its irritating aspects, but Charles has tried, perhaps maladroitly on occasion, to live a life of meaning. His work on architecture, assisting the integration of Moslems into British society, and general thoughtfulness has been invaluable in an age too often marked by coarseness of manners and thought.

  7. 7

    I guess we all dreamed Charles’s affair with the “far from fair” Camilla.
    Men are so forgiving of each other. Look on the bright side, tut, tut, eh?
    He’s not “Royal” material by a long shot.
    All the manners and worldliness, do not make Charles a good boy.

  8. 8
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    Nei writes:

    “It seems to me, Tony, that if the people were consulted on this issue and they voted overwhelmingly to jetison the monarchy, then the politicians at all levels would have to sit up and listen.”

    Yes, they would.

    However, all it would take is just one province voting “no” in the majority for the elected politicians of that province to refuse to sanction a resolution for that provincial legislature to do away with the monarchy. Listening to the will of the people, Neil, in this instance means listening to the will of the ten separate entities called provinces. In other words, unanimity and that simply ain’t gonna happen.

  9. 9
    Jim Says:

    “Look Liz we have a problem back in Canada. The problem is, that we want the right to have a Roman Catholic Queen or King. As you know our constitution is such that it is 99.99% impossible for us to make changes to the Head of State Representative in Ottawa. So what we ask of you, is for you to make arrangements to dump Canada at the next change of the Monarchy. We Canadians will be forever grateful. As a matter of fact our first order of business will be to name or rename a street in every city in Canada in your honour. Now let’s see, in Montreal, let’s rename Rene Levesque Boulevard.

  10. 10
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    Neil asks:

    “Furthermore, Tony, if Chaltes does not want to leave, how do you get him out of there? You don’t. He will be our King.”

    Recall the constitutional crisis with Edward VIII and Mrs. Simpson. There were negotiations that went on there between the British Parliament and the monarchy with substantial input from the members states of the British Empire such as Canada. If there’s enough opposition to Charles acceding to the throne (and remember that he’s already got that albatross known as the diborced Camilla hanging around his neck, an already existing constitutional crisis), then Charles can be passed over.

    Becoming King is not an automatic deal simply because you’re technically next in line.

  11. 11

    Looks like you have put a lot of effort in your blog, thank you for taking the time to write such useful information.

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