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As Canada is part of the 52 nations associated with the British Commonwealth, it is with no question that Canada has had strong relations with Britain. Confederation in 1867 aimed to create a Dominion with greater autonomy over domestic affairs. Canada preserved its nation as a self-governing entity within the British Empire in such a way subordinate to the British Parliament until the execution of the Statute of Westminster in 1931 (in which Great Britain granted full autonomy, internal and external to all of its dominions). This execution permitted Canada’s Parliament and all former Commonwealth colonies to full legal freedom except in areas where they wilfully choose to remain subordinate to Britain. In view of this affiliation, I believe that Canada should not separate from the British Commonwealth and should remain connected with England and the Royal Family; for reasons that the monarch can grant immunity from prosecution and pardon any offences against the Crown before, during, or after a trial, the idea of implementing democratic reforms in its colonies and helped them establish their own, and gives Canada access and influence in diplomatic circles.
To begin, an abundant amount of people collectively underestimate the authorities the Royal Family of England can impose in a country, and this is either pursued through acts of inhibition or facilitation. As you know, the British Monarchy is led by Queen Elizabeth the second, the powers of the Monarch’s authority is paramount to any governing Commonwealth countries and its leaders. For instance, the Queen has powers in political divisions such as the following precincts; appointing the prime minister, declaration of war, and freedom from prosecution. However, the Queen has one very imminent factor when concerning Judicial powers, in particular, a royal pardon. “The Royal Pardon was originally used to retract death sentences against those wrongly convicted. It is now used to correct errors in sentencing” be that as it may, the royal pardon does not itself overturn a conviction. The royal pardon is commissioned through the “RPM” which is the Royal Prerogative of Mercy, it is the Monarch’s prerogative, and is only “exercised in Canada by the Governor General or the Governor in Council”. Immunity is granted in unprecedented circumstances in cases that are deserving and involve federal offences, in which no existing remedy within the law can reduce severe and negative effects of criminal jurisdiction. With that said, it is imprudent that the Monarch’s Judicial powers are able to vest such authority to Canada’s Governor General or in Council. Thusly, with Canada’s connection to the Commonwealth, immunity can be granted for those who seek royal pardon’s.
For example, Viola Desmond, a Canadian-African Nova Scotian businesswoman who defied racial segregated norms. Viola refused to leave a whites-only section of a film theatre which led to her being convicted for a minor tax violation later leading to a tax evasion charge. It is noted that, “On April 14, 2010, the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, Mayann Francis, invoked the Royal Prerogative and granted Viola Desmond a posthumous free pardon, the first of its kind to be granted in Canada.The free pardon, an extraordinary remedy granted under the Royal Prerogative of Mercy occurs in the rarest of circumstances, differs from a simple pardon in that it is based on innocence and recognizes that a conviction was in error.”. This case is exemplary of how although wrongfully convicted, Viola received her rightful immunity and was recognized as innocent. Therefore, if Canada were no longer apart of the Commonwealth this Judicial power would be abolished in the name of the British Monarchy, and innocent people such as Viola Desmond who deserve royal pardons would be subjected to unjust treatment and neglect.
When solemnizing Canada’s democratic reforms it is import to know the history of its origins. In parliament a key role in fulfilling governmental responsibility, is the confidence in that parliament can create laws and taxation. Such practices originated from Britain, the transfer to “BNA’, known as British North America, revolutionized the control that colonist had when concerning their domestic affairs. Afore the BNA, colonial governors would pursue guidance from policies that were mandated by colonial ministers in Britain. The democratic reforms in Canada consisted of British admirers who aimed toward a responsible government in British North America. During the 1830’s, the main goal was to “alleviate the restlessness felt by numerous colonists towards the small groups of powerful, local elites who controlled the colonial governments, and to keep colonies securely, though freely, within the British Empire.”.
Dogmatist influences such as William Lyon Mackenzie in Upper Canada and Louis-Joseph Papineau in Lower Canada were more accustomed and familiar with American-style political reforms, however, more civil reformers such as Joseph Howe in Nova Scotia, or Robert Baldwin in Upper Canada, are two individuals who prefer the British style of government. Amongst the four reformers stated above, and two other unmentioned influential reformers, had collectively came to a consensus on an organized party system, in which the leaders held direct seats in legislature, this was imperative for authoritative governance.
Joseph Howe in Nova Scotia, with compliance from Baldwin and Louis LaFontaine from the Province of Canada (Conjoined Upper and Lower Canada), established reform parties toward gaining dependable governments. Initially accomplished in Nova Scotia in January 1848, the Province of Canada also succeeded that same year. It was eventually commissioned to Prince Edward Island “PEI” in 1851, New Brunswick in 1854, and Newfoundland and Labrador in 1855. Following Confederation in 1867, the western provinces established their own dependable governments. Thus, this achievement of dependable governments per province was a gradual process, in that Canadians acquired sufficient control to mandate their own political affairs and accomplish without revolution, a national self-direction. With that said, it is evident that governance in Britain provided Canada (whilst being a colony of Britain) with clear models of creating self-governing governments through trial separations amidst the provinces of Canada. Therefore, resulting in Britain aiding Canada toward establishing their own democratic reforms. As you may know, the British Commonwealth can be interpreted and seen as a diplomatic coalition. In fact, every two years the leaders of the commonwealth meet at the Head of Government Meeting, to which they confer the shared concern and accede to unified policies and initiatives. All of the Commonwealth representatives are considered equal, regardless of monetary stature or their lands magnitude, in which all the representatives collectively give smaller states a voice in international politics and insight in diplomatic circles they might not have. In particular, Canada, is known for its diligent advocation for the needs in minor nations when concerning international politics. It is worth noting a key part of Commonwealth are secretariats; help affiliated countries reinforce their public policy and management proficiency to achieve commercial and monetary growth makes it a “key multilateral partner for Canada in formulating, negotiating and implementing trade policies, diversifying export bases, reinforcing debt management, and attracting new investment”. Also, the secretariats establish peace and democracy by reinforcing democratic institutions and developments in affiliating nations such as; reconstructing election processes, reinforcing the rule of law, adopting and facilitating human rights standards.
In the 1970’s Canada’s goals for Foreign Policy was reinforced to shield sovereignty and independence, mediate peace and security, advocate social fairness, in which the traditional diplomatist view was realized. Eventually, in 1982, Prime Minister, Pierre Elliot Trudeau and his liberal partied government, successfully attained Canadian autonomy by patriating the Canadian Constitution. At which point, the country’s highest law from the authority of the British parliament was transferred to Canada. Thus creating the “British North America Act’, a fragment of Canada’s colonial history, was restored as the “Constitution Act’, in 1982, this act included the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Therefore, the British Commonwealth has done its due diligence when giving Canada access and influence in diplomatic circles. This is evident through the preservation and restoration of constitutional acts that were diplomatically mandated through leaders such as Pierre Trudeau, Prime Minister at the time, facilitating human rights standards with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Similarly, in 2011, Canada supported the Commonwealth institutions by aiding the Virtual University of Small States of the Commonwealth which provided courses in six institutions each in a different country, also aiding seven nations establish and adopt eight distinct human rights agreements and conventions. Such adoption and establishment included the protection rights of children, protection of the rights of persons with disabilities and protection of political rights.
With that said, it is clear that this example demonstrates how the Commonwealth provided Canada in diplomatic relations that aided the establishment and adoption of human rights. This also allowed Canada to ratify influence and establish themselves in diplomatic circles (nations) they were not originally affiliated with.
One might object here that a different conclusion could be drawn from the aforementioned facts. Admittedly, Viola Desmond, although wrongfully convicted, was honoured with a posthumous pardon. Had Viola been alive, she would have been recognized as an innocent person who deserved a righteous acquittal. However, this is not the case, for that reason, a posthumous pardon does not excuse the fact that a royal pardon of supposed immunity of wrongfully convicted was for unprecedented circumstances, to which Viola did not have the benefit of the doubt and by virtue was never presumed innocent. This wouldn’t have been the case if Viola’s case be thoroughly investigated, if there had been a thorough investigation, a different conclusion might confer the royal pardon she rightfully deserved had she been alive. Next, there are disadvantages to what you have proposed concerning democratic reforms. The British Commonwealth did not physically aid the process of Canada establishing their own democratic reforms, rather they influenced the trial separations. A disadvantage of trial separations is that the provinces work unilaterally toward creating self-governing governments. Whereas they should of worked multilaterally and cohesively toward the creation of self-governing governments where they all achieve dependable governments in a timely manner and not as a sequence of milestones. Lastly, a problem with your demonstration highlights that Canada is diligent when advocating for the needs in minor nations when concerning international politics, however, your evidence proves only in human rights influences. It might seem that the Commonwealth doesn’t particularly provide Canada with the forefront of diplomatic circles when concerning international politics and unprecedented events such as a crisis.
In view of your opposing opinion, it is unwarranted to suggest that a posthumous pardon is anything less than a royal reparation. Despite the unfortunate misunderstanding Viola had suffered, she was presented posthumously as a founding figure of wrongful convicted and of innocent stature. Therefore, posthumous or not, royal pardons are at the disposition of the Monarch and without the dispensation of the Queen, pardons would not be an asset for Canadians to be granted. Also, the disadvantages previously mentioned in the opposing viewpoint, demonstrated that the provinces should work multilaterally instead of unilaterally. This is another way of realizing a more fluid bond among the provinces. On the contrary, each and every province had democratic delegations to manage within themselves, so it only makes sense for each and every province to manage their reforms before unitedly creating self-governing governments at the forefront of a united nation. Finally, an example that further aids your perceptibility of diplomatic circles and international politics is an affair regarding the Commonwealth and the Suez Crisis. “In 1956, Britain and France launched a military attack on Egypt following Egyptian nationalization of the Suez Canal the Commonwealth and the Suez Crisis Company. The UN, including the US, condemned the aggression, which was also strongly condemned by the non-white Commonwealth countries. Canada abstained from voting on a settlement urging a cease-fire and Anglo-French withdrawal, instead initiated an international peacekeeping force to supervise the termination of hostilities. The Commonwealth stayed together, Canada was at the peak of its diplomatic influence.”. This is just another example of how the Commonwealth has given Canada access and influence in diplomatic circles by allowing them to initiate peacekeeping in a nation they abstained from ceasing the hostility of other Commonwealth nations.
In brief, Canada, as an independent country, has had innumerable progression as a developing colony of the British Commonwealth. This was seen through Canadian figures such as Viola Desmond, who pleaded innocent until her misfortunate death, and unfortunately didn’t receive her royal pardon until after her time. However, still remains a pertinent asset in Canadian history and beholds a part of the British Monarchy, which is through the act of royal pardons.
Additionally, democratic reforms influenced by British admirers was paramount in the foundation of institutionalized governance amid the provinces of Canada as a member of the Commonwealth and a developing country as it was. Finally, Canada has been able to resonate with Commonwealth nations and improve their diplomatic circles in nations they aren’t typically involved with. Whereas their aid has persisted through international crisis’s as well the adoption of humanitarian human rights laws. Conclusively, the British Commonwealth is a part of our nations history and should not be abolished in that it shaped our rights and freedoms, created good governance and contributed to foreign affairs.
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