A distinctly Canadian oath – I’ll swear to that – Yakabuski

Konrad Yakabuski, in an otherwise good overview of the Canadian oath of citizenship, misplaces the question of the oath with the question of being a republic.

“Constitutional monarchy is the best form of government that humanity has yet tried,” Dylan Matthews concluded in an empirical report, published last year in The Washington Post. “It has yielded rich, healthy nations whose regime transitions are almost always due to elections and whose heads of state are capable of being truly apolitical.”I’ll swear to that.

After all, Australia changed its citizenship oath while remaining a constitutional monarchy:

From this time forward, under God (under God optional),

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.

A distinctly Canadian oath – I’ll swear to that – The Globe and Mail.

The Star, argues the opposite from Yakabuski, noting Australia as above and the UK change for new citizens to  “give my loyalty to the United Kingdom and respect its rights and freedoms,” in addition to swearing allegiance to the Queen:

But that doesn’t mean the oath to the Queen cannot — or should not — be changed by the people and their Parliament. The very principles symbolized by the Crown guarantee the right of all Canadians to work through the constitutional system for this kind of political reform.

In fact, the oath of allegiance can — and should — be changed. Not because it violates any newcomer’s private political beliefs. It should be changed because a straightforward declaration of loyalty to Canada, its laws and traditions would be much more meaningful to the quarter million who choose this country every year.

Adopting an oath of allegiance to Canada would not affect the Canadian monarchy one bit. Elizabeth II would remain the Queen of Canada, and the Crown would remain the symbol of our constitutional, democratic system.

New citizens should pledge loyalty to Canada: Editorial


About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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