Offshore Coronation : last leg of long journey to Canadian republic begins

May 6th, 2023 | By | Category: Canadian Republic
Tom Thomson, “The Canoe,” 1912.

COUNTERWEIGHTS EDITORS, GANATSEKWYAGON, ON. MAY 6, 2023. Almost by accident we have stumbled across a (for us) especially sensible way of commemorating the events of today back in the old imperial metropolis across the seas.

Recently our colleague Randall White completed the last or concluding draft chapter of his political-history work in progress, Children of the Global Village : Democracy in Canada Since 1497 — entitled “Epilogue : the near future.” A final version (we are assured) will be published in hard copy by eastendbooks in the near enough future. Meanwhile, Dr. White posted the current draft on the Heritage Now section of this counterweights website late yesterday.

Ojibwa allies of Ottawa Chief Pontiac’s Rebellion in defence of Canada at Fort Michilimackinac, May 1763. Painting by Robert Griffing.

Shortly after the posting was complete last night a few of us gathered with the author for some last-minute reflections — on his book project and on the coronation in London, England , which many of us on this side of the Atlantic Ocean somewhat reluctantly woke up to this morning.

On finally completing “Epilogue : the near future” (and thus the entire draft of Democracy in Canada Since 1497) Dr. White had only two brief thoughts :

“First, having now looked the last chapter Epilogue over online I’m somewhat appalled myself by its excessive length. Only a select few today will read quite so much — about anything. For the time being I’ve tried to deal with the problem by putting most of the excessive length in an Appendix that only insomniacs need consult in depth. Most readers can stop at the end of the first 10 pages of the hard-copy printed text.”

Tom Thomson in Algonquin Park.

The author went on : “My own second deep feeling at the moment is a kind of great burst of relief — a sense of a (very self-imposed) burden lifted. I have somehow managed to at least briefly escape my own various internal political and related struggles by writing them down.”

Over glasses of sparkling water late last night we then raised with our colleague the events of May 6, 2023 in London, and how they may or may not relate to Democracy in Canada Since 1497. He responded with measured warmth :

“The book explores the quite deep history behind what in many ways has almost already become the Canadian republic of the 21st century. At some point not all that far down the road, I think, Canada will politely part company with Charles III of the United Kingdom. Note the Abacus poll April 28–May 3, 2023 which found “2 in 3 Canadians would vote to eliminate the monarchy in Canada.”

2019 stamp commemorates Louis Riel — once hanged for treason, now recognized as founder of modern Manitoba — and his Red River Resistance partners in 1869.

Dr. White concluded his part of the evening with two further recommendations on recent mainstream media appearances of noted (well Toronto-based) contemporary Canadian republicans, with their particular thoughts on the events of May 6, 2023 in the old imperial metropolis. See, eg, the executive director of Citizens for a Canadian Republic Tom Freda on “Why this anti-monarchist won’t be protesting the coronation of King Charles,” in the Toronto Star, May 4, 2023. And then on the same date the executive director of Republic Now, Ashok Charles, stood up for the cause boldly on the CBC TV show The Rundown.

Assorted “constitutional” monarchists continue to dominate much of the mainstream media and many established Canadian institutions, coast to coast to coast. They continue to give short shrift to the “2 in 3 Canadians” who “ would vote to eliminate the monarchy in Canada.” (And another intriguing feature of the April 28–May 3, 2023 Abacus poll is that it tracks well with a spring 2022 Angus Reid poll. Yet another is that on this reading support for keeping the monarchy by political party is greatest for Liberals! Whatever happened to the movement that gave us the independent Canadian flag in 1965?)

From Abacus Data’s April 28-May 3, 2023 poll : “If there was a national referendum on whether to eliminate the monarchy would you vote to eliminate (gray) or keep (green)? The result for ALL is 64% Eliminate 36% Keep. The majority drops to 54% among Liberals no doubt attuned to their current leader.

For the time being the two in three of us who would vote to eliminate the monarchy will just have to grin and bear such news announcements as “King Charles III will replace his mother on Canadian $20 bill and coins … Canada marks coronation of King Charles with national ceremony in Ottawa.” You can’t really have much of a monarchy, however, when only a third of the alleged subjects believe in the institution.

And, to conclude this note (and the sparkling water revels last night), our colleague Randall White of course once again urged that anyone interested in exploring the dimensions of a new Canadian republic already much embedded in the Canadian past might at least take a quick look at the first 10 pages of “Epilogue : the near future” — the concluding chapter of his political-history work in progress, Children of the Global Village : Democracy in Canada Since 1497. We do seem to live in an age where everything must finally be for sale, And, as the author noted while briefly retreating to his favourite neighbourhood haunt, you will be able to buy a printed hard copy of the entire book soon enough!

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