Canada’s Royal Succession Bill

In 2011, at a meeting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government held in Perth, Australia, the 16 countries which have Queen Elizabeth as their head of state agreed to modernize the rules of royal succession. The proposed changes would put an end to three current practices: male children inheriting the throne ahead of their older, female siblings. a ban on a monarch or direct heir to the throne marrying a Roman Catholic. the requirement for all descendants of George II to obtain the monarch’s permission to marry or else have their marriage declared void. The Canadian government recently introduced Bill C-53, An Act to assent to alterations in the law touching the Succession to the Throne. A motion was moved, […]

On Constitutional Monarchy

Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and many other countries, are constitutional monarchies. Constitutional monarchy is a form of monarchical government established under a constitutional system that acknowledges an elected or hereditary monarch as head of state. Modern constitutional monarchies usually implement the concept of trias politica or “separation of powers”, where the monarch either is the head of the executive branch or simply has a ceremonial role. Where a monarch holds absolute power, it is known as an absolute monarchy. The process of government and law within an absolute monarchy can be very different from that in a constitutional monarchy. Canada is a constitutional monarchy and a Commonwealth Realm that formally recognizes Elizabeth II as Queen of Canada. […]

Some interesting links

1. The Big Society The Canadian media has recently been reporting that the current Conservative Government is considering emulating the UK Coalition Government in adopting David Cameron’s Big Society. Some of what has been written here in Canada is critical of this, which is their perogative, but I found that they often failed to adequately explain the plan. See, for example, this post by Murray Dobbin, in which he dimisses the initiative as “social engineering from the right” and pointing out that the Big Society “scam” has been “widely ridiculed” but makes little effort to explain how it’s supposed to work. I am not argueing for or against this initiative, but I did think some Canadians (and perhaps some Brits) […]

A few thoughts on the monarchy

With all the focus on the AV referendum in the UK and the general election here in Canada, I’ve not had a chance to write anything about another event that’s in the news quite a bit. Of course I am referring to the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29. I freely admit that I am a monarchist. I recognize that there is nothing rational in being a monarchist, but as Alex Massie points out “[M]onarchy may not satisfy a keen rationalist but abandoning something that works simply because it doesn’t “make sense” doesn’t make much sense either.” I don’t really intend to write about the wedding itself. I am more interested in a couple of […]

Lessons Learned – Part 2

Continuing my discussion of the House of Commons Political and Constitutional Reform Committee’s recent report, Lessons from the process of Government formation after the 2010 General Election, in this section, I will look at their findings regarding when a Prime Minister should resign and the appointment of the new Prime Minister. Parliamentary custom and convention dictate that, in the event of a hung Parliament, the incumbent Prime Minister has the right to remain in office and attempt to form a government that will command the confidence of the House of Commons. The PM has another important constitutional duty to fulfill, and that is to “ensure that the Monarch is not without an advisor, and therefore to remain in office until […]

Thoughts on the monarchy

While campaigning during the course of a general election campaign in Australia, Prime Minister and Labor Party leader Julia Gillard stated: I obviously am a Republican. I believe that this nation should be a republic. I also believe that this nation has got a deep affection for Queen Elizabeth. What I would like to see, as Prime Minister, is that we work our way through to an agreement on a model for the republic but I think the appropriate time for the nation to move to being a republic is when we see the monarch change. Obviously I’m hoping for Queen Elizabeth that she lives a long and happy life and having watched her mother I think there’s every chance […]