One would have to be hugely insensitive to not acknowledge Queen Elizabeth II’s extraordinary dedication to her public duties and the 70 years she performed them. She was a British monarch different to those who preceded her.
The changes she brought about have made the monarchy more in tune with and more popular with her subjects – especially where it counted most, the UK. That is where the monarchy is a daily feature of every-day life, and where the royal family’s presence and influence is ubiquitous. Not here in Canada though, nor in many other places where she was Queen and where Charles III is now King.
The British monarchy, in addition to providing us with a head of state, is the glue that keeps the bakers-dozen of former British colonies together as a Commonwealth for a while longer – even if bilateral and multilateral trade agreements have superseded most of the benefits the Commonwealth once provided.
While some are suggesting, in the wake of Queen Elizabeth II’s death, that Canada should decide on a different head of state. I agree with Adam Olsen, our local MLA, who suggests: ‘If not the British monarchy, then what? Who would be the head of state?’
The response is not an easy one, even if you add up the past sins of our monarchial system and its costs. I fear more that Canada becomes something worse, than I do in being patient with what we have, and seeing if the monarchy continues to modernize and seek forgiveness for past sins. If that doesn’t happen, it will be easy to rid ourselves, divine right or not, of the monarchy – if not so easy to establish what works better.