Do you support the monarchy?

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If a vote were taken on severing ties with the monarchy, I'd be royally screwed.

Because I honestly don't know whether or not I support Canada's connection to the British-based crown.

As an armchair history geek, I appreciate and respect the royal past as well as the pageantry and protocol involved.

And I genuinely enjoyed interviewing George Windsor last fall. He's the great-grandson of King George V, and the eldest son of Prince Edward, the Duke of Kent and the Queen's first cousin.

His wife, Sylvana (Tomaselli) Windsor, was born in Placentia, where her dad worked on the American base in the 1950s.

But as someone who questions the spending of tax dollars, I'm not sure if what we pay to have the Queen as our head of state is money well spent.

The latest stats I could find were from the Monarchist League of Canada in 2009.

Then, the Monarchy was costing each of us $1.53, or $50 million in total. It's likely a little higher now. Everything is, except 50-inch televisions.

According to the Monarchist League, the money doesn't go directly to the Queen; the only time we pay is when she visits Canada.

The $50 million goes towards maintaining Government Houses across Canada - where each province's lieutenant-governor lives - and honouring Canadians for excellence.

The organization argues we'd still maintain the buildings and recognize Canadians if the country wasn't part of a monarchy.

I agree, but suspect governments would find a cheaper way to do both - $1.53 per person doesn't cover morning coffee, but $50 million can take care of a lot of needs.

While I'm on the fence about our royal relationship, it appears many Newfoundlanders and Labradorians clearly support it.

That's based on the response to the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee congratulatory message book.

The provincial government circulated it from community to community for people to sign last year.

I filed access to information requests for the costs involved as well as for a list of people who signed the books.

The total cost for two books and couriering them around the province was minuscule - just $940.

But the participation surprised me.

One line in the cost breakdown was $250 for inserting extra pages - an indication the jubilee books attracted a lot more signatures than anticipated since the books originally cost about $224 each.

Instead of providing the list of people who signed the books, executive council offered me an opportunity to view the books.

I thumbed through the pages and noticed names from across the provinces, including John Hancocks of the high-profile and the political.

I didn't have time to count the signatures. There were thousands of them.

The books were to be sent to Buckingham Palace via Rideau Hall, the Governor General's residence in Ottawa.

But while the books show some local support for the Queen, they are but a snapshot.

I wonder how many people in this province actually approve maintaining our ties to the monarchy, especially when governments are being so austere. It's a question I can ask, but would be shagged to answer.

Email Steve Bartlett at sbartlett@thetelegram.com. On Twitter, he's @TelegramSteve.

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  • Brett
    January 21, 2014 - 19:50

    @Paul Zerzan ...Why can no one get it throught here thick heads that a person can hold multiply titles, Queen Elizabeth is both queen of the United Kingdom, AND Queen of Canada, NOT queen of the British empire it is purely by circumstance that our countries share a monarch, of course queen of the UK is her primary title but we can live with that. Also the legitimacy is based on land ownership, the monarch is technically the sole land owner of the entire country, and by accepting citizenship by birth you agree to her law and rule. As for immigrants they cannot become citizens unless they swear an oath of allegiance. Think of it as an apartment you sign a contract to live there and if you don't like it go somewhere else, you can't decide to usurp your land lord because they own the apartment. Also North Korea is a totalitarian autocracy it's hereditary state is still to be determined a line of three is not much of monarchy compared to the dozens of rulers in the line of the worlds prominent monarchies

  • Paul Zerzan
    May 24, 2013 - 18:38

    There is no justification for monarchy, it has no legitimacy. Long ago some thugs seized power and passed it on to their heirs. This very process can be seen today in the world's newest monarchy: North Korea. Monarchy is (by definition) the opposite of democracy. It is a barbaric relic of the Dark Ages that (through symbolism) works against social mobility and integration and thus it works against national unity. Frankly the biggest cost of monarchy to Canada is that it simply makes Canada look very foolish. Canada cannot be a sovereign country as long as it is under a foreign sovereign.