Opinion Polls in Canada
 

Note: Clicking on a poll's value takes you directly to details and an analysis of the results.

Coming soon: 2011 and 2012 opinion polls. See links to them now on Facebook and Twitter.

  


Introduction

Poll details and analyses

Other polls of interest

Synopsis

 

Introduction

Canadian public opinion polls on the monarchy regularly create controversy among both republicans and monarchists alike. All sides acknowledge the lack of general understanding by many Canadians in regards to how our government works and the role the monarchy plays in it. Underscoring this point is the data from the 2002 poll indicating that only 5% of Canadians could correctly identify Queen Elizabeth II as Canada's head of state.

There's also wide disagreement on how a poll question should be worded to avoid skewed results. Monarchists object when 'British' is used to describe what they claim is a distinct Canadian monarchy. We republicans dislike negative terminology such as 'sever' and 'abolish' which distract from what we consider to be a positive, evolutionary step in Canada's development as an independent nation. Other phrases or words that play into Canadians' fear of US domination or also give the incorrect impression that Canada's Commonwealth status will somehow be affected can also skew results.

Monarchy polls have been conducted by research firms extensively in Canada since the 1950s. As one would expect, Canada's close ties to Britain during World War 2 generally produced heavy pro-monarchy results for the following two decades  However, as Canada's sense of identity began to become a national issue throughout the 1960s and 1970s, public opinion began to show increases in republican sentiment. Although, for the statistician, those polls might make interesting reading, they nonetheless have very little relevance in any practical discussion or analysis of Canada's current views or its future direction regarding the monarchy. For that reason, this page concentrates strictly on the last two decades.


Poll details and analyses

  January 1993 - Angus Reid (Southam News)

"Thinking about the monarchy's role here in Canada, all things considered, do you think Canada should preserve its formal constitutional connection with the monarchy, or should Canada move to abolish its formal constitutional connection with the monarchy?"

Preserve connection - 42%
Abolish connection - 51%
Not sure - 7%

Link to published results - N/A

Analysis - Again, the wording could influence the results. "Preserve' could be interpreted as the safe status quo, whereas 'abolish' conjures images of guillotines and firing squads. The question is repeated in 1996 with similar results.


  January 1996 - Angus Reid (Southam News)

"Thinking about the monarchy's role here in Canada, all things considered, do you think Canada should preserve its formal constitutional connection with the monarchy, or should Canada move to abolish its formal constitutional connection with the monarchy?"

Preserve connection - 44%
Abolish connection - 47%
Not sure - 9%

Link to published results - N/A

Analysis - Same question as 1993. See analysis for that year.


  December 1997 - Pollara (Ottawa Citizen, Global TV)

As you may know, Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain is also Queen of Canada, our official head of state. Do you favour or oppose abolishing the monarchy when the present Queen dies and having a Canadian head of state, or does it really make no difference to you?

Favour abolishing - 41%
Oppose abolishing - 18%
Don't care - 39%

Link to published results

Analysis - This poll represents the lowest support for the monarchy ever recorded in Canada. The reason is fairly obvious, Lady  Diana died on August 31, 4 months prior to this poll and the results appear to reflect the public's negative perception of the Royal Family at the time of her death.

To quote The Ottawa Citizen on December 24, 1997: "For many people, any ember of love for the monarchy died with Diana, Princess of Wales, in that midnight tunnel in Paris. Only 18 per cent would preserve the throne; 41 per cent would abolish it outright. The rest care not a candle, in the wind or otherwise."

Unfortunately, the bad press wasn't enough to shift the republican support. Disenchanted monarchy supporters opted for apathy instead, boosting the "Don't care" to an unprecedented 39%. Including "or does it really make no difference to you?" in the question could be to blame. Without it as an option, more support would have certainly moved to 'Favour abolishing" with those who truly felt it didn't make any difference likely moving to the 'Don't care' option. Most revealing is the die-hard 18% who remained supportive, indicating that perhaps this figure represents the true base support for the monarchy, while the new apathetic group were merely fearful of change.


  October 1999 - Gallup

"Do you believe Canada should have a monarch as its head of state, or should Canada discontinue its ties with the monarchy?"

Continue - 48%
Discontinue - 43%
No opinion - 9%

Link to published results - N/A

Analysis - Once again, the wording skews the result. One wonders what the same respondents would say if asked: "Do you believe Canada should have a Canadian citizen as its head of state, or should Canada continue its ties with the monarchy?"


  September 2001 - COMPAS (Global TV)

“Now, if you had your way, would you strengthen the role of the monarch in our political system, weaken [but keep] it, or abolish the role of the monarchy completely?”

Strengthen - 16%
Weaken [but keep] - 12%
No change - 21%
Net Support - Strengthen, Weaken & No Change combined - 49%
Abolish - 43%
Do not know/Refused - 8%

Link to published results

Analysis - Some tweaking had to be done with the figures to make them more easily comparable to the rest of the data. Strengthen, Weaken & No Change were combined to give a total for support for the monarchy. However, one can't really expect someone who says they want to weaken the monarchy to be a reliable supporter. This segment would be an easy target for republicans to convert during a future referendum.


  May 2002 - Ekos (CBC, Toronto Star, La Presse)

"Instead of a British monarch, we should have a Canadian citizen as our head of state."

Agree - 48%
Disagree - 35%
No opinion - 17%

Link to published results

Analysis - In 2002, Canada hosted the Queen during the Golden Jubilee celebrations. This poll, taken before the Royal Visit, produced mixed results. This (above) was one of two ways in which respondents were asked their opinion. If one needs further proof of how important the wording can be, at the same time 43% disagreed and 41% agreed to the same question worded slightly differently: "It's time to abolish the monarchy in Canada." Of course, monarchists suggest the first reference to the "British monarch" as Canada's head of state as being a source for confusion, Then again, there's that word 'abolish' in the second question.

Shockingly, in the same poll, only 5% were even aware that the Queen was, in fact, Canada's head of state, with 69% thinking it was the Prime Minister and 9% believing it was the Governor General.

Also, 52% agreed with the statement: "The monarchy is an outdated and regressive institution that has no real relevance to most Canadians today;" while 33% disagreed.

And, in another question that, at first, is a bit disconcerting to republicans; 55% agreed that the monarchy keeps Canada distinct from the United States, while 33% disagreed. However, on second reading, Canadians could conceivably have the same sentiment if we had any kind of government that was different from the US, including a parliamentary republic with a ceremonial head of state. So this result says more about our desire to be distinct from Americans than our support for a monarchy.


  October 2002 - Ipsos-Reid (CTV, The Globe and Mail)

"When Queen Elizabeth's reign ends, Canada should end its formal ties to the British Monarchy."

Agree - 48%
Disagree - 51%
No opinion - 1%

Link to published results - N/A

Analysis - Taken at the height of the Royal Visit to Canada, one would expect better numbers in support of the monarchy. However, as the cost to taxpayers to host the Royal Couple began to role in through the media, the outrage may have muted any increase.

Notable are the views on a post monarchy Canada: 39% would like to see the Governor General as the official Head of State with limited responsibilities. Another 37% of Canadians prefer the prime minister to be the official Head of State of a Canadian republic, while serving as Head of Government.


  April 2002 - Léger Marketing (Canadian Press)

"Elizabeth II is currently the Queen of Canada. Do you (yes or no) want Canada to maintain the monarchy?"

Yes - 50%
No - 43%
Did not answer - 7%

Link to published results

Analysis -  A good question from a monarchist's standpoint. It identifies the Queen as Queen of Canada and refers to 'maintaining' the monarchy,' connoting a safe and comfortable status quo. So the results are hardly a surprise.

However, republicans were pleased with this: A majority (56%) said "Yes" to: "In your opinion, should we replace the head of Queen Elizabeth II on the Canadian dollar by those of people who have influenced Canadian history?" 39% said "No".


  March 2005 - Pollara (MacLean's/Rogers Media)

As you may know, Canada is a Constitutional Monarchy, with the Canadian Prime Minister as Head of Government, but the British Monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, as Canada's official Head of State. Do you support or oppose Canada replacing the British Monarch as Canadian Head of State?

Net support - 46%
Strongly support - 31%
Somewhat support - 22%
Net oppose - 37%
Somewhat oppose - 16%
Strongly oppose - 17%
Don't know - 14%

Link to published results - N/A

Analysis - Taken shortly after the announcement of Prince Charles's marriage to Camilla Parker-Bowles,  Pollara offers an excellent question that could only have been made better by changing the last part to: "Do you support or oppose Canada replacing the British Monarch with a democratically selected Canadian citizen as head of state?

In the same poll, 49% believe Queen Elizabeth II should stay as monarch until she dies.


  April 2005 - Ipsos-Reid (CTV)

“When Queen Elizabeth’s reign ends, Canada should end its formal ties to the British Monarchy.”

Net Agree - 55%
Strongly agree - 39%
Somewhat agree - 16%
Net Disagree - 42%
Strongly disagree - 23%
Somewhat disagree - 19%
Don't Know - 3%

Link to published results

Analysis - Timed to coincide with Prince Charles' wedding to Camilla Parker Bowles on April 8, the realization among respondents in this poll that Prince Charles could soon be Canada's next head of state (and Camilla Parker-Bowles Canada's next Queen) may have influenced the 55% who said Canada should disassociate itself from the British Monarchy when Queen Elizabeth II’s reign ends.

Note the amount of opinion strongly in favour of a republic: 39% versus 23% strongly against.


  September 2005 - Strategic Council (Globe and Mail)

"Under the Canadian Constitution, Queen Elizabeth holds the position of Head of State. The Governor General is the Queen’s representative in Canada. Do you support or oppose that the British monarchy remain the Head of State in Canada?"

Net support - 47%
Strongly support - 19%
Somewhat support - 28%
Net oppose - 47%
Somewhat oppose - 21%
Strongly oppose - 26%
No opinion - 6%

Link to published results

Analysis - Conducted immediately prior to the installation of Mdm. Michaelle Jean as Governor General, Strategic Council titled this survey 'Perceptions Toward Governor General' and also included a question about the monarchy. Other polls, including this one, already show wide support for the office of the Governor General regardless of the constitutional duties (Ipsos Reid 2002), as well as Mdm Jean personally, so sneaking in a request for an opinion on the monarchy may not have produced the most reliable result.

In regards to the huge margin of difference between this poll and results 5 months earlier which showed 55% for a republic, 42% for a monarchy; Strategic Council asks for the public's opinion on the monarchy now, while Ipsos Reid asks for opinions on the monarchy at the end of the Queen's reign.

One would also wonder to what extent the public's opinion is effected when offered a question on whether the monarchy should "remain the Head of State in Canada" without mention of the replacement.

Nonetheless, in it's Key Conclusions: "Canadians are much less certain about the legitimacy and role of the British monarchy remaining Canada’s Head of State. Canadians are virtually equally divided over whether they support or oppose the monarchy, suggesting that Canadians are increasingly ready to talk about the future of the British monarchy in Canada."


 October 1, 2007 - Angus Reid Strategies

Question 1:

"Under the terms of the Canadian Constitution, Queen Elizabeth II holds the position of Canada’s head of state. Would you support or oppose Canada ending its formal ties to the British monarchy?"

Net support - 53%
Strongly support - 31%
Moderately support - 21%
Net oppose - 35%
Moderately oppose - 17%
Strongly oppose - 18%
Not sure - 12%

Question 2:

"In the future, Prince Charles may become King of the United Kingdom and Canada. If Prince Charles does become King, would you then support or oppose Canada ending its formal ties to the British monarchy?"

Net support - 55%
Strongly support - 36%
Moderately support - 19%
Net oppose - 31%
Moderately oppose - 17%
Strongly oppose - 14%
Not sure - 13%

Link to published results

Analysis - Question 1 is very similar to the one posed by the Strategic Council in 2005; the difference being the exclusion of the reference to the Governor General. The disparity in the two polls' results could indicate that the popularity of the then newly-chosen Madame Michaele Jean may have crept into the equation. Regardless, these new figures represent an encouraging landmark in opinion polling for proponents of a republic. Support for Prince Charles succeeding Queen Elizabeth II has always been well into negative territory and that fact is reflected in the second question's results with marginally increased support for a republic. However, for the first time, ending the monarchy during the Queen's reign rather than at the end has achieved unprecedented support at 53% versus 31% for maintaining it. Monarchists should be very concerned at this new development.

The popularity of the young Prince William was also gauged in this poll and the unlikely concept of him passing over his father and succeeding his grandmother received surprising support, especially among similarly-aged respondents. This trend seems to reinforce the view established in a 2002 poll indicating that 65% of Canadians value members of the royal family more for their celebrity status than their role in our government. Consequently, as the young, bachelor prince ages, raises a family and endures the scrutiny deserving of a prospective head of state, this opinion is widely expected to wane considerably.

Conclusion: With a mammoth 18% gap separating republican and monarchist opinion, this poll represents the lowest recorded level of support for the monarchy in Canada since the 1997 Pollara statistics that immediately followed the death of Princess Diana. However, since monarchy support did later rebound, those results are widely considered to be an aberration.

It's also notable that while monarchy support at that time plummeted to just 18% versus a relatively constant 41% for a republic, luke-warm monarchists disenchanted with the behaviour of the royal family during the aftermath of Diana's death dumped their support in the "Don't care" camp at an astonishing rate of  39% rather than choosing the republic option. This time, however, as monarchist opinion gradually recedes, Canadians appear to be feeling more comfortable supporting ending the monarchy outright rather than replying "Not sure."


March 12, 2008 - Angus Reid Strategies

Question 1:

"Under the terms of the Canadian Constitution, Queen Elizabeth II holds the position of Canada’s head of state. Would you support or oppose Canada ending its formal ties to the British monarchy?"

Net support - 55%
Strongly support - 34%
Moderately support - 21%
Net oppose - 34%
Moderately oppose - 15%
Strongly oppose - 19%
Not sure - 11%

Question 2:

"In the future, Prince Charles may become King of the United Kingdom and Canada. If Prince Charles does become King, would you then support or oppose Canada ending its formal ties to the British monarchy?"

Net support - 58%
Strongly support - 38%
Moderately support - 20%
Net oppose - 30%
Moderately oppose - 14%
Strongly oppose - 16%
Not sure - 12%

Link to published results

Analysis - The same questions as the previous year, with a marked increase in support for ending the monarchy. An additional question was asked regarding what respondents felt about the future of the monarchy, not just in Canada, but also in the United Kingdom. In those results, 32% felt that once Elizabeth II was no longer Queen, there should be no successor to her at all.


July 1, 2009 - The Strategic Counsel for the Globe and Mail / CTV

As of this date (July 2, 2009), the exact wording of the question asked to respondents has not yet been made available. However, in the special Canada Day Edition of the Globe and Mail, columnist Roy MacGregor writes in his article: Canada at 142: We're inferior no more:

"65 per cent of Canadians thought the ties to the Crown should be severed once she passes. Only 35 per cent care to think of Prince Charles, who will visit here this fall, as a future king of Canada."

Link to published results

Analysis - Basically, the same question as 2008, but a 7 percent increase in support for a republic. At 65 percent, this is the highest level of support for ending the monarchy in Canadian history.

Canadians, as do republicans elsewhere in the Commonwealth, seem relatively content with letting the Queen continue until the end of her reign - but after that, all bets are off. Prince Charles as a successor to the Queen is not a popular concept at all.

The data also seems to show that we have a poor impression of the governor general, indicating that a lot of work needs to be done to educate Canadians about the role of the GG and the importance of having a head of state separate from the head of government.

 

The monarchy is a bust with today's Canadians. When asked if they felt a stronger connection to the Queen or the Queen's representative, Governor-General Michaëlle Jean, 20 per cent named the Queen, 10 per cent said the G-G – and a remarkable 70 per cent said “ neither .”

 

 

Perhaps, for those not yet fully sold on the concept of a republic, this could help with the decision. Monarchists always complain that our Westminster-style system would be at risk if we became a republic. However, that seems to be happening now, while we're still a monarchy. Enhancing, codifying and democratizing the position of governor general now in preparation for becoming a parliamentary republic could very well be the only way to save our parliamentary traditions.


Oct 31, 2009 - Leger Marketing for Sun Media

Republic - 45%
Monarchy - 44%
Don't know - 11%

Commissioned by Sun Media, this poll was conducted by Leger Marketing shortly before the visit to Canada by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.

Forty-five per cent of those polled qualified the institution as having "no real purpose" and indicated that they would like to see the monarchy done away with in Canada. Forty-four per cent believed that the British monarch should remain as the country’s head of state.

Nearly 80% of Quebecers qualified the institution as "useless", while only 11% wanted to maintain it.

Only 2% of Canadians estimate that prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall would make strong monarchs, whereas 20% think they would make weak sovereigns.

Analysis - The words "useless" and "having no real purpose" were perhaps a bit too harsh to describe sentiments towards the monarchy by "soft' republicans, perhaps explaining the narrowing of the gap between the two opinions from previous polls.


Nov 3, 2009 - Angus Reid Global Monitor - Commissioned by the Toronto Star

"Thinking about Canada’s constitution, which of these options would you prefer?"

Canada having an elected head of state - 35% 
Canada remaining a monarchy - 27% 
It makes no difference to me - 25% 
Not sure - 13% 

In the event Queen Elizabeth II dies or abdicates, which of these options would you prefer for Canada?

Prince Charles becoming King after Queen Elizabeth II - 23% 
Prince William becoming King after Queen Elizabeth II - 30%
Neither, there should be no monarch after Queen Elizabeth II - 37%
Not sure - 10%

Would you support or oppose reopening Canada’s constitutional debate to discuss the possibility of replacing the monarch with an elected head of state? 
 
Strongly support - 27%
Moderately support - 22%
Moderately oppose - 14%
Strongly oppose - 19%  
Not sure - 18%

Analysis - The firm Angus Reid Global Monitor was commissioned for two polls to be released within a month of each other: Before and after the visit to Canada by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall. In this one, before the visit, indifference and apathy to the institution was gauged in more detail than previous polls, cutting into both monarchist and republican support. And, additional categories on the future of the monarchy post-Elizabeth II and the willingness to engage in a constitutional debate on the issue made for a highly informative and revealing poll. 

One significant point to gather from this poll is the figure showing that only 27% have any real attachment to the monarchy. But above all else, the view that Canadians don't relish opening the constitution to discuss the monarchy has all been decimated. Only 33% opposed such a move, compared to 49% who endorsed the idea.

(Scroll down to the bottom of Other polls of interest to view results of two other surveys done during to 2009 royal visit.)


Nov 16, 2009 - Angus Reid Global Monitor - Toronto Star

Thinking about Canada’s constitution, which of these options would you prefer?
 
Canada having an elected head of state - 43% 
Canada remaining a monarchy - 27% 
It makes no difference to me - 21% 
Not sure - 9%

In the event Queen Elizabeth II dies or abdicates, which of these options would you prefer for Canada?

Prince Charles becoming King after Queen Elizabeth II - 22% 
Prince William becoming King after Queen Elizabeth II - 31% 
Neither, there should be no monarch after Queen Elizabeth II - 36% 
Not sure - 10% 

Would you support or oppose reopening Canada’s constitutional debate to discuss the possibility of replacing the monarch with an elected head of state? 
 
Strongly support - 30% 
Moderately support - 23% 
Moderately oppose - 14% 
Strongly oppose - 15% 
Not sure - 17% 

Analysis - In the second installment of the Angus Reid Global Monitor royal visit pools, the level of support for an elected head of state grew by eight points since the previous poll conducted before the visit started.

A convincing two-thirds (67%) said they would like to see a Canadian serving as Canada’s head of state. More than half of respondents (53%) said they would support reopening Canada’s constitutional debate to discuss the possibility of replacing the monarch with an elected head of state (up from 49% earlier), while 29 per cent disagreed. The other noticeable shift is in the proportion of respondents who want to have an elected head of state (up 8% since October). The group of undecided and indifferent Canadians became smaller, while the group of supporters of an elected head of state grew. 

(Scroll down to the bottom of Other polls of interest to view results of two other surveys done during to 2009 royal visit.)


May 26, 2010 - Angus Reid Public Opinion

Thinking about Canada’s constitution, which of these options would you prefer?

Canada having an elected head of state - 36%
Canada remaining a monarchy - 33%
It makes no difference to me - 21%
Don't know - 11%

Would you support or oppose reopening Canada’s constitutional debate to discuss the possibility of replacing the monarch with an elected head of state? 

Support - 52% 
Oppose - 32%
Not sure - 17%

Analysis - Consistent with November 2009's results, a majority of Canadians (52%) support reopening Canada’s constitutional debate to discuss the possibility of replacing the monarch with an elected head of state. Only one third (32%) are opposed. Again, the theory that Canadians fear opening the constitution to debate the monarchy is now proven to be completely false.

On the downside, for both republicans and monarchists, indifference and lack of knowledge of the issue are both still high at 21% and 11% respectively. However, with changing attitudes and demographics in Canada, in conjunction with increased public awareness of republican initiatives elsewhere in the Commonwealth, the likelihood of these respondents migrating to the republican side is quite high.

Link to poll

(Scroll down to the bottom of Other polls of interest to view results of two other surveys done during to 2009 royal visit.)


Other polls of interest

  2000 Environics / CROP [Canadian youth poll]

"In 2025, will the British Monarch still be the head of State of Canada?"

 
  Atlantic  
 Quebec
  Ontario  
Manitoba
   Sask.    
  Alberta  
    B.C.      
Yes
58
33
44
62
44
45
43
No
37
60
53
32
53
53
49
DK/NA
6
7
3
5
3
2
7

Link to published results

Analysis - More young Quebecers predict that the monarchy will no longer have a role in Canada in 25 years than do their fellow Canadians. In Quebec, 60% of respondents think that a British monarch will no longer be Canadian head of state by the year 2025, while 33% believe the opposite. In the other provinces, 49% of respondents foresee the end of the Canadian monarchy, and 47% hold the opposite opinion.
  
Of those who answered that the British sovereign will no longer be Canada’s head of state in 2025, the majority approve of this, both in Quebec (79%) and in the other provinces (63%). An especially large number of Quebec anglophones agree that this is a good thing (93%, compared to 79% of Quebec francophones and 62% of anglophones in other provinces).


  February 2002 - Ipsos Reid (Globe and Mail)

Link to published results

Analysis - Taken at the beginning of the Queen's Golden Jubilee celebrations, these results rank alongside the May 2002 Ekos poll, as being among the most revealing data about the public's lack of understanding of the monarchy's role. Where else but Canada could one get the same findings in one poll:

- 48% of Canadians say that the constitutional monarchy is outmoded and would prefer a republic system of government with an elected head of state,
- 65% believed the Royals are ‘simply celebrities’ and should not have any formal role in Canada (41% disagree)

However:

- 79% supported the constitutional monarchy as Canada’s form of government where we elect governments whose leader becomes Prime Minister.
- 62% believed constitutional monarchy defines Canada’s identity and should continue.
- 58% think that the issue of the monarchy and the form of Canada’s government isn’t important to them and if the system is working okay why go through all the fuss to change it.

Once again, the wording may be playing a part in the discrepencies. Although an unprecedented 79% of Canadians support "the constitutional monarchy as Canada's form of government where we elect governments whose leader becomes Prime Minister," it's likely this particular result was skewed by the inclusion of "where we elect governments whose leader becomes Prime Minister." By including that phrase, respondents could have been left with the impression that the only alternative would exclude the option of  electing a government whose leader becomes Prime Minister. Therefore, one could conclude that instead of a republican government similar to the USA, Canadians might prefer a parliamentary republic that includes a prime minister as head of government


  October 2005 - Centre for Research and Information on Canada (CRIC)

Link to published results     Link 2

Analysis - This poll was a bit different - asking Canadians hypothetically about a) if Canada became a republic, would it change the nature of the country and, b) if it did, would it be positive or negative. The result: a clear majority (54%) of Canadians said, if it occurred, the nature of the country would not change, while 43% said it would.

Among the 43% who said ending the monarchy would change the country, a sub-group of 53% thought the change would be negative while 46% said it would be positive. Translation: Roughly 23% (53% of  43%) of all Canadians think abandoning the monarchy is a bad thing for Canada, 20% think it’s a good thing and, since the remaining 54% don’t think the nature of Canada will change, one would conclude they don’t think it’s either good or bad.

Therefore, with only 23% of Canadians believing the monarchy is important enough for Canada to keep, this report represents the lowest support polled for the monarchy in Canada since the 1997 Pollara 18%.


  Oct 31, 2009 - Ipsos Reid Public Affairs - Canwest Global

Analysis - This was one of several polls done on the eve of a royal visit by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall. It does not appear on the graphs above because of the difficulty in attaining any conclusive results.

For instance, over one half of the respondents (53%) felt that the Governor General should be Canada’s head of state instead of the Queen (47%) and the same proportion (53%) responded that the country’s constitutional monarchy should end upon the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Almost one half of those surveyed (49%) would like to see a fundamental change in Canada’s system of government, with the country become a republic with an elected head of state.

However, underscoring the need for proper and informed debate is the following, which can only be described as confusing: On the one hand, Canadians replied yes to: Canada's head of state should live in Canada (73%), and the Queen and royal family should have no formal role in Canadian society and are celebrities and nothing more (60%).

But then on the other hand, they also replied yes to: The constitutional monarchy helps to define Canadian identity and should continue to be our form of government (55%). Canadians were split evenly on whether it was worth the bother to change from a monarchy to a republic.

Link:


  Oct, 2009 - Navigator - Canadian Friends of the Royal Family

Analysis - In another survey done on the eve of the royal visit by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, which can obviously be described as a major disappointment by the group that commissioned it, more than 60% of Canadians felt that constitutional monarchy was an outdated form of government.

Commenting on it and the string of polls, Andrew Pierce, assistant editor of Britain's Daily Telegraph, said, "This is devastating, truly devastating for the Prince of Wales and he'll be very upset by it, and her majesty will be very disappointed too."

"If people are indifferent to the monarchy, the Queen and Prince of Wales, it's finished," he added."
 


Synopsis

On careful reading of the statistics, clearly, Canadians appear to be open to examining the concept of full Canadianization of the head of state. However, with the 1997 post-Diana death fallout being an exception (which gave an unprecedented support margin for a republic), there is one glaring observation: Canadians are roughly split on whether to end the monarchy now (with a slight edge to a republic) while a solid majority favour ending it when the Queen's reign ends.

At least two factors tend to influence results: 1) wording or phrasing of the question(s) and, 2) current events (i.e.; Royal visits or personal behaviour of members of the Royal Family). The makeup of the questions asked is detailed separately in the poll analyses above. In regards to current events: Whichever direction opinion is influenced, Canadians generally don't tend to think of the monarchy very much on a daily basis, so perhaps the fact that it's in the news may spark the public to think about it. If so, monarchists are at a disadvantage here. The Royals seldom visit and when they do, outrage over the high cost of hosting them generally offsets much of the positive hype. And, when the Royals are in the news, it's most often negative reports about their behaviour.

On top of this is the growing sense of identity and independence of Canadians which has, over the last several decades, produced countless incremental moves away from monarchial influence and references in the government. Noteworthy is the realization that none of these changes has ever been reversed in favour of the monarchy.

Then there's the changing ethnic and cultural demographics of Canada. New immigrants tend not to have the same nostalgic feeling for the monarchy that many native-born Canadians do. Some even come from parts of the world where unpleasant memories of the former British Empire and its colonialist policies are still fresh.

Finally, one cannot neglect to consider the Quebec factor and how the monarchy relates to discussions on national unity. For the past two decades, polls have consistently shown that in the vicinity of 70-80% of Quebecers are in favour of ending the monarchy and thus would feel more at-home in a Canada without it. It's just a matter of time before our legislators finally realize that making Canada more acceptable for francophone Canadians is the key to finishing off Quebec separatism.

These are just a few of the reasons why support for change to a unique and independent institution to replace the monarchy will inevitably increase over the next few years. However, if the polls are correct and the desired time to make this change is at the end of  the Queen's reign, then public and parliamentary debate must begin soon while the Queen is in good health. Otherwise, the lost opportunity could translate down the road into a constitutional crisis on the future of the monarchy, a situation all Canadians assuredly would want to avoid.

 

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