Humanist Perspectives: issue 204: Stop the Reign and Down with the Crown

Stop the Reign and Down with the Crown
by Daniel Mayo

T

he time has come for brave Canadian men and women (plus those who may not have decided yet which they are) to renounce our status as a monarchy and become a republic. As our rockstar prime minister might put it, because it’s 2018.

Corgi

It won’t be that hard. A bit of paperwork for the lawyers and a brief note to Her Majesty thanking her for her service and offering a good letter of reference. But first we’ll need a short interlude of re-education camp for the weak-kneed or misguided and the geriatric set at the Loyal Orange Lodge. Armed insurrection, as always in matters constitutional, should be a last resort.

First we can try logic and moral suasion. The logic of abolition is irrefutable, which of course is no guarantee of success in political debates. Fear should be the tactic of last resort – the imminent and scary prospect of Charles III, aka the Tampon King, along with the ghastly home-wrecker Queen Camilla thrown in for the sake of family values.

So here are the Top 5 logical reasons:

  1. Monarchy is an anachronistic, feudal and colonial relic unbecoming to an independent modern nation of 150 years’ standing.
  2. A majority of Canadians now favour abandoning the monarchy, the margins being especially strong among French Canadians, plus those of non-European stock and our younger citizens. And the trend lines are all upward.
  3. Hereditary privilege as a basis of governance is anti-democratic and undermines the sacred merit principle.
  4. We can stay in the Commonwealth even if we go republican. Most of the Commonwealth’s 53 members are republics.
  5. The sky will not fall, and booze will still be cheap at the Canadian Legion.
Crimes against secularism

As a devout secular humanist, I advocate a yet more persuasive reason – religion, or rather the lack thereof. Let me explain. Our Supreme Court recently gave us a new constitutional principle of utmost importance, viz., the state owes Canadians a duty of neutrality in religious affairs. This neutrality principle was revealed by the Supremes when they outlawed prayer and other religious trappings from municipal councils (Alain Simoneau v City of Sageunay, 2015).

Our monarch, sad to say, is distinctly religious. Indeed her story, which she is sticking to, is that she is Queen by the Grace of God – Dei Gratia Regina for my dear readers of the Latin persuasion. Check out any coin which may happen to be in your purse, piggy bank or sporran. (HRH Prince Philip himself is apparently worshipped as a God in Vanuatu but that is a tale for another day.)

To compound Her Majesty’s grievous assault on the Canadian principle of state neutrality, she claims to be head of the Church too. Shockingly in this age of diversity and inclusiveness, she makes this claim only with regard to the Anglican Church, or C of E as they say in the old country. An unforgivable anti-neutrality twofer! Surely our Jewish, Muslim, Catholic and Doukhobor brothers and sisters are offended – if they only knew. We could help with that.

Charles III – ugh!

Finally, and with grim determination, we must face the royal elephant in the palace, the previously mentioned Charles III. To soft-hearted souls it would seem churlish if not elderly-abusive to kick out dear Lizzy at this point, at the tender age of 91. So the kindly thing to do is let her quietly serve out her remaining time (it can’t be much longer for Chrissake) before we guillotine the institution and avoid the grisly fate of the reign of Charles Windsor.

Consider the provenance of the name. Charles I was so obnoxious and tyrannical that even the aristocracy of the day had to chop off his head. Charles II, the so-called Merry Monarch, bothered not at all about affairs of state, being more interested in the other kind, fathering some 17 illegitimate children plus dallying with many more young ladies – all without the benefit of clergy, I might add disapprovingly. Our looming Charles summed it up to his lovely bride Princess Diana thusly – “did you seriously expect me to be the only Prince of Wales in history not to have mistresses?” The cad who would be king.

And really, what an insult to our dignity. The man is even more helpless than a normal husband – he can’t get by without a retinue of valets and footmen to dress him, polish his boots, hang up his shirts, iron his shoe laces and squeeze his toothpaste. One must not ask if he employs a royal arsewiper – though there is a palace position called Gentleman Officer of the Royal Bedchamber. I leave the details of his duties to the prurient imaginings of my dear readers. And Charles is such a superior being that lesser mortals may not address him directly without permission and must back out of the room when leaving. Nothing untoward or critical may be done or said in front of the Corgis.

Celebrity gossip mania

There could also be a side benefit of axing the monarchy, a diminution in the endless royal soap operas to which we are subjected. Not only Charles, but we endure mindless celebrity gossip about the extended brood of relations. No entrail is too trivial to paw through. The latest royal infant is fawned over. Lately it’s even worse. Reporters, who seem to have suffered a complete collapse of their critical faculties, now inform us with news of Duchess Kate’s royal embryo. I refuse to look at the ultra-sound images before breakfast.

But now, with another royal wedding engagement (Prince Harry and commoner Megan), we must endure endless soppy coverage of each molecule of pre-wedding activity and ceremonial extravaganza. Fortunately we can defer to the discretion of the Gentleman Officer of the Royal Bedchamber to shield us from the activities of the wedding night. Unless he blabs to the tabloids, which has been known to happen. Palace staff, sadly more than once, have put cash ahead of loyalty. Sigh. Remind me again why so many buy into the British monarchy?

Republic of Canada! Has a nice ring to it, eh? Probably a better name choice than Peoples’ Republic of Canada as some communist countries have alas tarnished the Peoples’ name.

Remember, any Canadian still wanting a little royal fix can attend the next Commonwealth meeting of heads of state where Her or His Or Their Highness will make an uplifting appearance, lending a nostalgic air of Rule Britannia to the august proceedings. Followed by cricket and Pims.

And so to bed ...to dream of freedom from royalist oppression.

Dan Mayo (dmayo@sympatico.ca) is a country lawyer in Carp, Ontario. Born in Alberta, with a good head-start in life, to an atheist father & agnostic mother, Dan has so far litigated four municipal prayer cases: one loss, three wins. When not suing people, Dan enjoys life on the farm with his wife Sarah, their trees & their dogs and occasionally performing & recording folk music.

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