The Globe and Mail newspaper in Canada recently declared the final results of a
poll about retaining The Queen as Head of State (the Canadian constitution is
different from the Australian)
The result was a landslide in favour of The
Queen: 82 per cent to 18 per cent! An extraordinarily large number of
Canadians voted- approximately 70,000 votes were cast.
WARM WELCOME TO QUEEN BY PM
The Prime Minister, the Hon. Paul Martin, the leader of the equivalent in Canada to the Labor Party, began his address to The Queen with these memorable words:
For more than half the life of the Provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, you have been our Queen. You have borne witness to the changes, the challenges, the achievements of Canadians. You are part of that history, part of us. Through times of great sadness and great joy, you have been with us. Your affection for and dedication to our country has never wavered. Now, on this centenary occasion, we give to you, as always, our loyalty, our deep affection – and a most heartfelt welcome to this wonderful part of Canada." This reminded me that the great Labour Prime Ministers were all strong constitutional monarchists.
THE OATH OF ALLEGIANCE
The Canadian Monarchist League contains some words of wisdom on the Oath of
Allegiance:http://www.monarchist.ca/new/oath.html . An extract follows:
"We take oaths of parliamentary loyalty, of general allegiance, or of citizenship to our Sovereign, the head of our national family, because she has first taken an oath of loyalty to us, her people. The oath of citizenship is a reciprocal oath because it is really only one half of the relationship between subject and sovereign, the other half being the Queen’s oath to her subjects.
Canada itself, except through its personification in the Queen, cannot take an oath to its people so an oath to Canada is a one-way imposition that improperly restricts the freedom of Canadians…… The problem with taking an oath to "Canada" or to any country is knowing exactly what you are swearing to.
What is "Canada"? Is it the rocks and trees? Is it the land? Is it the people? Is it the government? Or is it someone elses vision which you do not believe in? When we swear to the Queen of Canada we know exactly whom we are swearing to – the person in our Constitution who is the source of legal authority in Canada. If we swear to "Canada" undefined, we are most likely swearing to some idea in our own minds.
Oaths however have to be legally enforceable. They cannot be enforceable if they are made to vague and undefined abstractions, or even worse, in such a situation, their enforcement would restrict legitimate freedom.
New Canadians coming from less democratic countries are likely to interpret an oath to an undefined "Canada" as an oath to the government of the day — the very last thing we should do…..
Almost no country in the world asks new citizens to swear an oath to the country. Republics for the most part require an oath be made to the constitution because the constitution is at least definable in law. Monarchies like Spain and Thailand have oaths to the King. Some countries require no oath or declaration at all from prospective citizens.
France since the time of the French Revolution has had 2 kingdoms, 2 empires and 5 republics, and presumably there is not sufficient agreement about what should be in such an oath for it to have an oath of any kind. Even if that were not so, the idea should not be to make Canada like some other country but to have new citizens accept the unique character and heritage of Canada that are the source of everything that has made this country such a desirable place in which to live."
This comment, composed as a series of questions and answers, is well worth
reading. Congratulations to John aimers and the Canadian League!
Until Next Time,