At any given time, all eyes and ears are on the royal family, but NDP leader Jagmeet Singh believes Canadians don’t care about the monarchy’s role in the country.
“I don’t see the relevance of it, and I don’t think that most Canadians do,” Singh said in an interview on CTV’s Question Period.
Singh’s response comes after host Evan Solomon asked the federal NDP leader whether he’s a monarchist or a republican, in the context of the National Post investigation into former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson claiming over $1 million in expenses since leaving the position in 2005.
“I believe that we should be a state, I think that makes sense, and I’m open to hearing folks’ opinions on that, but that’s my take,” Singh said.
Canada is a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as the head of state. In 1953, the Royal Style and Titles Act formally granted Elizabeth II the Queen of Canada title. New Canadians, members of parliament, police officers and members of the military all swear their allegiance to the Queen.
The Governor General position, currently held by Julie Payette, represents Her Majesty the Queen on a federal level. The role’s responsibilities include giving royal assent to turn a bill into a law and being an international representative for Canada.
Those who consider themselves republicans believe Canada should dissolve the system of a constitutional monarchy, shifting to an elected, Canadian head of state.
“I think we are a nation and we are proud of our nation and proud of the work we do,” Singh said on the CTV program. “We’ve got a democracy and we’re proud of our democracy and I think that’s what most Canadians think is important and I think we should focus on that.”
Following the NDP leader’s television appearance, Canadians took to social media to share their opinion of the monarchy’s role in Canada:
Monarchy predates european settlement, unbroken thread since antiquity both European & in many cases, indigenous too. Monarchy is at the centre Canada's national executive, judicial branches, every province. I don't see relevance of Jagmeet Singh! #CDNpoli https://t.co/b1DI6WPcRy
— Rob Wolvin (@Wolvin4Council) November 4, 2018
Jagmeet Singh: Canadian
The monarchy: Foreign.
The monarchy passed its “best before” date 151 years ago. It’s time to abolish this archaic tradition.
— Trevor Norris 🏔⚾️ (@TNorrisAB) November 4, 2018
Jagmeet Singh is asked a question about the monarchy, and answered, though he said it wasn't a priority. Now we have a journalist saying Singh is a hypocrite for seeking office under a constitutional monarchy
if this isn't evidence of bias against the NDP, I don't know what is.
— Christo Aivalis (@christoaivalis) November 4, 2018
@CTVNews I just read an article about NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s opinions on the monarchy. I am a monarchist, I grew up with OUR Queen. I honor her and all she stands for. Royalty gives us a moral compass. Canada is extremely fortunate to have the monarchy. 🌹💕🐾
— 🌹rose🌹 (@roselvssam) November 5, 2018
Jagmeet Singh is 100% correct.
The Monarchy is a colonial, archaic, expensive system, which has little relevance to Canadians in their day to day life. It should have no place in the 21st century, anywhere in the world. https://t.co/clabs0qB2A
— Tynan Phillips (@ShyChemist) November 4, 2018