Friday, July 9, 2010

The Queen of Canada Visits New York

HM Queen Elizabeth II has ended her tour of the Dominion of Canada and visit to the UN in New York City. Whether reviewing the fleet, meeting with PM Stephen Harper or attending the various other social functions she was invited to, the Queen reminds everyone why she has such an unassailable position and a reputation for never putting ‘a foot wrong’. She does the right things, she says the right things and she does it all with a regal style and class that no political figure could ever hope to match. A number of things about this visit impressed me immensely. I, of course, loved the Queen referring to Canada as “home”; that was a remark sure to go over well and, here is the part many seemed not to understand (at least in US media) -it is true! As the sovereign Canada is as much her home as Australia, New Zealand or the UK.

I was also pleased with Stephen Harper’s remarks (probably since I have been a little disappointed with some seeming lack of enthusiasm for the monarchy on his part in the past). I also cannot help but mention the Queen, ever the picture of civility, doing part of her Canada Day speech in French. Her Majesty, of course, did not visit Quebec due to the shameful reception she has been given there in the past. I cannot help but wonder how long the antics of Quebec will be tolerated by the rest of Canada when so much is done to distance themselves in spite of constant efforts to include them in the Canadian family. The Queen made many of the remarks one expects when talking about Canada but was something more special coming from her. Because it was the Queen of Canada saying these things it reiterated the importance and centrality of the monarchy to Canada.

The republicans mostly took the week off; they prefer to attack someone behind their back than to their face, but when pressed on the issue they had to admit, yet again (and I’m sure they hate this) that the Queen is sacrosanct and they will have to wait until the accession of the Prince of Wales to make their treasonous move. When the Queen left Canada for her brief visit to the United States it was also amusing to watch the reaction of the American media. Fox News Channel (owned by Rupert Murdoch) said almost nothing about it while CNN and MSNBC gave short, glowing but patronizing reports. You really get the impression watching the American media deal with the Queen that they *so* want to impress Her Majesty but *so* don’t want to admit it.

They were mostly complimentary but continuously (and I DO mean continuously) mentioned how “historic” it was when the Queen addressed the UN, how it was like being in a time machine, how it was a ‘blast from the past’. I don’t know if this was a subconscious obsession with the Queen being a fairly elderly woman or if it was part of the correlation in the minds of all liberals that anything relating to monarchy is archaic and out-of-date, very “old fashioned”. Again, they mostly said the Queen looked good, gave a good speech etc but you got the feeling that it was all said with a condescending attitude. Almost without exception you could hear it in their voices that they think the Queen doesn’t really matter and no one should make a fuss over her but that they would be thrilled to pieces if she were to give them any attention. One, I believe on CNN, even asked why the Queen stayed in Canada for so long but made only a brief, whirlwind visit of New York. I guess it is a widespread problem; the number of people who fail to realize that she is the Queen of Canada. God Save Her!


  1. I have heard that attitude often enough here as well. Britain's monarchy is so well known lots of people have an opinion but I talk about the monarchy in my homeland and I hear people trying to be nice but really talking down to you. "Oh, how cute! Your little country has a king, isn't that nice." They do not realize there would be no country without him and a president could never do the same job, that would be absolutely impossible. In the same way Canada would not be Canada without the Queen it would just be the United States northern extension.

  2. This is to be expected. We live in a time where the ideal of Democracy i unquestioned, and people just assume that any remaining Monarchies are Quaint vestiges of the past kept as a sort of Nostalgic decoration on an otherwise Modern Republic. As it is understood as Outdated and anarchistic to todays assumptions, such reactions are to be the norm.

    They can't fathom it being Important.

  3. Just to demonstrate how far the idiocy has gone, watch this, and remember to laugh. A very severe case of a critical research failure.

    And the condescension comes from the unfortunate implications (generally supported by studies - I'd like to see their data sets, actually) that conservatives (and thus monarchists) are generally less intelligent than progressives, and as such, is them just saying "Oh, it's OK. You'll get better dear. Just a smattering of this Progressivist latte should do the trick." (I should point out that I find coffee about as tasty in general as ash-flavoured water, and always prefer tea).

  4. Thanks to my grandmother (who's Irish oddly enough) I've always been a tea drinker as well, taking coffee only in emergencies. I have no doubt that liberals are more "intelligent" than conservatives since the modern educational system is dominated by liberals, they write the books, set the standards and give the tests. Even when I was at the university (a very "conservative" one by the standards here) I knew you had to at least sound liberal if you wanted to pass.

  5. I agree on the School bit. A lot of modern Conservatives tend to accept Liberal theories and ideas precicely because htey absorb them via education and culture.

    Logically, if the Teacher etaches the Student learn, and the student learns only what he is given him by the Teacher. So if the Teacher teahes class struggle as a Fundamental principle to History, the Student tends ot view the whole of Hisotry in that cotnext even if he claism to reject it, because this is the enture framework of how it was taught.

    Monarchism is in the same sort of position right now, as everyone knows that Democracy is a Superior and enlightened Governign Philosophy which has replaced the older, out of date concept of Monarhcy. We alo know that Democracy allows us Freedom, and Monarhcy did not. Thats why when we advocate monarhcy here, everyone thigns we want Dictatorships and Tyrannies.

    How can you have Freedom fo Speech, association,a nd the Press if we dont elect our Leaders?

  6. Yes, we elect our leaders so we have "freedom". Never mind that in the USA you need the government's permission to build a shed in your backyard or put a porch on your house. Never mind that the EU paper-pushers no one voted for control everything from how many eggs come in a carton in Holland to how tall the climbing frames in Scotland are -we have freedom! They have been singing the "democracy=freedom" song all while the countries of Europe and North America (the most free in the world) continue to add on to a government monster more far-reaching and totalitarian than even Hitler ever managed.

  7. Democracy isn't that awful... democracy is good in modulation, and it needs checks and balances. One of the reasons I'm a monarchist is because the monarchy in my country (Australia) *protects* democracy. If we handed the power of the Crown over to the politicians, there certainly wouldn't be any more freedom and democracy than we have now, but there would certainly be abuse of democracy and of parliament's political freedoms...

  8. I think pure democracy pretty much *is* that awful but, if you're going to go down the more modern path it can, in degrees, be a useful block on the politicians themselves. One of the things I admire about the Australian system (as compared to the British) is that the constitution cannot be changed without putting the issue to a nationwide vote. If the UK had such a system I doubt the EU would be such the menace it is today.


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