What Canadian monarchy?
As we celebrate “the Queen’s birthday”, a long colonial tradition, doesn’t the event make us wonder why? We don’t celebrate King Alfred’s birthday, nor that of the last King of France, nor the dukes of various Duchies. Why, and why not? And why, right at the bottom of everything, do we celebrate another country’s monarchy?
We are about to have another Royal Tour this summer. A couple of poorly educated Royals will tour a couple of provinces with their couple of kids – and we will pay their more than a couple bills. We’ll do more. There will be spectators lining the routes, some weeping at catching sight of an actual Royal. Our media will gag itself on effusive coverage. In the end, they’ll depart, nothing accomplished, no wars averted, no universities launched, but guaranteed we’ll be poorer, by millions. Does all this make sense?
Yes, some of us go crazy over the Royals from another country, but not any other country; this is the colonizer, the Empire which established some of our nation. We, celebrating so long after the conquest and after the repatriation of our constitution, what are we really celebrating? Aren’t we inadvertently celebrating all of that country’s involvement in our nation? Including the destruction of our country’s indigenous cultures and populations? Are we celebrating the smallpox-filled blankets shipped from London to be distributed to the natives? Celebrating a war crime, that would be, and many of them.
I understand that feelings run high, and that many people feel an attachment to the monarchy in general. They argue that it creates a sense of continuity and stability; that it frees the legislators from ceremonial duties which the Royal Family can undertake (if we foot their bills). It also, in theory, creates one more check that the checks and balances democracy seems to require. So, couldn’t we celebrate a monarchy, but not one from an old European empire?
How do monarchies begin? Usually it’s some brute at the head of a legion of privateers who conquers power and declares himself king. Canadians could do better. We’re not about to elect King Trump, or anything like that, but we could set up our own Royal House. Traditions begin somewhere, so we could start our own; someone from a noble people, familiar with Canadian conditions and challenges. Not from the jet-set.
Dr MacLellan, OC, working in Shawville, has suggested that we seek out the oldest Inuit family in our nation, and invest them as Canadian royalty. We make the choice on the basis of age – the oldest genome we can find among Inuit families.
Canada calls for volunteer Inuit families, each is tested for its genetic make-up, and we pick the family with the oldest identifiable genome. How’s that for tradition, for honouring the past?
Not only would we be respecting age, time, and history, these Royals might be more economical. That’s a Canadian trait. Fewer travel bills, less expensive tastes. And, surely, more interesting speakers. They’d surely have something to say.