Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Monarchy and Political Impartiality
Some may think, in the case of Canada at least, that the right in the “Great White North” may simply be infected by the republicanism of conservatives in the United States. It is worth considering as it is simply a matter of fact that, like so many others, with the dissolution of the British Empire and the trend in Canada to distance itself from its British roots that the country has drawn closer to the United States. The United States has a tremendous impact on almost every aspect of Canadian life. No country is as economically important to Canada as the United States and in terms of culture Canadians watch American television programs, American movies, listen to American music, shop in American stores, eat at American restaurants, wear American clothes and even keep a close eye on American politics. However, because all of that is true, many Canadians make a conscious effort to define themselves by how they are different from Americans and certainly there is no greater difference than the Canadian monarchy. That IS the great difference as both countries were originally in exactly the same boat as colonies of British North America prior to the Revolutionary War at which time the United States chose the path of rebellion and republicanism and Canada chose the path of loyalty and constitutional monarchy. Just as Americans revere their Founding Fathers, any patriotic Canadian should be expected to equally revere the loyalists who were the founders of their country.
Take an issue like global warming/climate change/whatever they are calling it this year and you will see what I am driving at. Personally, I think most of it is a bunch of nonsense, yet that does not change my opinion of those royal figures who have made it one of their major causes as so many have, from the Prince of Wales to the Prince of Monaco. Once upon a time, this would not have been a political issue at all. I am not an old man but even I remember when it was not, when it was simply an effort to make people more environmentally conscious and to persuade people to stop littering, to recycle and to strive to do whatever they can in their own lives to reduce pollution and promote cleaner air and water. However, at some point politicians got involved and governments began regulating the issue. Suddenly individual choices were in the balance, public money was being spent and so environmentalism became a political movement. I would disagree, but I would suppose there are those on the right who view environmentalism as a left-wing agenda and would resent someone like the Prince of Wales taking a political position they strongly oppose. I suppose that could motivate some to no longer be supportive of the monarchy.
I have said it a hundred times, but I will say it a hundred more; playing the blame game never solved anything. Once confined to the left, it seems the right (or “conservatives”) are catching on to the idea as well. Yet, it is so much easier than actually making an effort to DO something, no matter how small, to get involved, to participate and to start with the people around you. The world did not get the way it is overnight and it will take more than one night or one monarch to set things right again, or at least as near as possible (things have never been perfect and I for one do not believe they ever will be in this existence). What will certainly never make things better is allowing the last edifices of traditional authority to crumble or for conservatives to pile on with the republicans in denigrating their monarchs. Snotty remarks on the internet will change nothing, everyone has to take action, do what they can in their own life with those around them to start moving the needle back in the right direction. It is not easy but it is possible. I live in what is probably the most staunchly republican country in the world and yet even here there is no one that I know personally, who I interact with on a regular basis who is any longer anti-monarchy. Before being critical of monarchs, everyone should ask if we are truly doing all we can. If the culture changes, I have little doubt the politics of monarchs will change as well but, let me stress, even if they do not, conservatives especially should always be loyal even if opposed to certain policies. Personal loyalty to your sovereign is something that should be absolutely non-negotiable.