Wednesday, June 30, 2010
This past year I did some intense lobbying to have Michaëlle Jean elected Queen of Canada, (okay, only two blogs, but I did chat up a few friends.)
Despite these valiant efforts on my part, our government has apparently opted to stay the course with the British monarchy because the English queen was seen floating around Halifax Harbour yesterday, inspecting the Canadian Navy.
I guess that's okay. Lots of other foreign leaders come and check out our hardware. It seems to be what world leaders like to do when they are not planning new taxes, having illicit affairs, or fighting off their own military .
The problem is that Elizabeth II thinks the Canadian Navy is hers.
It wasn't until the time of the first Quebec Referendum in 1980 that I questioned the British Monarchy's role in Canadian politics.
I was quite frightened by the events of that year. It was a close call and after it was over I watched a tearful René Lévesque promise a 'next time', to his supporters. That was too much. I didn't believe that we could get through a 'next time'.
Rather than lose Quebec, I decided the Queen had to go.
I became an anti-monarchist.
Silly me. Of course we went through it again - fifteen years later and it was a terrible shock when I realized that the Separatists didn't care whether we had the Queen of England or Captain Kangaroo as our head of State. They just wanted out.
"Jeesh!" I thought. "I almost gave up my heritage for nothing!"
But when I went to reclaim those emotional ties to Britain, I couldn't find them. Somewhere in the struggle for a new Canada - I had become a very different Canadian. Not an anti-monarchist anymore, simply indifferent to the machinations of the English nobility. And according to the media, my apathy was and is shared by many others.
So I say, let's get it over with quickly.
Ditch the Queen. Make the Governor General the Head of State.
We've got more important things to worry about, like how to get those ships bobbing around in Halifax Harbour up to the Arctic before the Russians start building houses outside of Pangnirtung.
But, gee whiz, Michaëlle Jean would have been a great queen.