A Canadian non-profit group has put together a petition to elect Stephen Colbert, host of Comedy Central’s “Colbert Report”, as King of Canada.
Democracy Watch, a Candian-based non-profit which advocates for democratic reform, government accountability and corporate responsibility, has put together the satirical campaign days before Canada’s 146th birthday to highlight what the group says is a need for an elected head of state in Canada.
According to the press statement, the mass appeal campaign seeks to engage Canadians in rethinking the current system and question the British monarchy as our Head of State. It rallies for an elected Head of State who can challenge the government and enforce the Canadian Constitution.
Queen Elizabeth and her representatives are purely symbolic officials who don’t have the legitimate democratic power needed to stop abuses of power and lead our country. We need Canadians to come together in support of an elected Head of State who has the democratic authority to enforce the constitution and uphold the public interest. Calling on Stephen Colbert to be elected as King of Canada is a spirited way to get attention and spark discussion.
Tyler Sommers, Coordinator of Democracy Watch – June 28, 2013
A Harris-Decima poll released in May, 2012 showed that 55% of Canadians favour amending the Constitution which would see Canadians elect their head of state. 34% were in favour of maintaining the current system.
Seems I’m in the minority.
It’s not so much that I like the monarchy (although I somewhat do), but opening up the hot mess that is the Canadian Constitution, especially considering that we don’t have everyone on board (Quebec) is a bad idea. We can look to Brian Mulroney as an example of a Canadian prime minister who was consumed by what were ultimately failed constitutional proposals.
I don’t think that we need to go towards a republican system of government, but rather, empower the governor-general to be a little more involved in political issues. We also have the courts which plays a role in ensuring the supremacy of Canadian constitutional principles.
Where we agree is that something must be done to keep the powers of any majority government in check, but if we are to legislate measures to do so, we should focus on increasing voter engagement prior to doing that.
What would be the point of doing away with our constitutional monarchy for a system where we elect a head of state – especially when just over half of Canadians bother to show up to the polls. The Governor-General provides us with a political role that is refreshingly distant from the partisan politics we see everyday.
I do; however, applaud Democracy Watch for putting on such a brilliant campaign to get Canadians talking about this issue. It’s an important and legitimate policy discussion to have.
To sign the Colbert for King of Canada petition, please visit www.colbertforking.ca.