After the disastrous results in the past few federal elections, the Liberal Party of Canada is finally doing some soul searching in an attempt to figure out why they exist and what their vision for Canada will be.
A key part of this process will be the policy renewal conference to be held next weekend in Ottawa. There they will debate resolutions on whether to adopt a leadership primary system like the US presidential elections.
Of more interest to readers here though will be a resolution submitted by the Liberal’s youth wing calling for an abolition of the monarchy [pdf]:
114. Canadian Identity in the 21st Century
WHEREAS Canada is a multicultural nation, built by people from many diverse backgrounds and where at present no Canadian citizen can ever aspire to be head of state of our own country;
WHEREAS Canadians believe in earning one’s position in life and not being simply born into privilege;
WHEREAS our head of state should be a true representative of the People of Canada;
WHEREAS Canada prides itself in being a democratic nation, with democratic institutions;
WHEREAS foreign law bars individuals not of the Anglican faith from rising to the position of head of state of Canada;
WHEREAS Canada’s head of state should conform to Canadian laws of gender and religious equality
represented in the Charter of Rights and Freedom;
WHEREAS Canadians pay more to maintain the monarchy than the British ;
WHEREAS an unelected individual can and is prepared to supersede the will of the Parliament;
BE IT RESLOVED that the Liberal Party of Canada, urge the Parliament of Canada to form an all party committee to study the implementation of instituting a Canadian head of state popularly elected and sever formal ties with the British Crown.
Young Liberals of Canada
I recently attended the BC NDP convention where we debated about 7 resolutions total over 2.5 days, so whether or not this will make it is up for debate. What is impressive though is that this resolution just made the cut-off for the priority policies. This means they might actually debate it.
Huffington Post Canada argues that while the costs are large, one poll seems to indicate Canadians are against severing ties to the monarchy. A different poll, also conducted by Angus-Reid six months earlier, found a very weak attachment to the monarchy. Overall, I think most Canadians are ambivalent about our anti-democratic head of state, but fear constitutional debates.
It will be interesting to see what happens with this resolution though, and it does mimic a position taken by NDP leadership candidate Nathan Cullen who has called for a national referendum on the monarchy.