Punctuation
2 min

Letters to the Queen

Dear fellow Canadians,

While I’m stoked that you recognize that
the Queen is the head of state, I can’t tell you how utterly disappointed I am that you’re doing ridiculous things like asserting that the Queen –
or the Governor General, take your pick – should fire Harper over the
robo-calling, or his “false majority,” or his being found in contempt of Parliament, and so on.

Here’s the thing – like it or not, Harper
won the last election, with full knowledge that he had been found in contempt
of Parliament. And Canadians decided that they didn’t care enough and gave him
a mandate. Even without the robo-calls and alleged voter suppression, he was
pretty much still going to form government because there weren’t that many
close ridings. You may not like the outcome of that election, but guess what –
there will be another one in less than four years, and if you work hard enough
to mobilize enough voters, you can oust him. But asking the Queen (or the GG)
to bypass that process, to go over the heads of voters, is not only more profoundly
undemocratic than you accuse Harper of being, but it’s also the ultimate
expression of political laziness that I can possibly fathom.

As for those of you who are raising the
banner of “Impeach Harper!” – and seriously, I’ve seen them – may I remind you
that this is not America? Because we have a different system here where
“impeachment” is not used. Rather, our prime minister must face the House of
Commons, and if he loses the confidence of the House, he’s out. His own party
can turn against him and oust him if members feel he’s damaged them and their
credibility. Yes, it’s harder for a government to lose the confidence of the
House in a majority setting, but it could happen if the backbenches revolt.
It’s even less likely at the present time because MPs no longer have spines or
minds of their own, it seems, but the system is set up for them to give the
government its walking papers at any given moment. It’s up to them to have the
gonads to do so.

Once again, I am reminded of the gross
level of civic illiteracy that we possess in this country. Because people who
understood the way that our system operates – where the Queen is the repository
of power but does not exercise it – would not go asking her to do things that
they themselves should be doing. You know, like joining parties and
organizing and actually engaging with the democratic process rather than
treating it like it’s some kind of spectator sport where your sole minimum
obligation is to maybe cast a ballot once every few years when you feel like
it. And guess what? All those things you complain about Harper doing? He gets
away with it because he knows that you’re too ignorant about the way things
work to challenge him about it, and you're too apathetic to do anything substantial if
you do cotton on.

We attained responsible government in this
country so that we could make these decisions for ourselves. Yes, democracy is
messy, and it takes time and energy if you want to make it work properly, but
guess what? That’s life. If you simply expect the Queen to do the hard work
for you, then maybe you’re the bigger threat to democracy than Harper is. Just
saying.

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