Home > canada, Democracy, Head of State, Human Rights, kate, La Democratie, Monarchie, monarchy, queen, Rachel Sa, republic, republican, Republique, Toronto Sun, william > An Open, Republican Letter To Monarchy Sympathizers (Like Rachel Sa of The Toronto Sun)

An Open, Republican Letter To Monarchy Sympathizers (Like Rachel Sa of The Toronto Sun)

Below is an excerpt of a rebuttal written to Rachel Sa of The Toronto Sun on her poorly researched article on the monarchy in Canada from The Toronto Sun, Sunday, February 19th, 2011 (As of March 11th, I have yet to receive a response):

Ms. (Rachel) Sa,

I have read your articles intermittently throughout the years. Your work speaks to the voice of the youth of today, and generally speaking, your topics represent the 21st Century youth social conscience. Your stance on the monarchy, however, represents neither youth, nor 21st Century Canada. I cordially ask that you may take the time out of your schedule to listen to my counter-argument, and perhaps reconsider your stance.

Before I get into the gist of my email, it would be rude of me not to introduce myself first. My name is Ivan Sandoval, 33 years old from Toronto. I am a staunch Canadian republican, creator of the Facebook Group, Republic For Canadians/Republique Pour Les Canadiens/Canadiennes and the associated blog – canadianrepublic.wordpress.com, and a former member of the Citizens for a Canadian Republic. I have been in the media representing the republicanism point of view on CBC’s The National, and in the Globe & Mail and your sister publication, 24 Hours.

I have attended/helped organize several protest/demonstrations/public debates on Canadian republicanism, particularly during Victoria Day Weekend (Republic of Canada Day Weekend for us, Queen Victoria never having visited Canada even once during her 65 year reign)

In terms of your article in Sunday’s Sun, I must say, that after all I’ve been a part of during the last six years, that the very last argument, amongst so many, is the one you purport as being the most common – ‘Who cares about the royals’.  This particular statement is completely unfounded and frankly, poorly researched and assumptive.

Your secondary statement, that most anti-monarchist sentiment boils down to money is more along the important line of concern amongst republicans, but is only part of the larger equation of why the monarchy does not belong in 21stCentury Canada. Although costs are definitely one aspect that undermines the monarchy, it is democracy and human rights that tend to dominate the conversation amongst Canadian republicans.

The monarchy is most definitely not who we are as a country today. Canadians respect democracy, equality and human rights, none of which are apparent under a monarchy. For how do you think it makes Canadians feel that they are officially ‘Subject’ to other human beings (‘Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors’)? You, I and all Canadians are officially ‘below’ the Royal Family. Is this not an absolute contradiction to the notion of equality? For if a set of human beings, regardless of who they are, are superior to others, then equality of all peoples inherently does not exist.

You say we “should be proud that Prince William and his new Bride will visit this summer.” Should we also be proud to know that when William and Kate do make their official presence on Parliament Hill during Canada Day, that the Canadian Maple Leaf Flag will be taken down off the Peace Tower and replaced by the Royal Standard Flag for the duration of their presence, as Canadian Federal Flag Protocol states? Will that be a proud Canadian moment for us, to see another flag fly atop the most important institution in Canada on the most important day for Canadians?

And how do you think new Canadians feel every day having to Swear a deplorable Oath, not to Canada, the country that they so longed to live in, but to the ‘Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors. These words must be uttered by every prospective Canadian citizen when they are sworn in, and by every public employee when they take a federal/provincial government office.

Is it very Canadian, to know that you, I or any Canadian can never aspire to be the Head of State of our country? Because British succession laws are limited to birthright, are limited Anglican Church Members, limited to the white Anglo-Saxon protestant race, limited to male primogeniture? Is this not electoral, religious, racist and gender discrimination at Canada’s highest level?

What about the democratic factor? How can Canada profess to be democratic, when Monarchies are the fundamental enemies of the very theory that replaced most European Monarchies in the Nineteenth Century? Birthright is not chosen by the people. How can we as a 21st Century society accept such an antiquated practice?

If you take the argument that we are, for all intents and purposes, a Constitutional Monarchy, where monarchies yield no real power, then you are mistaken as well. The Governor-General, direct representative of the British monarchy definitely continues to wield real power, though the office claims not to.

As was seen with Prorogation in 2008, Governor-General Michelle Jean delayed Parliament, effectively dismissing a Coalition Government democratic non-confidence defeat to the Conservatives. This would have required adissolving of parliament, or a resignation-demand of the Prime Minister and invitation of the opposition parties to form a government. In any other country, democracy would have overthrown the Government on the basis that a majority of Seats in a Parliament (thus the majority of the people) lost the confidence of the current government. If the Governor-General really represented democratic values, she would have allowed democracy, not convention, to right the course of Canadian politics. Instead, her absolute power goaded her to accept the Prime Minister’s recommendation of prorogation.

Ms. (Rachel) Sa, please rethink your stance, I don’t believe you have thoroughly researched this subject matter. If you look at Canadian history – 1867, 1949, 1965, 1982 – you will realize that the Canadian historic timeline, though slow, continues to distance itself from Britain to become an independent nation, not the other way around. Canada’s independence from a foreign Monarch has been a lot slower than the rest of the countries of both North and South America, all of whom cut their ties to European Monarchies at one point another. Alas, this is the Canadian way and that’s fine – just one more step to go.

It is nice to remember Canada’s past – this what street names, museums, statues and parks are for – but it’s more important to move forward and look into Canada’s future. For you and I will one day be Canada’s history, and I can’t think of a more appalling aspect of life than to look back and think that we actually accepted such a despicable, archaic form of governance in our political system. Monarchies are simply, a thing of the past.

Be the real voice of youth in Canada – think progressively, not retroactively. Make new ideas, not old ones. People remember innovation, not reiteration. You have a voice, make it heard…

For the original Toronto Sun Article, see:

http://www.torontosun.com/comment/columnists/rachel_sa/2011/02/18/17333211.html

For more information, please take a look at our:

Republic For Canadians Facebook Group of over 600 members:

Canadian Republic/Republique Canadienne Blog

Ivan Sandoval

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  1. April 28, 2011 at 3:05 am

    Well written article. I wish I could re-blog it.

  2. Daniellle
    October 17, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    Helllo,

    I am writing an essay for my sociology class on Canada’s Autonomy and the pro’s and Con’s of becoming a truly autonomous nation, mostly by means of no longer having monarchy, your article got the ball rolling.

    • October 18, 2011 at 8:37 am

      Thank you Danielle, I continue to hope for Canada to make the move to truly become an independent nation…

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