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"Each individual should allow reason to guide his conduct, or like an animal, he will need to be led by a leash."
Diogenes of Sinope


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Thousand Flowers tapestry (15th Century) - Beaune, France (detail)

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Elizabeth May's parliamentary gong show

Why does anyone take Elizabeth May seriously anymore? After running unsuccessfully in federal elections in Ontario and Nova Scotia she washed up in a flaky riding on Vancouver Island representing her party's only seat, and yet she gets treated by the media like she's the de facto Leader of the Opposition. Her latest publicity stunt - asking Her Majesty the Queen to appoint a Royal Commission to investigate Stephen Harper.

May sent a letter to the Queen in August requesting her assistance in investigating the Robocalls so-called scandal:

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Buckingham Palace
London SW1A 1AA
United Kingdom


August 30, 2012
Your Majesty,
I wish to write to you regarding a matter of grave importance to Canadians, and I request your assistance with this matter. The mechanisms Canada had in place to ensure free and fair democratic elections appear to be failing.
Many Canadians are concerned that our democracy is endangered, due to election infractions in our most recent elections, the lack of investigation of infractions, the de-funding of investigative bodies, and unprecedented prorogations of Canada’s Parliament, which threaten to undermine the fundamental basis of democracy in Canada. I write to request that Your Majesty Commission a Royal Inquiry to investigate what may potentially be criminal activities which influenced Canada’s last election, and that the aim of the Royal Inquiry be to restore Canada to a free and fair democracy.
Shortly following the last election, I wrote to the head of Elections Canada to express these concerns. I have also repeatedly requested in Parliament that Prime Minister Stephen Harper Commission a Royal Commission of Inquiry. I have never received any response. I remain concerned that with Canadian elections in question, that the current government in power may not be legitimate.
I will, by copy of this letter, share these concerns and request with the Governor General of Canada. I request that Your Majesty please seek a resolution which will benefit all Canadians, by restoring Canadians’ confidence that we can have a free and fair democracy.
I have the honour to be, Madam, Your Majesty’s humble and obedient servant,
Elizabeth May,
Officer of the Order of Canada,
Leader of the Green Party of Canada
Member of Parliament, Saanich-Gulf Islands

Every now and then some nut from one of the Dominions fires off a letter to Buckingham Palace requesting Her Majesty's intervention in some petty squabble. I'm surprised my crazy next-door neighbour hasn't written to her about a fence that I put up along our shared property line twenty years ago which caused us to stop speaking to each other.  The latest case to get national attention was when Theresa Spence stepped away from her fish broth long enough to ask the Queen to personally intervene in her so-called hunger strike.

However, it's beyond belief that a Member of Parliament (and a leader of a Canadian political party at that) has so little knowledge of how our system of government works that she believes that the Queen should personally intervene in the operation of our elected government. Wasn't she paying attention in civics class back in high school?

Memo to Ms May:  the Queen is a figurehead who represents the sovereignty of the Canadian state, and is a Constitutional monarch who NEVER interferes with the elected governments of the states of which she is the head. That's how it should be, and I imagine that Ms May would be screaming bloody murder about "undermining the fundamental basis of democracy in Canada" if Her Majesty personally intervened in a hypothetical government headed by the Green Party.

Kelly McParland wrote in the National Post about May's letter and the Palace's reply in an article titled Elizabeth May writes to the Queen and gets a civics lesson in reply: 
In other words, why are you wasting our time with trivial complaints about Canadian affairs? And you a party leader – Does the Canadian education system provide no training whatsoever in the nature and operation of Parliamentary government?
It was a bit odd when First Nations leaders, in their confrontation with the Conservative government, wrote to the Queen in search of intervention. Natives were here before the Brits (or French) and can make a case that disputes over agreements signed centuries ago should be referred to the sovereign power at the time. It wasn’t going to work, but it was a cute reminder that Canada didn’t just spring into existence when the Europeans arrived.
But the leader of a political party with aspirations to national prominence should have better things to do with her time than bothering some Royal bureaucrat over Canadian domestic issues, especially over some silly suggestion that democracy was about to collapse. Were they supposed to send gunboats?
Britain doesn’t run Canada any more, news as that may be to the Green party.
Elizabeth May is a clown, and it's time we started treating her like one.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Elizabeth May was born in the US, with one parent being American and the other British so she is confused

Fred from BC said...

Elizabeth May is the reason that I haven't watched the televised pre-election debates for years now. If she's included, count me out.