While you’re recovering from your Victoria Day long weekend, spare a thought to these two guys at U of T, who are trying to re-ignite the cause of monarchism amongst their peers. And I, of course, think that this is a great thing.
I know, I know – there are all those voices who tell me about how the monarchy is an outmoded institution, and how we’ll all think twice once Prince Charles ascends to the throne, and so on and yadda yadda.
But guess what? The monarchy is our link to our history, and for us to simply dump them because we don’t think they’re terribly fashionable at the moment – especially when we’re all enthralled with an idealised version of what we think the system that our neighbours to the south of us offers – is really short-sighted. And while yes, we have a few problems with our current system of responsible government, it doesn’t mean that the system itself is necessarily at fault.
The monarchy is more than whoever happens to be on the throne at the time – it’s a reflection of a thousand years of history and culture, for good and bad. It’s a living reminder of what has come before us, and that whole part about learning from history or being doomed to repeat it? Well, there’s our history to learn from. Let’s not simply dump it because we can’t understand what it really means.
Meanwhile, queers in Quebec are teaming up with representatives of ethnic minority communities to help “change the face of homosexuality” in the province. Things like demystifying it for ethno-cultural and religious communities, and offering support to those who have been persecuted abroad before coming to Canada. Which is awesome. But what are they doing in Alberta? Going ahead with Bill 44, which will enshrine in the province’s human rights legislation the ability of parents to pull their children out of class discussions around things like religion, sex, evolution, and so on. But hey, they’re the “most tolerant province in the country.” Or so says the province’s Culture and Community Spirit Minister. Really? Then explain why this bill is so necessary.
Elsewhere, the Canadian Forces are trying to encourage more Aboriginal recruitment into their ranks – but will they show up at Toronto Pride again this year to encourage more queer recruits? And civil liberties alert – the government introduced a new bill on Friday that would allow police to fingerprint and photograph people before they’re charged – but it’s just in the interest of saving everyone’s time. Nothing about privacy, or that the police need to destroy these new records if they don’t end up laying charges, or after a set period of time. But just wait – the moment anyone raises a single concern, they’ll be branded as “soft on crime.” Because it’s not about actually effectively fighting the causes of crime – it’s all about simply looking the part, and hoping that the ends will justify the means.