By Rupert Johnson
It is utterly ridiculous that the Canadian authorities have refused to grant citizenship to three long standing residents of Canada on the grounds that all three refused to swear allegiance to Queen Elizabeth the Second. Their refusal to grant citizenship is based on the spurious argument that the Canadian Citizenship Act requires all applicants for citizenship to swear allegiance to the Queen along with her heirs and successors.
On the other hand the three applicants for citizenship claim among other things that a pledge or affirmation of allegiance to Canada should be enough to qualify them for citizenship. This in itself is quite logical, fair and reasonable since people who are born in Canada are not required to swear allegiance to the Queen of Great Britain. Therefore, to require all landed immigrants to swear allegiance to the Queen is discriminatory to say the least.
It should be understood that Canada is an independent country with its own laws and institutions, albeit derived from Britain. But this is not to say that Canadians should pay slavish homage to a foreign Head of State. If landed immigrants are willing to affirm allegiance to Canadian laws and institutions that should be sufficient to qualify for citizenship.
It makes more sense to affirm allegiance to one’s country, rather than swear allegiance to a person. Swearing allegiance to an individual is tantamount to swearing allegiance to the cult of personality.
There is no doubt that swearing allegiance to the British Monarch is a vestige of feudalism that should be dispensed with in modern day society.
It is worth noting that applicants for Australian citizenship are not required to swear allegiance to Queen Elizabeth the Second, and her heirs and successors. A simple affirmation of the Australian Pledge of allegiance is enough. The Pledge reads as follows:
“From time forward, under God,
I pledge my loyalty to Australia and its people,
Whose democratic beliefs I share,
Whose rights and liberties I respect, and
Whose laws I will uphold and obey.”
Canada can definitely learn from Australia.
Rupert Johnson can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.