Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Pomp and Circumstance

I really hope we never lose that leftover part of our Imperial legacy that manifests itself in all our national ceremonies and institutions. While I'm a big fan of leaving a lot of history where it belongs--firmly in the past--there are some rituals whose continuity, and whose difference from our day to day life, is wonderful. Perhaps it's the romantic in me.
Just some examples: The ritual of the Governor General disolving, calling elections, and summoning Parliament in the name of the Queen, the idea that lawsuits are always by "Her Majesty the Queen in Right of . . ." (leading to the fun situation of the Queen suing herself, such as H.M. The Queen i/r/o Canada v. H.M. The Queen i/r/o Ontario), calling Judges "My Lord" or "My Lady." "God Save the Queen" at the end of proclamations, even though no one really thinks that. Our wonderful gothic parliament. Our red ceremonial colours. The Mace, which can't be touched. Our solemn military ceremonies. I could go on and on.
In an era where we increasingly try to make things more accessible and politicians try for the common touch, a slightly mysterious hold-over to the past is comforting.

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