Bob Jonkman talks with Neal Moogk-Soulis of The Monarchist League of Canada about the role of the League, the role of the Monarchy in Canada, the coronation of King Charles III, republicanism in Canada, and a cost/benefit analysis of the Monarchy.
The interview starts at 5m13s.
- Website: https://www.monarchist.ca/
- Twitter: @monarchist | Twitter
- Facebook: The Monarchist League | Facebook
- Instagram: @monarchistleague | Instagram
- YouTube: Monarchist League of Canada | YouTube
- E-mail: Dominion Headquarters email@example.com
- E-mail: Dominion Chairman firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: Dominion Chairman +1‑905‑912‑0916
- Website: https://moogk-soulis.ca/
- Twitter: @NealMoogkSoulis | Twitter
- Facebook: The World of Neal Moogk-Soulis | Facebook
- Instagram: @moogksoulis | Instagram
Download: ckms-community-connections-2023-05-01-episode124-Neal-Moogk-Soulis-of-The-Monarchist-League-of-Canada.mp3 (56 MB, 1h01m18s, episode 124)
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|What is The Monarchist League? What does it do? Founded in 1970 to educate Canadians about the monarchy and the Crown, and to remind politicians that the role of the Crown is not diminished. The League identifies commemoration events that should be marked; during Royal visits to assist the Governor General and Lieutenant-Governors to ensure that there is a strong Canadian presence; to remind members of the Royal family and the Governor General and Lieutenant-Governors that Canada is a constitutional monarchy and there is support for the Crown in Canada.
|Why do Members of parliament and others need reminding? All take an oath of loyalty to the Crown, but sometimes their actions don’t reflect the words of the oath. The League does advocacy and education, and has an information booklet aimed towards students that describe the role of the Crown in Canada. Politicians are only looking towards the next election, but the Crown endures forever. The League’s chairman, Bob Finch, has a strong connection to the Governor General; the GG may contact the League for support during Royal visits, or other Royal events such as a coronation ceremony later this week.
|Provincial Lieutenant-Governors have a similar role to the federal Governor General, they sign off on legislation before it becomes law. But it doesn’t happen often that Governors General or Lieutenant-Governors deny legislation. The most famous example is the King-Byng affair from 1926. Neal has a more recent example when Stephen Harper wanted to prorogue parliament, and has an example from BC as well. Neal uses the analogy that the Governor General is like a fire extinguisher: You hope you never have to use its power, but you have one just in case.
|The Monarch has no direct role in the governance of Canada, it has been a steady devolvement of the powers of the Monarch over Canada, starting with the Statute of Westminster in 1931. Before this, courts in Britain could overrule Canadian courts. All powers returned to Canada with the patriation of the constitution in 1982. King Charles is the King of Canada, separately from being the King of England. But our origin as a Commonwealth nation has more to do with our former status as a colony than having King Charles as our Monarch.
|King Charles himself does not wield much power over either Canada’s or England’ politics. Under a constitutional monarchy the King does as commanded by the people. The King may advise when meeting with the Prime Minister in private. The King is the ruler of everyone, so does not take political sides. But King Charles has been working his entire life on political issues, and now his role has changed. Can that change? The Monarch rules at the will of parliament; King Charles can’t change that role, it would require an act of parliament. That’s unlikely to happen, the Monarch provides stability. Bob expects changes like this may happen once in a lifetime, Neal points out that most reigns are much shorter than Queen Victoria’s and Queen Elizabeth’s combined 130 years, and that we’re seeing some change already with the coronation.
|What I Wouldn’t Do
|Neal chose What I Wouldn’t Do because the song is about an oath of what she wouldn’t do, similar to the oath Charles makes in his role as the king. Neal describes what happens during a coronation. It’s a religious ceremony more than a political one, but tied to the rituals of the times before a parliament existed. The attending guests will be asked if they accept Charles as their king, but no-one expects anyone to object, and it wouldn’t affect the outcome anyway. Charles became King the moment Queen Elizabeth died, but the coronation is held later to allow everyone time to come to the ceremony. The date is chosen as much for the weather as anything else.
|There is nothing big being planned in Waterloo Region to celebrate the coronation. Partly logistics, partly due to the pandemic. Various landmarks will be lit up in green, the colour for the coronation, and in London various church bells will be pealing. The Lieutenant-Governor and the Governor General will be doing something. The League has encouraged people to host community celebrations as a means to educate people about this time in history.
|Before Covid, The Monarchist League would organize trips to locations of Royal visits, and hold an Accession Luncheon every February to mark the time when Elizabeth became Queen. The League has been trying new ways to reach out to people, but it’s a challenge finding an event that connects to everyone. And the Regions’ large size makes in-person gatherings difficult. Victoria Day is used as an opportunity to celebrate the Crown in Canada.
|Demographics of The Monarchist League: Both older and younger people; veterans who fought for the Crown, and an active group of Young Monarchists (who are very good at social media!). There has been an influx of new members since Charles’s acension to the throne.
Ever Brightening Day
|Neal describes how he came across Watermelon Sorbet, doing a concert with Eve Goldberg!
|Controversy: There are republicans who do not want Canada to be a monarchy. Neal counters those arguments. What about the expense of having a Monarch, Governor General, and the GG residence, Rideau Hall? Neal ways that for individual Canadians it costs $1.54 to maintain the Monarchy in Canada. If we didn’t have the Governor General then whatever we would have in their place, that money would still be spent. What about the cost of the c oronation? Much of that is for security. The cost of a coronation is probably the same as that of a presidential inauguration. And King Charles has been mindful of the cost. But people are apathetic, and a CBC poll suggests most Canadians don't want Charles as King. Neal thinks this may be because Charles was Prince of Wales for such a long time, and people had a chance to see how he lived his life, for better or for worse. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said that Canadians have larger concerns to deal with. And if we don’t have a King, then what would we have instead? Neal does not want to keep the Monarchy just to avoid change, instead, consider what the system does for us now, and have conversations about what a change might be.
|The Crown is more than just a figurehead for some people; consider that all Indigenous relations are with the Crown, not the government of Canada. King Charles has recognized that Indigenous peoples play a major role in environmental stewardship.
|Neal expects a Royal visit from King Charles, sometime in the next couple of years. And then the Monarchist League will spring into action. Neal tells us how to join the Monarchist League; there is an application form on The Monarchist League’s website.
|Bob gives the end credits.
|Vierne： Carillon de Westminster