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Wednesday, June 06, 2012

The Diamond Jubilee

One of the adjustments an American makes when coming to Canada is in accepting a new form of government.  Canada is a constitutional monarchy. More technically:

As per the Constitution Act, 1867, Canada is a constitutional monarchy, wherein the role of the reigning sovereign is both legal and practical, but not political. The Crown is regarded as a corporation, with the monarch, vested as she is with all powers of state, at the centre of a construct in which the power of the whole is shared by multiple institutions of government acting under the sovereign's authority; the Crown has thus been described as the underlying principle of Canada's institutional unity, with the executive formally called the Queen-in-Council, the legislature the Queen-in-Parliament, and the courts as the Queen on the Bench. - from Wikipedia

Canada is part of the Commonwealth of Nations (including 54 other mostly former British Colonies). As such, Canada's sovereign ruler is Queen Elizabeth. Recently, The Diamond Jubilee took place, marking 60 years of The Queen’s reign. The Queen came to the throne on 6th February 1952 (her Coronation took place on 2nd June 1953).

It's not hard to make the adjustment to a form of government with such deep historic roots. I have to admit, its almost nice to have a Monarch who is a constant in a world of fickle political change. After years of observing the Canadian federal government in action, I can tell you it has its share of sins the same way the U.S. governmental system does. Harper, the current Prime Minister, seems to have learned many political lessons from the U.S. - unfortunately.

There is one big difference here in Canada, however, and I think it relates to the Queen and the Monarchy. It's the idea that the political flavour of governments are temporary and that their true purpose is service to the people. I didn't hear much of that in my last few years in the U.S. It's nice to witness it in action here in my new home.  

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