Nossal: Does the ‘royal’ rebranding of the Canadian Forces have a wider meaning?
Director of the Centre for International and Defence Policy, Queen's University
The restoration of the historic names of the three services of Canada’s armed forces is symbolic, but historical symbols are important. We live in a constitutional monarchy—a form of government found in over thirty other countries around the world—and monarchical symbols, some of them quite atavistic, are deeply embedded not only in our structures of governance but also in the day-to-day existence of citizens. It is possible that a future generation of Canadians may eventually decide to break the evolutionary link with our European and feudal past, and replace the monarchy with a republican form of government. But unless (or until) that happens, connecting our armed forces and our head of state, as the royal designation does, is an important political symbol.