Author Topic: Barbados nixes Queen as Head of State  (Read 330 times)

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Offline SuperColinBlow

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Barbados nixes Queen as Head of State
« on: October 22, 2021, 01:43:30 am »
The Governor General of Barbados has been elected that country's president.

What does this mean for Canada? Will there be more republican movements in the Commonwealth realms?

https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/22/americas/barbados-elects-first-president-intl-hnk/index.html
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Offline MH

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Re: Barbados nixes Queen as Head of State
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2021, 05:32:11 am »
After Trump, I am more of a royalist. 

They could conceivably refuse to sign a bill that constituted a clear and existential threat to our democracy.  The US doesn't have that.  Trump is favoured to win in 2024.
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Offline Nipples Von Graham

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Re: Barbados nixes Queen as Head of State
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2021, 12:47:20 pm »
After Trump, I am more of a royalist. 

They could conceivably refuse to sign a bill that constituted a clear and existential threat to our democracy.  The US doesn't have that.  Trump is favoured to win in 2024.

That's true, but the US has other checks and balances.  Trump, for instance, can't introduce a law or vote on it, not true for our PM.  But it's nice to have the GG as a tool in our back pocket just in case.

Of course, it's just as easy for us to replace the Crown/GG with a president (elected or appointed), and have them serve virtually the exact same role.

I do know that many Quebecers and I assume many indigenous aren't fans of the Crown, which i can understand.  It might be unifying to get rid of the Crown, but then the loyalists would be quite upset, so I could see major fights.  In this political climate I would avoid dealing with this issue right now.
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Offline MH

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Re: Barbados nixes Queen as Head of State
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2021, 12:49:06 pm »
That's true, but the US has other checks and balances.  Trump, for instance, can't introduce a law or vote on it, not true for our PM.  But it's nice to have the GG as a tool in our back pocket just in case.

Of course, it's just as easy for us to replace the Crown/GG with a president (elected or appointed), and have them serve virtually the exact same role.

I do know that many Quebecers and I assume many indigenous aren't fans of the Crown, which i can understand.  It might be unifying to get rid of the Crown, but then the loyalists would be quite upset, so I could see major fights.  In this political climate I would avoid dealing with this issue right now.

The checks and balances the US has have shown themselves to be weak.

Oh I wouldn't deal with it right now ... not at all.

Offline The Cynic

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Re: Barbados nixes Queen as Head of State
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2021, 04:03:01 pm »
That's true, but the US has other checks and balances.  Trump, for instance, can't introduce a law or vote on it, not true for our PM.

Realistically, a president can always get a bill introduced into congress by simply calling a friendly congressman or senator. If Trump wanted a bill introduced to name the moon after him just about every Republican would vote in favour, and do so enthusiastically.

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I do know that many Quebecers and I assume many indigenous aren't fans of the Crown, which i can understand.  It might be unifying to get rid of the Crown, but then the loyalists would be quite upset, so I could see major fights.  In this political climate I would avoid dealing with this issue right now.
The loyalists would be more than a little upset, and they'd be furious not just at whatever party was behind it but whatever parties supported it, including Quebecers and indigenous people. And that fury would likely last for the remainder of their lives.

No party is going to do this, though, because there's no political profit in it. There is a tiny group of people who really want to do away with the monarchy, a larger group making up about a third of the population wanting to keep the monarchy, and the rest are 'bleh, whatever'. The bleh people aren't going to reward the party which got rid of the monarchy but the loyalists will despise that party forever.

Offline Nipples Von Graham

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Re: Barbados nixes Queen as Head of State
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2021, 05:07:46 pm »
The checks and balances the US has have shown themselves to be weak.

Oh I wouldn't deal with it right now ... not at all.

Well the system worked, Trump was bounced.

If Trump was the PM he could nominate Senators, Supreme Court Justices, handpick a GG friendly to him, choose cabinet, and tell his MP's to vote how he wants our else bounce them JWR-style.  Plus no term limits.
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Offline Squidward von Squidderson

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Re: Barbados nixes Queen as Head of State
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2021, 06:51:32 pm »
The Governor General of Barbados has been elected that country's president.

What does this mean for Canada? Will there be more republican movements in the Commonwealth realms?

https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/22/americas/barbados-elects-first-president-intl-hnk/index.html

Barbados' decision to leave the Commonwealth means nothing for Canada. 
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Offline segnosaur

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Re: Barbados nixes Queen as Head of State
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2022, 11:02:51 pm »
I am in favor of keeping the monarchy in Canada.

Not because I think the queen provides any real safeguards to democracy. But I still have my reasons:

- I like the historical aspect (with all the little quirks that come with it). I think these things add a little character to a country.

- I think there are times when having a non-political "ceremonial" leader is beneficial. For example, imagine being a **** left-wing socialist who won the Order of Canada a decade ago. Who would you rather see involved when you receive the award? A neutral Governor General, or Steven Harper (whom you probably view as the devil incarnate). Heck, look at what happened south of the border, when Trump was involved in a ceremony honoring Navaho codebreakers... he took what should have been a dignified ceremony and proceeded to both politicize it and use the opportunity to engage in racism.
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Offline eyeball

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Re: Barbados nixes Queen as Head of State
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2022, 01:10:10 pm »
I used to wonder why we needed a monarch from another country in our governance until I gained a better understanding of why 1st nations are so supportive of retaining the monarchy. Canada's indigenous peoples amongst others...

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...generally view the affiliation as being not between them and the ever-changing Cabinet but instead with the continuous Crown of Canada, as embodied in the reigning sovereign.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Canadian_Crown_and_Indigenous_peoples_of_Canada

I like seeing for example the Queen raps Bojo's knuckles for his misbehaviour and I'd be even more supportive of a monarch that took up a similarly moral/ethical stance when the excesses of leaders and or governments in sovereign jurisdictions it helped establish around the world get out of hand.  I think this role for a monarch falls far enough outside the tradition to not get involved in politics and would remain there so long as the privilege or prerogative to speak up on occasion wasn't abused.
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Offline SuperColinBlow

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Re: Barbados nixes Queen as Head of State
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2022, 02:50:03 pm »
I'm about to say something that I hope doesn't come off as lecturing, or telling Canadians what to do with their own government. I'm just throwing an idea out for your consideration, take it or leave it.

If I understand correctly the Queen may be the head of state in theory, but in reality the duties of the Crown in Canada are exercised by the governor-general. The "recommendation" of the GG is made by the prime minister, so the actual day to day head of state is therefore an appointee of the head of government. This is actually a no-no in parliamentary democracy, where the head of state is supposed to be apolitical and detached from the government of the day.

An elected, independent president--chosen by the People directly (as in Ireland), or by an electoral college (as in Germany) or by the Parliament as a whole (as in Barbados)--would have a better standing as the last line of defense again an abusive government. Don't forget what happened to Sir John Kerr in Australia, in 1975. After his intervention in the constitutional crisis, he received death threats, resigned before his term was up, and spent most of the rest of his life outside of Australia. Thus, governors general of Australia since then, and in the future, will be afraid to intervene like that, because of what happened to GG Kerr. If Kerr had been chosen by the People of Australia in a special election, he might have stood a better chance of getting away with firing the Gough Whitlam government because he'd have had the popular authority to make such a rare and critical intervention.

Is a GG of Canada really a constitutional protection in the slightest way? IMO, the British monarch is fine---in Britain itself. But in the Commonwealth Realms outside of the UK, she's entirely symbolic, since the real head of state is the GG and he or she is in fact picked by prime ministerial fiat, not by royal primogeniture. She's on the money and the stamps, in Commonwealth realms, but (again, IMO) it doesn't go much further than that. What was intended as a "constitutional fire extinguisher" is in fact completely powerless to stop the excesses and abuses of the in situ government since they lack the popular support and moral authority necessary for such rare interventions, being little more than yet another prime ministerial appointee.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2022, 02:53:58 pm by SuperColinBlow »
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Offline Squidward von Squidderson

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Re: Barbados nixes Queen as Head of State
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2022, 03:51:39 pm »
I think the Queen as Head of State, while not what I agree with, is probably not a big concern. 

I think a bigger concern is the lack of transparency in our government and the undemocratic nature of our first-past-the-post system of electing MPs. 

We can leave booting the Queen for later.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2022, 01:58:28 pm by Squidward von Squidderson »
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Offline waldo

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Re: Barbados nixes Queen as Head of State
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2022, 11:43:37 am »
Is a GG of Canada really a constitutional protection in the slightest way? IMO, the British monarch is fine---in Britain itself. But in the Commonwealth Realms outside of the UK, she's entirely symbolic, since the real head of state is the GG and he or she is in fact picked by prime ministerial fiat, not by royal primogeniture. She's on the money and the stamps, in Commonwealth realms, but (again, IMO) it doesn't go much further than that. What was intended as a "constitutional fire extinguisher" is in fact completely powerless to stop the excesses and abuses of the in situ government since they lack the popular support and moral authority necessary for such rare interventions, being little more than yet another prime ministerial appointee.

re: Constitution Act, 1867 => grants extensive powers to the Governor General (GG), including the power to appoint senators and superior court judges, as well as the ability to grant and withhold royal assent to bills to allow proposed law to become actual law. However, in reality, the GG's role in exercising these powers is largely symbolic given unwritten rules of the Constitution; i.e., so-called constitutional conventions (informal rules) binding behaviour 'in a certain way that is not normally court enforceable.

more pointedly: see GG Reserve Powers... whether used (or not), they do exist!

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While the role of the Governor General is significantly restricted by conventions, it is not entirely symbolic. On rare occasions, a Governor General can exercise personal discretion, meaning that he or she can act independently of prime ministerial advice. This ability to exercise personal discretion revolves around the Governor Generalís ďreserve powers.Ē Two established reserve powers are the Governor Generalís authority to refuse a prime ministerís request to dissolve Parliament and the right to appoint and dismiss a prime minister.

The Governor Generalís reserve powers are necessary for ensuring that the conventions of responsible government are observed. For example, the Governor Generalís power to dismiss the prime minister may be necessary in the event that a prime minister violates constitutional convention by refusing to resign after an opposition party obtains a clear majority in a general election. Equally important is the Governor Generalís power to appoint a prime minister, which ensures that the Crown always has a prime minister to advise exercises of the Crownís power and to take responsibility for acts of the Crown before the House of Commons.

of course driven by the recent brouhaha over {former} GG Julie Payette:

Offline MH

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Re: Barbados nixes Queen as Head of State
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2022, 01:05:54 pm »
I used to wonder why we needed a monarch from another country in our governance until I gained a better understanding of why 1st nations are so supportive of retaining the monarchy. Canada's indigenous peoples amongst others...

In the giant scheme of things, democracy shifts along media lines and the arrival of new media shakes institutions to their core and sometimes breaks them.

As such, I have of late come to appreciate our devotion to the Queen's hat.

Kind of like the ephemeral 'higher power' used by Alcoholics Anonymous attendeees...

Offline eyeball

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Re: Barbados nixes Queen as Head of State
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2022, 02:13:42 pm »
In the giant scheme of things, democracy shifts along media lines and the arrival of new media shakes institutions to their core and sometimes breaks them.

As such, I have of late come to appreciate our devotion to the Queen's hat.

Kind of like the ephemeral 'higher power' used by Alcoholics Anonymous attendeees...
All the same, watching God actually fry some politician to a crisp from time to time would be refreshing change.  It would probably boost church attendance too.
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Offline segnosaur

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Re: Barbados nixes Queen as Head of State
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2022, 12:07:28 am »
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The checks and balances the US has have shown themselves to be weak.
Well the system worked, Trump was bounced.
Yeah but only after he was able to do significant damage to the U.S. (including giving state secrets to Russia, engaging in various forms of grift, etc.) If the "system worked", he would have been quickly bounced from power.
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If Trump was the PM he could nominate Senators, Supreme Court Justices, handpick a GG friendly to him, choose cabinet, and tell his MP's to vote how he wants our else bounce them JWR-style.  Plus no term limits.
True... the Canadian prime minister does hold a significantly greater amount of power than the president (in their respective countries at least). I think it's just been our better-educated electorate that has kept things from getting as bad as they are in the U.S.
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