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Copeland: Should Canada cut ties with the monarchy and become a republic?

By: /
11 June, 2012
By: Daryl Copeland

Former diplomat; research fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute

My preference would be to remain a constitutional monarchy.

But the embarrassingly retro track that the government has embarked upon represents another thing entirely.

With the establishment of the bizarre “Sovereign’s Wall” front and centre in the DFAIT foyer – one British diplomatic colleague remarked to me that this had evoked in him an “out of body” experience – and the royal re-naming of the Canadian navy and air force, something of neo-colonial reaction appears to be afoot.

Moreover, the symbolic restoration of the role and place of the monarchy is just part of a thorough recasting of all aspects of the Canadian brand.

In a few short years, the image and reputation of this country have been transformed from that of Pearsonian internationalist (helpful fixer, honest broker, generous aid donor, earnest peacekeeper) to something akin to a royalist, free trading, warrior nation.

At minimum, and especially in a country as multicultural and diverse as Canada, this is surely a transformation worthy of broad public discussion and debate.

Instead, while the remaking steamrolls forward, the silence is deafening.

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