Queen's death could wake up anti-monarchists

The death of the queen could wake up the anti-monarchists

The death of Queen Elizabeth II, who died this Thursday at the age of 96, could shake up the monarchy by relaunching the debate on the relevance of it in some Commonwealth countries… including Canada. Especially considering the lack of popularity of his successor, Charles.

So thinks Daniel Béland, director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada.

The monarchy has faced “significant challenges” in recent years, underlines Mr. Béland, with Barbados, “which has decided to abandon the monarchy and turn to a republican model”. Support for the monarchy in Canada is also on the decline, he argues.

In Quebec, “support for the monarchy has never been high,” recalls the monarchy expert. This reports the results of an Angus Reid poll dating from April of this year showing that “71% of Quebecers wanted to abolish the monarchy”. In Canada, in general, we are talking about 51% of the population who want to abolish the monarchy.

The problem of the successor of the Queen of England, Prince Charles, now King Charles III, “c&rsquo is that he is much less popular than his mother,” explains Mr. Béland. “It's a problem,” he said.

Since Charles is less popular than his mother, unless he manages to change his image overnight, let's just say it’ is not good news for the monarchy.

Daniel Béland, Professor in the Department of Political Science at McGill University and Director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada

Australia is no exception to this anti-monarchist movement, as the current government of this Commonwealth country plans to consult Australians during a second term on the future of the monarchy. “They, moreover, advocate a transition to the republican system”. It is very possible that these movements have created waves that reach Canada.

The queen is dead, long live the king?

While the Prime Minister of Canada called the Queen a “constant presence in the lives of Canadians” on Twitter, on a daily basis, that's not exactly the case. “We already have a new king,” recalls the man who teaches at McGill University. “It happens automatically as soon as the queen dies.” Thus, even if the coronation ceremony must take place on Friday, “the monarchy does not like a vacuum, there is always someone sitting in the throne,” recalls Mr. Béland.

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I don’t think people should expect this to dramatically change their daily lives.

Daniel Béland, Professor in the Department of Political Science at McGill University and Director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada

We are already seeing the impact of the Queen's death, particularly on the election campaign . The Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ) has announced that it is putting its campaign on hold for the day. “It could have a short-term impact, like that, on activities during the election campaign,” believes Daniel Béland.

It should be noted that the protocol following the death of the queen is likely to be spread over a few weeks, in particular because “the funeral of the queen will take place only in ten days”, recalls the professor at McGill University. As for the “national mourning” that will be observed by the Commonwealth countries – of which Canada is a part – following the death of Elizabeth II, “we do not yet have all the details”, he specifies. .

According to Mr. Béland, the Canadian government knows what awaits Canadians in the coming days, “but it is not yet public”, he maintains.

There will be an official mourning, of course, the flags will be lowered, we know that, but for the rest, I think we will have to wait a bit for the official announcements.

Daniel Béland, professor at the Department in Political Science from McGill University and Director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada

The law on crown devotion

Since June 2021, the Quebec State has saved its institutions from total paralysis in the event of the death of the Queen by adopting the law concerning the devotion of the crown.

Thus, the devotion of the crown – in other words, the death of the monarch or the monarch – does not “have the effect of putting an end to the activities of the Parliament of Quebec, the government and the courts , or to interrupt them in any way,” the law says.

In addition to being the head of the Canadian government (and the 15 other Commonwealth countries), the Queen is also at head of the Anglican Church. Anglican churches should therefore ring their bells for 96 minutes, for the Queen's 96th birthday.

At the federal level, the House of Commons, which is not due to convene until September 19, should be recalled “so that Parliament can reaffirm its loyalty to the monarchy”. As of this writing, the exact date of this return to parliament has not been announced.

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