Priorities

The successor to the throne is a man. The next successor to the throne is a man. I don’t think Canadians want to open a debate on the monarchy or constitutional matters at this time. That’s our position, and I just don’t see that as a priority for Canadians right now at all.

— Stephen Harper

I don’t even want to start talking about the Conservative Government’s bizarre obsession with the British monarchy, nor do I want to speculate on the potential costs of their “Royal” rebranding of the Canadian military. These are weird, complex issues and I have an early morning tomorrow.

I will say this, though. It’s telling that Stephen Harper felt an urgent need to spend taxpayer dollars restoring monarchist labels to Canada’s military. It’s telling that he feels an urgent need to spend millions more taxpayer dollars to commemorate the War of 1812 as “a seminal event in the making of our great country” (that’s what he said).

It’s telling that he places such importance on these matters, yet doesn’t care to join British Prime Minister David Cameron in supporting changes which would grant a woman the right to inherit the British throne ahead of a younger male sibling. Cameron wrote to Commonwealth leaders in September:

We espouse gender equality in all other aspects of life and it is an anomaly that in the rules relating to the highest public office we continue to enshrine male superiority.

I’m not particularly a fan of the British Conservative Party, but I’m glad David Cameron took this initiative. It would be nice to see Canada’s government on side. But it seems as though for Stephen Harper, glorifying Canada’s (royal) military heritage is one thing, but even the most laughably symbolic gesture towards gender equality is just not a priority.