The Call of History is to Break with the Monarchy
An article by Pauline Easton published in TML Daily addresses the various arguments being given by the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) and the Quebec Liberal Party (QLP) not to break with the monarchy at this time in the context of the debate over the oath of allegiance to Charles III in the Quebec National Assembly. The articles points out:
“What time could be more appropriate? The Queen is dead and the call of history is to break with this archaic and extremely costly institution and the democracy and constitutional order it enforces. And besides, what are they afraid of? In 1982, when Canada’s constitution was “patriated,” did Quebec say that it was “not the right time” to refuse to sign the “patriated” constitution? Did it say, “We’ll sign now because it’s not the right time to challenge it and then we can withdraw our signature later, when it’s the right time”?
“No, Quebec did not sign the “patriated” constitution in 1982 despite the intrigues of the [Pierre] Trudeau Liberal government to force its hand. Despite this absence of the signature of one of the so-called “two founding nations,” and Quebec’s court challenge, the federal government did not even wait for the verdict of the court. It “patriated” the Constitution and continued to operate as if nothing had happened despite lacking the signature of the Quebec nation.
“Since then, the federal government has done its best to have a “business as usual” modus operandi when it comes to the constitutional crisis. There is no reason to think that the government of Canada will not choose to do the same if some or all of the members of the Quebec National Assembly refuse to swear allegiance to Charles III. Either way, it’s their problem, not the problem of the Quebec MNAs.
“It is shameful that the federal government, which always claimed that Quebec was a “founding nation,” declared business as usual after Quebec refused to sign the so-called 1982 constitution. The fact remains that the constitutional order contained in the “patriated ” 1982 constitution continues to enforce the “King’s democracy” by having his representatives in the Parliament, provincial legislatures and the National Assembly of Quebec swear to uphold it.
“If Quebec MNAs refuse to swear allegiance to “King Charles III,” will the federal elite decide that it’s “not a problem” since the “King’s democracy” remains intact through the legislative process and constitutional order? Or they will scream bloody murder and fuel the fires of the constitutional crisis in the name of opposing Quebec extremism and other stereotypes which seek to disinform and divide the Canadian polity so that it does not pay attention to what Canada is up to at home and abroad?
“To understand what is hidden behind these various schemes, it is instructive to read the information about the oath of allegiance on the House of Commons’ Web page:
‘…When a Member swears or solemnly affirms allegiance to the Queen as Sovereign of Canada, he or she is also swearing or solemnly affirming allegiance to the institutions the Queen represents, including the concept of democracy. Thus, a Member is making a pledge to conduct him- or herself in the best interests of the country.’
“It is, amongst other things, an egregious violation of the right to conscience which is demanded of Members of Parliament (MPs), members of the Legislative Assemblies (MLAs) and of the Quebec National Assembly (MNAs), members of the Privy Council and the like, but also hundreds of thousands of Canadians as well as Quebeckers employed in various federal institutions and permanent residents grantedcitizenship.
“In the current case of the death of the Queen and the opportunity this poses to renounce the monarchy, the Quebec people can affirm that in Quebec sovereignty is vested in the people, not in the British monarchy. Their right to be and represent themselves is the reference point and principle to be defended to open the path of society on the basis of a modern democracy. It is a rejection of the anachronism and the block posed by the constitutional order and democracy ‘of the King.’
“To take the constitution and the system of democracy imposed by the British empire, its constitutional order, its values and the democracy ‘of the King’ as the reference point is to accept the confines imposed by those with positions of privilege and power who think they can continue to rule over the majority forever. They call this the stability afforded by the constitutional order.
“We have long been told that the British Crown is only a symbol, but the rule of those with privilege and power over the people is not symbolic. It is not a matter of choice to reject this but a matter of heeding the call of history to move on. The essence of the democracy of the King and his constitutional order is the preservation of the rule of those with power and privilege over the people. The British Crown represents empire, conquest, the submission of subjects to the dictate of a sovereign who is the final word on the ecclesiastic and temporal power because he is the representative of God. This the people of Quebec, as a people, refuse to accept.
“The Canadian constitution, the British North America Act, was imposed on Canadians and Quebeckers in 1867 following the repression of the struggle of the Patriots in both Upper and Lower Canada. This constitutional order has always been corrupt and has always favoured a privileged strata and enabled them to rule over the people. This privileged strata has direct links to the crown through a myriad of state institutions and gives honours to those whose conduct preserves the values of empire. To join the club, many outrightly violate their conscience and are forced to cite high ideals as the pretext for doing so. The call of history is to renounce the monarchy, embark on a modern nation-building project and vest sovereignty in the people.