I believe that Canada's democracy is severely impaired and in danger of a crash & complete destruction!
Ignorance about our form of government and apathy, has resulted in a continuing erosion of our democracy. The worst aspect of this erosion is the concentration of power in the Office of the Prime Minister!
Canada's constitution is a reflection of the British North America Act of 1867. That document was negotiated by prominent Canadians for Canadians and was presented whole and approved whole by the British parliament to create our nation. It was written to include checks and balances on power to the various branches of government. The sovereign has executive power but must work through the House of Commons & Senate to exercise that power. The judiciary is supposed to interpret & enforce the laws of the land, independent of the government of the day. Anti-monarchy activism has been successful in the name of democracy & nationalism. The erosion of the legitimacy of the crown & the crown's representative, the Governor-General, has created a vacuum in executive authority. That has certainly been the intention of successive Prime Ministers!
How can judges, senators & Governors be seen to act independently if they are dependent on the good graces of the Prime Minister's Office, who appointed them? This office is completely unelected, unconstitutionally sanctioned and operates with one purpose, to keep their boss, the Prime Minister, in power! This concentration of power in the PMO is DEFINITELY, NOT in the interest of Canadian democracy!
We are supposed to be a constitutional monarchy. When the Fathers of Confederation created Canada's unique version of constitutional monarchy, most Canadians felt a part of the greater British Empire and therefore recognized the legitimacy of a British monarch. That is not true today because of immigration from around the world and because of the natural development of a unique Canadian sense of identity. Rather than finish our incremental march to full independence, by patriating the crown, Prime Ministers have taken advantage of the current situation to increase their personal power. They have been successful by playing two cards, legitimacy based entirely on being elected & appeals to nationalism. Dependence on the ballot, as the only form of legitimacy, leaves us open to what I would call 'tyranny of the majority'. We have a senate that is supposed to represent regions equally & a monarch who is supposed to represent ALL of us with equal regard. Legitimacy is based on the consent of the people, regardless of the form of selection.
Voting, particularly first past the post, or 50% + one does not, in itself represent the will of the people, only that small number who voted for the elected members. If the ballot is to mean anything, we must address this problem as well as the voter apathy that results in lower and lower voter turnout. Of course governments won't do that! The current system is to their advantage.
It has been made abundantly clear that we will be unable to change our constitution, even if Canadians wanted to become a republic. So I suggest we reform what we can. One of the best things about our system is that it is organic, adaptable to any national context and can continually evolve. That's our distinct form of democracy, as it was conceived, in 1867. That would, of course, require that Canadians understand the system we have, why we have it, how it is supposed to work and what the implications of changing it would be. Democracy can only work if a public is informed, engaged & active in the democratic process.
Many of the younger generation don't even know that we are a monarchy. Many Canadians, even the government and national media, treat the Queen like a visiting Head of State and her family, like visiting celebrities.
Constitutional monarchy can only work if a monarch is resident in and seen to be a part of the national daily life. I'd argue that our countrymen must see royalty working for us in our own daily Canadian experience.
The current situation, where Canada has a foreign Head of State is intolerable. It becomes more intolerable with each passing decade.
I believe that we need our own, resident royal family.
The only requirement to make this happen is an act of Parliament that changes the succession laws. We could have anyone we liked when Her Majesty passes away or abdicates. She could abdicate tomorrow, since Canada is a separate crown, with no effect on her role in the UK, or her other realms.
The current Queen will likely be with us for at least another 10 years, if her mother's long life is any indication. There is, of course, no guarantee. Canada needs to find our own Heir Apparent to take the Maple Crown when the current monarch is no longer in office. We need to establish who this person is as soon as possible. He/she & Canadians need time to get used to each other. Canada could also start experiencing the benefits of having a constitutional monarchy for the first time, right away.
It would make sense for the indigenous house to be a branch of the current royal house. After all they inherited the authority of every sovereign house that has been associated with this land since Europeans arrived. One could argue, that Canada's only right to sovereignty over these lands stems from the rights of the monarch, as Queen of Canada, who inherited lands seeded to her family, and not to the government of Canada or the United Kingdom. First Nations, some with royal traditions of their own, have negotiated treaties with the crown or at least have expressed loyalty to that same crown throughout our history. Were the sovereign present in Canadian daily life, this special relationship may have allowed for greater prominence & respect to be afforded our First Nations.
There is precedent for this type of evolution, a new royal house being a branch of the old. For instance, Brazil gained it's independence and 80 years of economic & social progress when they took the heir to the Portuguese throne as their own Emperor in the early 19th century. Norway is another example.
What if, when the current sovereign passes away, the new monarch was selected through a partially elective process. What if the only requirement to run for the office was to be a descendant of Canada's first Queen, Queen Victoria and be a resident of Canada? To keep the candidates above the fray, they could be required to have a group advocate on their behalf, in the election, rather than running actively themselves? The post would be for life unless resignation is requested. If the post becomes vacant then the same process could be followed or some other succession law could be enacted, with the consent of Canadians, after we have our own resident family.
This way Canada could get it's own monarch and that person or family would have the legitimacy of election as well as ancestral heritage.
We need someone who will defend the constitution from Prime Ministers who try to close parliament instead of facing criticism! The senate must effectively protect the interests of the regions equally, not their respective political parties. Minorities must be represented at the highest levels. First Nations must have their unique status reaffirmed in the minds of all Canadians.
According to our constitution, the cornerstone of government, federal & provincial as well as the judiciary, is the crown. For that institution to be disrespected and misunderstood creates a vacuum of legitimacy that power hungry politicians are too happy to step into. Addressing this impairment goes a long way to saving our democracy. Let's get it done so we can move onto the next challenge.
We the undersigned request that the Prime Minister establish a royal commission to find the best way to reform the succession and identify the most appropriate Heir Apparent to found Canada's own unique, resident, effective monarchy.
The Canada Needs Our Own Monarch petition to Prime Minister of Canada was written by Rob and is in the category Government at GoPetition.