Monarchy

I like to think of myself as a monarchist.

I support the monarchy in Canada, and Queen Elizabeth II as our head of state, since it is a largely ceremonial title in this day and age.

But from reading A Song of Ice and Fire lately, as well as watching Game of Thrones, I’m starting to wonder about royal families and all that fun stuff.

For example, the idea of traitors and treason.

Listen, I fully understand and can get behind the idea of lines of succession and heredity in such a world as the timeframe in which ASOIAF is set.

But the idea that, when the reigning monarch dies and others who are not in the direct line of succession declare they are the proper monarch, saying there is more than one person declaring to be the king/queen/etc. is treasonous is ridiculous in my mind.

Think about it, using the example of what happened in ASOIAF…

Robert dies and Joffrey ascends to the Iron Throne. But because of the (true) questions about his right to the throne, his two (supposed) uncles declare they are to be king.

I’m leaving out Robb Stark and Balon Greyjoy here because Robb never really declared for the Iron Throne, and I don’t completely recall how Balon declared.

So, as I understood things while reading, it was considered problematic if someone within Westeros said there were five kings, or that five men had declared they are kings.

I don’t see it being a problem, because it’s a statement of fact — there are five men saying they are the king.

And what’s in a name, anyway? What does ‘king’ really mean? It’s just a title that has been elevated to the highest echelon of importance.

You know, I’m not entirely sure where I’m going with this. It’s just made me think, is all.

I guess if I were to opine on our current constitutional monarchy in Canada, and all those people who can’t seem to wrap their head around how our system works, I would say this:

We’re not dumping the monarchy any time soon. If we ever do, I figure it would happen when Liz dies. And by that I mean we would only begin the debate in earnest at that point. Liz is well loved, and it’s highly unlikely there will ever be the necessary groundswell to introduce someone else to be Canada’s head of state.

Beyond that, it would require a constitutional amendment, and that’s not going to happen in our current political climate. We’ve had two tries, and they failed. And this country is more polarized now than it’s been in a very long time.

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