Is Canada Trapped in a Time Warp? : Political Symbols in the Age of the Internet

by Randall White

Whatever it really is and wherever it may be going, the new Age of the Internet is changing the global village. As the present confederation in Canada tries to respond, is it already trapped in a time warp, bounded by the obsolete political symbolism of the “monarchical principle” in the nineteenth century?

Should Canadians today follow the lead of Australia – and New Zealand and the Guardian in the United Kingdom (or India long ago) – and start talking seriously about abolishing the monarchy, once and for all? Randall White explores the argument that at some point in the twenty-first century Canada ought to replace the present monarch with a governor general directly elected by the sovereign people.

Senior officials in Ottawa actually pondered abolishing the monarchy, briefly, more than a decade ago. Then they put the issue on a back burner, for fear of the divisions it would cause. This short book raises the prospect that there will have to be some kind of bolder action at some point, if the country is going to see the end of the twenty-first century: “Is Canada trapped in a time warp? Probably (or even almost certainly) yes … And, when you start to think about it, abolishing the monarchy as a way out could prove to be a lot less futile an idea than it seems at first glance.”

Randall White is the author or co-author of a number of books, including Ontario 1610-1985, Fur Trade to Free Trade, Global Spin, Toronto Women, and Ontario Since 1985.

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