Toronto, June 20, 2007 -
Canada's republican movement welcomes Irish President
Mary McAleese to Canada. During her stay from June
20 to 21, Citizens for a Canadian Republic (CCR) hopes
Canadians will look closely at her stature and
performance and see how a modern parliamentary president
can be a highly respected and unifying head of state as
well as a true representative of the people.
The advocacy group contends that supporters of the head
of state status quo in Canada often suggest that
discussion of removing the monarchy from the
constitution is quixotic, that there's no viable
replacement formula. However, the Irish example is proof
that a precedent-setting formula is right under our
nose. As a former dominion with a British monarch as
head of state, Ireland successfully transformed their
governor general into a democratically selected
presidency when they became a republic, while retaining
a prime minister as head of government. Since then,
Ireland has blossomed into a prosperous independent
nation, respected throughout the world as an example of
stability, pluralism and democracy.
Unlike Ireland, Canada's head of state, Queen Elizabeth
II, represents only Britain when she travels abroad.
Although, in recent years, the role of Canada's governor
general has taken on ceremonial presidential
characteristics, constitutionally, he or she is still
the representative of the Queen, not the people of
CCR continues to call for the formation of an all-party
parliamentary committee to discuss full Canadianization
of the head of state.
~ 30 ~