It was one of the quirkiest policy resolutions to come from a political party convention.
Last summer, Green Party delegates voted in favour of an emergency resolution which tasked party leader Elizabeth May to ask the Queen for a Royal Inquiry into the robocall scandal.
May did and the Queen finally responded — well, actually Buckingham Palace's 'Deputy to the Senior Correspondence Officer' responded:
"The Queen has taken careful note of the concerns you express over the fairness of the Canadian democratic electoral process, which you feel is being infringed," Miss Jennie Vine wrote.
"Perhaps, I might explain, however, that this is not a matter in The Queen would intervene. As a constitutional Sovereign, Her Majesty acts through her personal representative, the Governor-General, on the advice of her Canadian Ministers and it is to them that your appeal should be directed.
"I have therefore been instructed to forward your letter to the Governor General of Canada so that may be aware of your approach to The Queen and may consider the points you raise."
To put it bluntly: well, duh!
Interestingly, the exact same words were used in a January letter to Jonathan Francoeur who had written to the Queen asking her to intervene in Chief Theresa Spence's all-liquid diet protest.
May, a learned attorney, should have known that this would be the response from Buckingham Palace.
Whether or not you believe an inquiry into the robocall scandal is warranted, contacting the Queen was an exercise in futility.
Either the Green Party delegates were partaking in a cheap PR stunt or they all need a lesson in Canadian civics.
May's letter to the Queen:
August 30, 2012
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,
Officer of the Order of Canada,
Leader of the Green Party of Canada
Member of Parliament, Saanich-Gulf Islands
Copy to: Governor General of Canada
(Photo courtesy of the Canadian Press)
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