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Scott Reid

Member of Parliament (Canadian Alliance), author and columnist


Canada's lack of a strong republican movement seems to be the result of an abandonment, since the 1960s, of a once-dominant interpretation of our own history nearly identical to the mythology that prevails today in Australia. For the past thirty years, however, Canadian intellectuals have tended to define the country either in terms of the ways in which it is different and hopefully superior to the United States, or else in terms of a gradual coming-together of the French and English-speaking peoples on terms of increasing equality. In either of these two new Canadian mythologies, ties with Britain are simply irrelevant to key nationalist ideologies or to national symbolism.

Feb. 27, 1998 - from his paper "Is the Peaceable Kingdom Asleep? Why there is no republican movement in Canada", presented to the Centre for Canadian Studies, Sydney, Australia
... the real reason why the Liberals have started periodically raising the issue [of the monarchy in Canada] is partisan: to drive each of Canada's other political parties into either the monarchist or the republican camps, and in order to allow the Liberals to represent both monarchist and republican sentiments under a single roof. In politics, the party with the biggest tent usually wins, and nobody knows this better than the Liberals.

Feb. 26, 1999 - column in The National Post
If public sentiments on either side of the [monarchy] issue can be stirred to the level that they have attained in Australia, and the Bloc Quebecois and the Reform Party can be driven into opposite corners on the issue, then the nominally monarchist [Liberal leader] Jean Chretien will be left in command of the middle ground. Then the government's real millennium project - the re-election of the Liberal party to a third term in office - will be one step closer to fulfillment.

Feb. 26, 1999 - column in The National Post