Monarchy Makes the Difference

Monarchy Makes the Difference

Eleven year old Notes talking to Queen Elizabeth

The obvious slapped me in the face tonight. I’ve blindly scraped my jaw off the floor in reaction to American policy and mindset; too exasperated to focus on the reason in front of me. If pressured I might even admit feeling a little sheepish about my unforgiving stance. I doubt that sensation will stay for dinner, but the invitation was a break through. This is huge – I’m revisiting the basics to form a better understanding of why Canada and America are so different.

The nugget of insight leading to this state of enlightenment is devilishly simple – Americans become wingnut evangelists at the mere mention of the constitution. Blind, rabid defense of the constitutional bible; commanding free speech, freedom of religion, the right to bear arms. However crazy it makes me – I get it. They kicked out the British, wiped the slate clean, and penned some ideals. I’m not putting them down – rather astounding when you think about it.

Canada on the other hand, went with the flow. We made nice with the French, even allowing them to keep their system of civil law. The British North America Act of 1867 was the first hint at cutting our apron strings. Canada became Dominion of the British Commonwealth. The Statute of Westminster in 1931 released Canada as a British colony, although until 1949 Canadians could still appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in Britain if they didn’t like the ruling from our Supreme Court.

While Americans held hand over heart, bellowing God Bless America, Canadians politely sang God Save the Queen. America arrived in a blaze of glory, while Canada limped towards sovereignty. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that monarchy made the difference.

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3 thoughts on “Monarchy Makes the Difference

  1. Absolutely. Firstly, parliament is a far superior system to the mess the Americans invented. Secondly, having our head of state as some non-interfering grandmother-type figure is genius! I used to think i was a republican (in Australia that meant anti-monarchy), but not anymore. I love having it. it works. It keeps things on the straight and narrow.

  2. Ah, the angst of a kindred spirit……

    I can only say, after a lifetime of expecting more order to human society and behavior than seems to exist that hopes of understanding WHY when it comes to humans is an utterly frustrating pursuit.

    It seems that my fellow U.S. countrymen are incapable of getting past our national dissatisfaction with what exists: whether government, religion, celebrity, you name it. I truly think that the willingness to make a clean break from the past has been and continues to be an incredibly strong force in our society. We can’t settle upon standards because we don’t want anyone to limit our own freedoms thus we dare not limit anyone else’s. We can’t agree upon whether to stick our nose into other nations affairs (though we regularly go ahead and do it anyway) so we go off half cocked messing with societies much older than our own — but we don ‘t have the staying power to actually colonize them — we just screw them up, bomb them into rubble and then complain because they don’t accept our concept of a good life.

    We were dissatisfied troublemakers when we left England, and many of those immigrants we welcomed with open arms were as well. We haven’t found peace, in our own country or elsewhere. After all …. show me another country that has been at war for 230+ years……. We Have.

  3. It is fascinating, if wearying, as a Canadian living in the States since 1989….they talk about the Constitution almost every single day, and indeed with tremendous passion. It seems to trump any possible change or argument one might offer in the 21st century (like the Second Amendment, the right to bear arms.) Canadians are far more docile/accepting of government authority, whether or not that’s because the Queen still appears on our currency.

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