Queen Elizabeth II died on September 8, 2022, after a reign of more than 70 years. She’ll be succeeded by the former Prince of Wales, Charles Philip Arthur George, now to be known as King Charles III. However, even on the eve of her death, some were raising questions of whether or not it’s time to get rid of the monarchy.
It’s a perpetual question and I can understand the angst that it brings to some people knowing that there’s a position of power that they will not ever be able to even aspire to. But, at least with the British monarchy, I really don’t see the reason. The British monarchy, as it stands now, is little more than a bully pulpit, providing influence and a way that somebody who can be above the political battles being waged can bring opinions to those in power.
In Canada, the office of the Governor General can be seen as simply a stabilizing influence in our politics. The office has no power of its own, only being able to respond to questions it is asked by the leadership of the country. This means that even if you get a radicalized person in the position, they will not be able to make things any more radical than the general leadership of the country. At worst, it will have no effect, and at best it can act in a manner so as to cause politicians and leadership to take a step back, as it did during the previous government when there was threat of a coalition forming to take control from the elected Harper Conservatives.
I believe having the letter delivered to the governor general that asked for a coalition government to be approved served as significant notice to then Prime Minister Harper that these issues were not just political bluster or an attempt to swing popular opinion, but a willingness to take on power in a way that many people in Canada would have been concerned about, even if they tended to agree with it. This lead to the early prorogation and the cooling off period of sorts that ensued; resulting eventually in the budget that helped lead Canada through the Great Recession with relatively little damage.
Even if the monarchy collapses in the UK, I personally think Canada would still be well served by continuing to fund and support the office of the Governor General, or at least a similar position that can serve as a final say when it comes to if elections are held—even if that say is largely automatic. Perhaps because it’s largely automatic. After all, “largely” gives room for the small exceptions that can become so important in times of turbulence.
Meanwhile, this week in The Voice Magazine, we interview student Lianna Oddi, who found AU as she found she had a second lease on life, which she’s approaching with humour and purpose. Read her story in Minds We Meet.
Plus, we have the report of the most recent council meeting. Find out why your new Council Meeting Reporter was sitting with a blank zoom screen for over an hour and a half the other night, and what caused most of the planned meeting, even the budget, to be put over until the upcoming September 15th meeting.
We also have an article dealing with some of the conflict we find in our society when we try to offer consideration to people without understanding what their struggles actually are. “We’re All a Little Autistic” takes a look at the issue from both sides, and finds that maybe there’s a place in the middle we can meet.
Plus, we’ve got recipes, advice, scholarships, quite a few events, help for breaking writer’s block, a look at the conflict between comedy and consideration, and more!