POLS 2910 First Essay.docx - 1 Neidel Hamilton 215252794...

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1 Neidel Hamilton 215252794 Karl Gardner Canada Should Shift from a Constitutional Monarchy to a Parliamentary Republic When speaking of the “Crown” in Canada, the first image that crosses the minds of many Canadians is one of their beloved Queen Elizabeth II and the royal family making rounds and gloriously waving to cheering crowds during the Royal Tour. However, in reality, the “Crown” less so represents the queen and her royal family but more so an idea. It describes the way in which Canada’s government is shaped and operates. As Ralph Heintzman is quoted as saying in John Fraser’s The Once and Future Crown, “The idea of the Crown… is that the ultimate source of authority is not to be located in the people but in something higher, something that is above the people and to which they owe allegiance”(Fraser, p. 199-200). Heintzman continues his explanation of the Crown by also stating what the Crown does not mean. The Crown does not mean that the people are free to do as they wish. As Heintzman explains, “… the sovereign power may have its source above the people, but the power is exercised by the people and can do only what they themselves have decided upon” (Fraser, p. 200). The Crown, of course, refers to Canada’s constitutional monarchy. For years, many Canadians have raised questions about the legitimacy of the Crown and whether or not it is time to sever royal ties and switch to a parliamentary republic. In this essay, I will argue that these questions are more than appropriate, and it is indeed time to abandon the crown. To prove my argument, I will first explain the fundamental issues of the Crown. Next, I will compare and contrast the two forms of government in question: constitution monarchy and parliamentary
2 republic and discuss their respective advantages and disadvantages. I will also explain how a switch to a parliamentary republic would impact the democratic deficit and the position of governor general. Lastly, I will offer a few potential changes to the current system that may possibly alleviate some concerns of the republican movement. From a neutral, international perspective, the Canadian infatuation of the “Crown” is rather difficult to understand. The Crown is essentially another way of saying “ the throne” or “the King/Queen” and it is under the Queen that Canadians’ rights and freedoms have been enshrined, politicians govern, and judges, prosecutors, and defenders in the justice system operate (Fraser, pp. 201-202). Canada and the United States are both results of British colonialization and both have since gained their independence yet only one of them has elected to cut ties with England. In fact, it took until 1947 for Canadians to technically be “Canadian” and not British subjects as a result of the Canadian Citizenship Act (Tidridge, p. 49).

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