Bob Hepburn thinks getting rid of the monarchy is easy.
A three-step process should be considered.
First, Ottawa should hold a national referendum on a Yes-or-No question: “Should Canada sever ties with the British monarchy?” A simple majority would be sufficient to proceed further.
Second, if the answer is yes, a federal commission (please don’t call it a “royal commission”) should examine how we could select a head of state. The commission, with a one-year mandate, could be appointed jointly by the prime minister and provincial premiers. The commission could look at various models for choosing a head of state, such as direct election or appointment by the federal Parliament.
Third, a second referendum would be held on the commission’s top two recommended methods of choosing the next head of state.
The entire process, including the formality of each province agreeing to the necessary constitutional amendments, should take just two years.
Uh, not really. Regardless of any referendum results, abolishing the monarchy would require the provinces to agree on a plan, which isn’t easy given Canadians’ obsession with regional differences. Also, the native territorial issues need to be resolved first since territorial boundaries would need to be defined and native leaders will likely reject any attempt to nationalize all their lands. Simply checking a ‘yes’ box on a ballot doesn’t make these historical problems disappear.
Having a church leader as head of state is silly and embarrassing so a discussion on how to move forward is good but republicans need to do a better job explaining how this could be done, without resorting to fluffy ideology (Let’s just vote on it!). Do we just ignore our constitution and write a new one? Can native land claims just be transferred to a new country? How much would it cost to buy our land? (The queen owns everything, we just buy and sell the rights to use it). Until some realistic solutions are presented, any suggestions in abolishing the monarchy are futile. Get your bows and curtsies ready for King Charles!