Canada - creeping republicanism reversed at last
Written by ACM   
Monday, 22 August 2011

Restoring the names of the three branches of the Canadian Forces was "a long time coming," according to the Canadian Defence Minister Peter MacKay, who officially announced the name changes in Halifax on 9 August 2011 (Bryn Weese, Toronto Sun, 16 August,2011)


Image
[HM Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada with the crew of HMCS St. Laurent in Stockholm, Sweden, June 11, 1956.]
 

From now on, those cumbersome names imposed by the republican elites - Maritime Command, Air Command and Land Force Command - will no longer used. Their former glorious names,  the Royal Canadian Navy, the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Canadian Army,- have at long last been restored.




..creeping republicanism...

 


Those names were dropped, as were the three branches' distinctive uniforms, in 1968 when the Liberal government unified them into the Canadian Forces allegedly to increase operational efficiency and save money. "It really, in my view, was overkill, the stripping away of the royal designations and the loss of the distinct uniforms. The forced unification caused tremendous demoralization and even defection in terms of senior members and members of the forces choosing to leave," Mr. MacKay said.

"It was a bit of an open sore for a long time."

Restoring the names, he added, "is the right decision and a long time coming."

The Toronto Sun's Bryn Weese said the  announcement comes 100 years to the day after the Canadian Naval Service received the royal designation from King George V to become the Royal Canadian Navy.

The changes will not have an effect on operational command of the Canadian Forces, and the government doesn't expect the name changes will cost much money. 

But MacKay is hoping the change will have a positive effect on morale, esprit de corps, and "how Canadians view their military

"It gives us the perspective and the historic ties that really never went away, despite Mr. Hellyer and previous governments' attempts to do so," he said. "It was always there. I think every member of the Canadian Forces past and present wears the royal on their hearts."



  .... Canadian reaction.... 




The reaction across Canada was mainly favourable. Robert Finch, the young Dominion Chairman of the Monarchist League of Canada said:

"I believe today is a great day for Canadian monarchists, veterans, and those who continue to serve Queen and country. From a monarchist perspective, we're delighted to see the visibility of the Crown enhanced.

"The royal designations help underline the fact that the armed forces are non-partisan. Serving men and women don't serve Parliament. They don't serve the prime minister or the minister of defence. Rather, they serve the Queen. 

"So, it's entirely appropriate to have a name that reflects this reality."


 ( Continued below)

Retired Rear-Admiral Kenneth Summers of the Naval Officers Association of Canada said :

"Many of our association members served in the RCN (Royal Canadian Navy) in both peace and conflict, and they know how important that a recognized, historically significant name for the Navy can be for its sense of identity, camaraderie and team work in protecting Canada's varied interests around the world.

"While few if any of our current Navy sailors served under the RCN name before 1968, I believe that the Navy's centennial celebration last year brought to their attention the great accomplishments of the RCN over its storied history."

Ms Harris, a PhD candidate who is studying British and French royalty observed:

"The restoration of the names of the Royal Canadian Air Force and Royal Canadian Navy reflects the long history and close relationships between the monarchy and the various branches of the Canadian Forces.

"Throughout Canada's history, individual members of the royal family have been embraced as 'Canadian' because of their engagement with the Canadian Forces. During both the First and Second World Wars, the residents of Rideau Hall were close relatives of the King and Queen, providing unique opportunities for military patronage in Canada by the monarchy."

- Patricia Varga, Dominion President of The Royal Canadian Legion added:

"It is quite an emotional issue for our members. We recognize the importance of tradition and our enduring links to the Royal Crown.

"From a personal perspective, I have served in the Royal Canadian Navy as did my father, so this issue is very close to my heart."\





...republican objection...

 




 Citizens for a Canadian Republic has never achieved the prominence, size and former wealth and celebrity membership of the Australian Republican Movement which has been in decline since the 1999 referendum. In recent years most of Australia’s republican politicians have distanced themselve sfrom their agenda.

The ARM was especially annoyed by the present Prime Minister attending the Royal Wedding, and putting off a referndum until the end of the reign.

Their spokesman defended creeping republicanism by saying that “the government may be vastly overestimating the size of the demographic this kind of action appeals to.

This echos the position of Australian republicans who in the past have said they only had to wait until older Australians died to achieve a republic.

Polling in Australia has shown this approach to be wrong. The young are less republican than what has been called the "Whitlamite" generation.