A head of state could be chosen by indirect election by parliament, as one example. This is similar to the current process, however, in the new process, the Governor-General would be made by provincial or federal legislatures as opposed to being selected by the Prime Minister and then formally appointed by the Queen. Another way to go would be to have the head of state chosen by indirect election by a selection committee of political peers -- like judges, former or sitting federal or provincial politians, academics or other. "This model, a variation of which is practiced by Germany, offers some solace to those who think a president elected by parliament would somehow be indebted or subservient to it" (2010).
Direct election by voters is another way to choose the head of state. Candidates may be selected by provincial legislatures, culminating into a federal election. This kind of system is used in Ireland, a successful example of a former Dominion that changed their Governor-General into an elected presidency (2010). The penultimate option would be similar to South Africa's model of a parliamentary republic where offices of head of state and head of government have been merged. However, there are many politically-minded Canadians who think that the Prime Minister already has way too much authority and because this option would mean a total overhaul to the constitution, this option may be the mot unlikely (2010).
Some wonder if it is possible for Canada to be both a republic and a member of the Commonwealth too. The notion that Canada would have to give up membership in the Commonwealth once it becomes a republic is not accurate, according to Canadian Citizens for a Canadian Republic (2010).
In reality, among the Commonwealth's member- states, most are republics with only sixteen being constitutional monarchies with Queen Elizabeth II as Head of State. & #8230;Canada would still be an active member of the Commonwealth after the change from constitutional monarchy to republic (CCCR 2010).
The bottom line, when it comes to Canada and whether or not it should break free from Great Britain, is about identity. Canada has no reason to identify itself with England any longer. Mackey (2003, 17) notes that Canada has long been viewed as having an identity crisis. Likewise, Hage (1996, 22) and Lattas (1990, 55) inform that Australia -- another colony of Great Britain -- is much like Canada in terms of having a cultural identity problem. Mackey (17) suggests that, unlike Australia or South Africa, Canada does, however, have an identity (that may be in crisis), and that identity is not "homogeneous in its whiteness but rather replete with images of Aboriginal people and people of color. The state-sanctioned proliferation of cultural difference…seems to be the defining characteristic of Canada" (17).
Canada must cut its ties with its offshore monarch and a good time to do this would be at the end of Elizabeth II's reign -- if not earlier. This cutting of ties could open up numerous possibilities in Canada, allowing it to reinvent itself; it would be a time of rebirth where Canada, despite whether it is, indeed, going through an "identity crisis" or not, can find an identity that is apart from that of Great Britain. "Saying goodbye to the Queen will represent the very last stage in the long process of decolonization" (Counterweights 2009). Whether Canada will be able to break free of England and the burden of being a part of the Commonwealth remains to be seen, but it is only fear that would keep Canada in this position because, as has been shown, there is reason to end the relationship and switching to a republican model of government is not as challenging as politicians or civilians might imagine. Saying goodbye to tradition is the best action that Canada may take for itself.
1. Appadurai, Samy. Canada: The Meat of the World Sandwich. Authorhouse, 2009.
2. Bridge, Carl., & Fedorawich, Kent. The British World: Diaspora, Culture & Identity.
3. Cannadine, David. Making History Now and then: Discoveries, Controversies and Explorations. Palgrave MacMillan, 2008.
4. Canadians for a Citizen Republic. 2010. Retrieved on June 28, 2010, from the Web
5. Counterweights. "Some Obstacles to Democracy in Canada." Counterweights. 2009.