Ignatieff on the Monarchy

4 11 2009

An opinion piece on the monarchy that Michael Ignatieff published in The Observer in 1992 has surfaced.  Some people are interpreting this article as evidence that Ignatieff supported the idea that Britain should become a republic.  (See here). The article, in true Ignatieff fashion, avoids making a clear statement on whether the monarchy should be abolished, although it does criticizes aspects of the British monarchy as it then existed. As far as we can tell, Ignatieff appears to have been calling for a more Scandinavian-style monarchy. Either way, I don’t think Canadians will care about what Ignatieff said in a British debate nearly twenty years ago.

The sad thing is that Michael Ignatieff is unwilling to take a stand on this issue as it relates to Canada in 2009. If he championed the cause of republicanism, he might boost his popularity, since most Canadians favoured getting rid of the monarchy. The silence of the NDP on the issue of the monarchy is also deafening. Even though the majority of Canadians want us to become a republic, the leaders of the three federalist parties are too cowardly to broach this issue.

The royal visit has generated some discussion in the media about the future of the monarchy in Canada. See:

Lawrence Martin in the Globe and Mail

Heather Mallick in the Guardian

Claire Hoy in the Orangeville Citizen

Andrew Duffy in the National Post (see also here)

(I will add new links as they appear)



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