07 July 2011

Canada's not entirely harmless romance with "Will & Kate"

Calgarians, indeed Albertans, will often tell you that this is a place where you are judged by what you do, not by who you are. I doubt this was ever true. I've lived across Canada and I've never found Calgarians any less susceptible to the prestige of a name or the seduction of celebrity than other Canadians. If there was any doubt about that, the current gushing over William Windsor and Katherine Middleton, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Earl and Countess of Strathearn, Baron and Baroness of Carrickfergus, should leave no doubt.

If it's what you do that counts, these two haven't done much more than any other prominent young couple of wealth might do—get born into the right family, dabble a little in this, dabble a little in that, have an opulent wedding, wave to the groupies and otherwise endure the trials of celebrity. And yet this country is honouring them as if they have accomplished something of importance.

I don't want to be a party pooper. Lavishing attention on the royal couple is generally harmless fun, but let's not forget this guy is next in line after his dad to become king of England and therefore our head of state. Choosing our head of state in this manner ... whoops, actually we don't choose, do we. Accepting a head of state in this manner is not only undemocratic, it is sexist and bigoted. Sexist because sons inherit the Crown ahead of daughters and bigoted because the heir must be a Protestant not married to a Catholic.

And one wonders why our federal government is so indifferent to the fact William won't be elected when he becomes our grand poobah. This, after all, is the party that refuses to accept an unelected Senate.

So ... let's not end the fun. They are a lovely couple and any excuse for a party, eh wot? But let's give some thought to the fact that this harmless-appearing fellow may one day be imposed upon us as our head of state in accordance with an archaic and prejudiced tradition, a tradition deeply insulting to the democratic process.

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