15.2 million adult Canadians (and likely their kids as well) want to retire the monarchy and change to a democratically chosen Canadian Head of State.
A survey of more than 2,000 Canadians by Harris-Decima in February 2013 showed that 55% of adult Canadians want a democratically chosen Canadian Head of State, while only 34% want to continue with a member of British Royal family as Canada’s Head of State. View the survey results.
The symbolic, inherited, royal nature of Canada’s current Head of State undermines Canada’s democracy. The representatives of the British Royal family in Canada, the Governor General and the provincial Lieutenant Governors, are appointed and have no democratic legitimacy and so can’t stop the Prime Minister and provincial premiers from abusing their powers (as many of them have in recent years).
You can show you agree that it is absurd to have an unelected, effectively powerless member of the British Royal family as Canada’s Head of State by signing the petition. If you provide your email address and click on the box to receive updates, we will let you know other ways you can help with the campaign.
A country’s Head of State is the person with the ultimate power to make key decisions about how government operates, and to represent the country.
In the United States the Head of State is President Obama. Canada's Head of State is the Queen of England, represented in Canada by the Governor General who is appointed by Prime Minister Harper. The current Governor General is David Johnston. In the provinces, the Lieutenant Governors represent the Queen, and they are chosen by the Governor General as advised by Prime Minister Harper.
A country’s Head of State is not just a hollow symbol of old history. The person represents the people of a country – their values and common purpose, their sense of unity, their loyalty to each other and their national pride.
We need a democratically chosen Canadian Head of State who has the democratic legitimacy to enforce the law and uphold the public interest when faced with abuses of power by the Prime Minister or premiers, as a large majority of Canadians want.
A survey of more than 2,000 Canadians by Harris-Decima in May 2012 showed that 65% of adult Canadians want the Governor General and Lieutenant Governors to have clear powers and to be elected. View the survey results.
Having a member of the British Royal family as Canada’s Head of State is also divisive. Canada is not British only -- it is a collective of most of the races and ethnicities in the world united by a desire for freedom, democracy, peace, fairness and opportunity.
Only 16 of the 54 countries in the Commonwealth association of countries still have the British Royal family as their Head of State. The 33 countries that have retired the monarchy are still members of the Commonwealth, and still have their historical ties to Britain – but they have all grown up and are fully independent now - standing on their own two feet with all their own government institutions.
We will never have a true sense of belonging for all Canadians, or be a fully democratic country, as long as our Head of State is directly associated with, and restricted to, the heirs of one family from a foreign country who come from only one of Canada’s minorities and one of our multitudes of religions.
Canada’s Head of State needs to be modernized by having a democratically selected Canadian who represents all Canadians -- a person clearly empowered to ensure democratic government, as a large majority of Canadians want.
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