As the British Empire fades into history.

Despite Her Majesty’s annual message of hope, stiff upper lip and all, and her references to the Christian Bible, we see no future for the British Empire. Elizabeth II has been sending her Christmas messages to the diminishing British Commonwealth for more than 60 years. It is still an anachronism and of little or no use to Canadians.

Can 2016 be the year the real dialogue begins? Or are the royals the batty relatives we have to keep locked in the closet away from the common folk? What do they contribute to Canada but considerable inertia?

And please do not give us that need for figurehead claptrap. The Roman Catholic Church gave us that guff 2000 years ago and is much more practiced at it.

And frankly, we would almost prefer to see someone like Santa Claus on Canada’s $20 bill and his elves on our coins.

Canada has to open up its mind to rebuilding the country’s constitution. We can hardly do endless renovations to a house that has no foundation. Do we even need a bicameral parliament? Maybe there is a role for an elected senate? Why not elect a president? Why not let the prime minister manage the parliament? Would we be foolish enough to try to elect a proportional parliament? Are all provinces equal?

Canada was created almost 150 years ago by a bunch of guys with beards and top hats. They looked damn uncomfortable in their wing collars and ties. They created a country beholden to the Brits and we dutifully hewed their wood and sent them furs. We more than paid off our debts to England in the fiasco with the Boers and then in two world wars.

We look south these days, try to understand Donald Trump and say “Thank God we aren’t American.”

In 2015, we threw off the yoke of insipid conservatism. We opened our country to refugees from dictatorship and jihadists. We are looking to the future with a renewed enthusiasm. We are remaining open to trade deals but ‘free trade’ comes at the price of hard work. You have to have something other people want to strike a deal for something you want from them. And you do not have resources to sell forever.

This all comes down to “Happy New Year Canada.” You live in exciting times.

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Copyright 2015 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to peter@lowry.me

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