In Canada, the monarchy's a good thing

Posted 5.23.17

SHAWVILLE, QUEBEC | The old argument about Canada being -- or not -- a monarchy has indeed grown old. It's no longer a burning issue, except, probably, within the Monarchist League and in various republican grouplets.

Yet it's still worth some thought.

We are all looking south these days, wondering if we are witnessing the disintegration of the American Empire. Trump does have an old Roman flavour about him. Is he to be one of those final emperors who fooled everyone, including himself, into extravagant self-destructive adventures?

No, Mr. Trump's not an emperor.

That's his problem, we may suppose, but we must also realize it is our problem. In our case, however, we have found one answer to the fear of a collapsing empire.

The monarchy.

Here's how it looks: starting with the US, things grew so bad with "government" that the mob was willing last November to throw aside its world-admired system and elect, not a Roman, but a modern-day Mussolini.

The US "government" had been over-seeing the wholesale transfer of wealth to the richest, the 1 percent, while ordinary working people were struggling -- and getting mad. Along comes a rabble-rouser, one with flair and media savvy, and he capitalizes on that anger, gives it leadership, he says. The workers of that world did unite, briefly, and Mr Trump was elected.

But the monarchy? And Canada?

Just this: Canadians did grow tired of The Chretien Calm -- when our own national wealth was increasingly headed to the 1 percent here (plus foreign corporations, which are part of the 1 percent ). Canadians, too, were not getting ahead. Our incomes have been stuck in the 1970's! Anger, here too, was rising -- but not enough to cause more than voter ambivalence between a Wooden Rightist and a series of party-promoted opponents. Not the American model. And why not? Why didn't Canadians anticipate the route of our neighbours?

Because of the monarchy, I say.

Not the monarch alone, certainly not. It's hard to see anything the monarch alone might have contributed! No, the entire superstructure of the monarchy added a powerful insulating effect to the "government" here in Canada. Even more, it added and still adds a patina of respect -- and we're taught to respect history the way the Yanks are not.

Our monarchist superstructure is complex and very widespread, reaching from the Governor General's mansion in Ottawa to every province, to most colleges and universities -- a surprisingly wide and robust network. This provides our "government" a huge garment of respectability, almost a cloak of invisibility when it comes to shady dealings. We hardly ever hear carping about the "government" here, nowhere near in comparison to the US with its media-encouraged accusations of government corruption, arrogance, and robbery.

The day our monarchy (with its measured-march ceremony and pointless uniforms and flags) begins to look like a gang of Bay Street thieves robbing the nation blind, that day we're in big trouble. We'd get a Trump. Instead, we have a monarch.


Copyright © 2017 Fred Ryan/Log Cabin Chronicles/5.17