The media is a bit abuzz over the proposed resolution proposed by the Young Liberals coming up this January at the Biennial Convention to sever Canada's ties with the monarchy.
Now, this is mostly an abstract question because, let's face it, the monarchy is never a big part of our lives. Most Canadians either don't care or don't invest too much of their time in the antiquated traditions of our political system relating back to the authority of the British Crown. Unlike similar countries to ours, such as Australia, none of our major political parties since the early 20th Century has invested itself in the question of whether or not our ties to the monarchy should stay. Indeed, in Australia all major parties - Labor, the Liberal/National Coalition, and the Greens - have either the entire party or influential figures within the party supporting republicanism, which culminated in the 1999 referendum. It's somewhat similar in close-by New Zealand.
In Canada, we've done some polling on the subject. The HuffPo article even points towards an Angus Reid poll which stated that some third of Canadians feel we should sever ties to the monarchy (58% disagree), granted just on the even of the visit by William and Kate. The better question (in my opinion) is whether to replace the positions of Governor General and so, which the split is 40% agree and 48% disagree.
But even so, 44% of respondents to that poll stated they were "indifferent." And here we come up against a wall as we move towards this resolution. Not only does it seem that, in general, mostly Canadians are against the proposed change, but that right now they don't really care.
The question for Liberals is, are we prepared to draw attention to the issue of the monarchy, by which if that resolution passed we'd probably be on the wrong side of the tracks at the outset, and potentially make ourselves vulnerable? In other words, is it really something that we want to present to Canadians, wake them up on the issue, and face a probable blow back as people who may otherwise consider voting Liberal decide not to because we inexplicably became anti-monarchists?
Don't get me wrong, I think there is a debate worth having on the issue. I'm more or less a status-quo, as most Canadians seem to be. But is it worth the risk to throw the issue out at Canadians when they don't care? We can't become a novelty party, like the Bloc and its separatism. And this, frankly, is just a novelty issue in our political system.