I knew I was in for une semaine dans l’enfer when I heard the following hype on CBC with respect to their exhaustive coverage of last week’s Royal Tour/honeymoon/re-conquest of Canada: “See every handshake, see every wave!!!!”
In light of this blatant absurdity, I must ask you: how fucking ridiculous is our obsession with the British monarchy? I know all the arguments both pro and con ( Pro: they generate lucrative tourism. Con: they represent a costly relic of the feudal era, etc.). I will not bore you with a rehash of that old, tiresome debate here. I would rather do a wholly unscientific and scathing analysis of my country’s (Quebec notwithstanding) inability to grow out of the infantile state of arrested development which prevents us from becoming a fully mature and developed democracy that does not depend on an increasingly obsolete foreign institution for a crucial part of its collective self-image.
For starters, I don’t identify with those animated loons in the Réseau de Résistance du Québecois and their relentless attempts to equate Will & Kate with the Lord Durhams, and any number of other British villains who have oppressed French Canada and its people historically. As much as I oppose the institution they represent, I would be careful to make a distinction between the individual and the often controversial legacy of the British crown, which that individual may be obligated uphold.
Frankly, if these protesters wanted to be consistent, they should take their colourful protest ( peasant costumes and all) to Rideau Hall in Ottawa, where, constitutionally speaking at least, the de facto king of Canada , Governor General David Johnston, holds court. The latter point can’t be stressed enough: progressives of all stripes in this country would do well to focus their energy and creativity on the institutional obstacles to real progress in terms of transparency and more representative democracy, which are found much closer to home. In short, we have plenty of royal fossils (i.e. Senate, GG) preventing Canada from moving forward in our own backyard, without digging up those of our neighbours.
That said, I admit that I’m quite relieved to see those blue blooded brats finally left the country for the USA and Hollywood, where I’m sure they will be even more fawned over than they were here. America’s obsession with British royalty surely makes even less sense than ours, and is beyond me or any other rational mind, for that matter. But that’s another kettle of fish and chips.