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Canadian History Paper - Essay Example

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Name Name 1 Class Instructor Date Shackled to an Anachronism: Canada, Britain and the Burden of Monarchy The monarchist/republican debate has long smoldered just below the surface of public opinion, needing only some cultural or political spark to ignite a resolute and full-throated call for change…
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Canadian History Paper

Download file to see previous pages... But the problem remains: Canada cannot realize its full political and economic promise with a foreign monarch as its head of state, one whose presence is a constant reminder of the nation’s colonial past. As such, Canada should sever its ties to the constitutional monarchy. In March 2002, Prince Charles visited Mexico City to promote trade between Mexico and Great Britain. As often happens when a member of the royal family embarks on a diplomatic visit to the Americas, Canada’s economic position in the international community is marginalized by what can best be described as an awkward, hierarchical relationship. Charles’ mission to Mexico offers a case in point: Mexico and Canada are trading partners under terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement, and yet according to Canada’s constitutional ties to Name 2 the British throne, the Prince of Wales was there ostensibly as proxy for Canada’s legal head of state, Queen Elizabeth II. In the marketplace of international commerce, sovereignty and prestige are important to engendering and maintaining confidence among a nation’s business partners. ...
When Britain sought membership in the European Economic Community in 1961, Canada, through no fault of its own, found itself in an awkward and potentially damaging situation with the United States. The U.S. complained that Britain’s move into the EEC would pull Canada into a preferential European agreement, which “would threaten American trading interests by…linking Britain and its current and former colonies into the large European market” (Buckner, 109). The constitutional monarchy has also placed undue pressure on Canada’s domestic political scene. Quebec’s lingering separatist movement has for decades drawn on the country’s ties to Britain, the very symbol of imperial/colonialist domination, for political ammunition. The queen’s 1964 visit to Quebec, one of her most disastrous forays into North America, exacerbated anti-union sentiment in Quebec. She was booed in Quebec City, and Rene Levesque, Quebec’s minister of Natural Resources, boycotted the banquet celebrating the royal visit (Buckner, 89). Worse still, civil unrest followed marked by acts of violence involving protesters and the provincial police, whose actions made martyrs of the separatists. Name 3 Canada’s increasing ethnic diversity has, in recent years, called into question whether a constitutional monarchy is an appropriate institution for a democratic, pluralistic society. It is difficult to imagine that a constitutional monarchy could ever be a unifying factor in a country where citizens of English ancestry are now in the minority (Leuprecht, 68). The continued presence of the Queen (and her successor) affirms a “symbolic executive (who) would seem to be limited not only for those in Quebec but for the many ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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