Sunday, September 22, 2013

Oath to Queen Upheld Even Though It Violates Free Speech

Bad news for those who want to become Canadian citizens but can't bring themselves to swear an oath to support "the Queen, her heirs and successors": a suit to end this silly practice has failed in a ruling by Justice Edward Morgan.

Morgan found the practice does violate free-speech rights, but is a "reasonable limit on the right of expression".

Despite the ruling, it's time to end the requirement. It could be replaced by an oath to defend Canada and uphold the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Someday Canada will grow up and ditch the monarchy, but it looks like it's not going to be soon.


Randy said...

"Someday Canada will grow up..."

I don't see this happening in my lifetime. Growing up will require a new constitution, or at the very least, amendments to the current one. Without unanimous agreement among provinces, the really important changes can't be done. And certain provinces (Quebec, first among them, but they are not alone...) will object to any change even if they agree with it, so they can get whatever else it is they want at the time.

Gerry Myerson said...

I think Australia stopped using an oath of allegiance to the monarch in 1994. Surprising to me that Australia would be out ahead of Canada on this issue.

Anonymous said...

I don't know, but if one can trust Wikipedia on this, Australia still has an oath of allegiance to the monarch:

Oath of Allegiance (Australia)


Anonymous said...

Not very sociable if you don't support people though! It's not like she's a tyrant or you pay her taxes. I think she does some good compared to a LOT of other people.

I think you are whining. It just says "support". I suggest doing a Pareto chart of more important things to pick on. Start with the biggest chunk of the pie.

Chris Pollard

Gerry Myerson said...

TomS, it says, "Certain public office holders in Australia such as the Governor General and members of both houses of federal parliament are required to make one of the oaths [of allegiance to the monarch]." I was talking about the oath one takes on becoming a citizen.

Chris Hyland said...

In the UK newly elected MPs have to swear an oath to the queen to take their seats. A few of the republican ones get round it by saying it incredibly sarcastically.

crf said...

New citizens are soon to be swearing an oath to Charles. Maybe they'll take a second look at the oath in parliament then.

Randy: the acts dealing with the oath are not part of the constitution. So the federal government could act alone in revising the oath, as far as I know.

Unknown said...

Couldn't agree more, although, I'd be much happier to see the Charter amended first to get rid of the incredibly anachronistic preamble!! "Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of
God and the rule of law" How did this possibly happen in the 1980s?!