John Fraser defends the monarchy. Why?

The last thing we need today was another book extolling Canada’s relationship with the monarchy. Can people find nothing more irrelevant to write about?

But John Fraser wants to entice people to read—wait for it—The Secret of the Crown.

The secret is out: John Fraser is a monarchist. The Master of Massey College, entrusted with the coddling of the impressionable minds of the elite among graduate students at the University of Toronto is a staunch defender of the royals. He was so thrilled with the visit of the newlyweds, Billie and Katie, to Canada last year, he had to write about it.

Fraser sees the monarchy as having a stabilizing affect on Canada. He is concerned about the dire consequences of dumping the monarchy for he knows not what. He claims the monarchy protects our traditions, customs, laws and rights. He fails to explain how the monarchy achieves this feat.  The royals do not even understand a tradition such as Hockey Night in Canada. And even John Fraser might not understand a custom such as ending our sentences with an interrogatory ‘Eh!’ And we can only hope that the Supreme Court will keep our laws and rights safe from Harper’s Conservatives.

But Mr. Fraser’s admiration of the monarchy is his right. And it is our right to feel the same as many Canadians. There are those of us who do not care about the monarchy. We figure the monarchy’s best before date expired about a century ago.

What we object to is that the monarchists among us are very much afraid of an open discussion on the subject of the monarchy. They do not want us to question the role of the monarchy. Even the royals themselves have finally decided that the law of primogenitor was so obsolete as to be embarrassing. They now agree that the rights of women are equal to men in our modern society. And it certainly was not the Monarchist League that advised them to make the change.

Mr. Fraser has his right to be a conservative (in the proper sense of the word). That means, he has the right to resist change. He can help preserve old customs and quaint traditions. He can join in re-enacting the Battle of  the Boyne for all we care.

But we will fight his resistance to change in how this country serves its citizens. A constitutional conference is something that has to happen. We can no longer live with a 19th century constitution. We must have thorough discussion of how we want our country to be run. And then the voters will decide.

If Canadians want the monarchy in preference to some possibly updated system, so be it. At least we will have decided. We will then work with whatever we decide.


Copyright 2012 © Peter Lowry

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