55% of Canadians want change to Canadian head of state instead of continuing with any member of the British royal family
Today, the new national educational foundation Your Canada, Your Constitution (YCYC) released the results of its recent national survey of 2,024 Canadians that shows a majority of Canadians (55%) want to change to a Canadian head of state, while only 34% want to continue with a member of the British royal family as Canada’s head of state.
“The federal Conservatives have introduced a bill to change the succession rules for the monarchy without consulting the provinces on this constitutional change, and have ignored completely that most Canadians want to change to a Canadian head of state selected by Canadians,” said Duff Conacher, Coordinator of YCYC. Bill C-53 was rushed through the House of Commons by the Conservatives, and is currently being reviewed by the Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs.
Compared to the rest of Canada, many more people in Quebec (79%) support this change than do not (13%). Outside of Quebec, an average of 48% support this change, while only 39% want to continue with a member of the British royal family as Canada’s head of state.
Across Canada, support among people younger than 34 is highest (more than 60%) but a clear majority (55%) of people age 35 to 64 also want to change to a Canadian head of state.
Given this survey result, and the survey result released in June 2012 by YCYC that revealed 67% of Canadians want an elected Governor General and provincial lieutenant governors, and the recent survey that revealed 84% of Canadians want clear, written, enforceable rules in the areas that the Governor General and lieutenant governor currently make decisions, it is clear that a substantial majority of Canadians want Canada’s head of state made Canadian, and democratic, and with clear powers.
This is not surprising given that Environics Focus Canada survey (PDF – pages 20-21) has consistently found since 1997 that only about 15% of Canadians see the Queen as an important symbol of Canada (the lowest percentage of any symbol named).
About the poll: The data was gathered between January 31st through February 11th, 2013 through Harris/Decima’s teleVox, the company’s national omnibus survey. Results are based on a sample of 2,024 Canadians, and the corresponding margin of error is ±2.2%, 19 times out of 20.