Friday, March 27, 2009

Hail Franz, King of Canada!

It's pretty clear that the monarchy will not survive here long after Queen Elizabeth leaves the throne. There must be a powerful republican, nationalist, egalitarian sentiment that would like to ditch the monarchy. Its size can't be estimated because there's a tacit agreement among everyone not to bring up the question while Good Queen Elizabeth is on the throne. Prince Charles however just won't do as monarch. The monarchy can't last as long as 25 years once Elizabeth leaves. It will be abolished the instant a Liberal Government in power determines that abolition would be to its electoral advantage.

If we could ditch Charles, the institution might have a fighting chance.

The recasting of our institutions to conform with notions of political correctness is one of the more annoying irritants of our time. But occasionally the process can have unanticipated consequences that are desirable to conservatives. We need to make the most of these moments.

UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown is thinking of ending the three-century long ban on Roman Catholics becoming monarch. Historic as it is, the ban grates against modern notions of religious freedom. And as the Telegraph notes,
One of the complexities of any change would the question of whether or not to make it retrospective - a step which would move the Princess Royal ahead of the Duke of York in the line of succession.
If we're righting a historic wrong though, why stop there? If disallowance of Roman Catholics is illegitimate then the ousting of King James II was illegitimate in the first place, and the legitimate heir of the throne is whoever's at the top of the Stuart Succession. The division of Tories over whether to support James, or support the new monarch in order to protect the Church and England's independence divided both the Tory party and the church, and the divisions therein were a major contributor to the bleak generations of exile the Tories suffered after 1715.

We'll grandmother Elizabeth and let her stay on because everyone likes her.

The heir presumptive to the throne of England and Canada is Franz, Duke of Bavaria. He seems to be an accomplished and honourable fellow and his family has a distinguished history:
The Wittelsbachs were opposed to the Nazi regime in Germany, and in 1939 Franz's father Albrecht took his family to Hungary. They lived in Budapest for four years before moving to Somlovar Castle in late 1943. In March 1944, Nazi Germany occupied Hungary. On October 6, the entire family including Franz, then aged 11, were arrested. They were sent to a series of Nazi concentration camps including Oranienburg and Dachau . At the end of April 1945 they were liberated by the United States Third Army.

We play this up to Roman Catholics, puffing the monarchy as a powerful symbol of the end of discrimination against them. The law of primogeniture is being tossed aside too, so we hail this as a giant step for women's equality. Is it just a coincidence that people want to abolish the monarchy just after women and Catholics have become equal, we will ask.
Buying support from women and Catholics the monarchy's survival might be extended by 50 years. And one of Toryism's most disastrous defeats will have been avenged.

Monday, March 23, 2009 See You In Tort

Maggie Gallagher over on NR Online started a bit of discussion a while back when she suggest reviving the tort of adultery (which had been "criminal conversation" in Canada). Funny, the very day before I read that I had been feeling nostalgic for those grand old torts that had been abolished over the years, the last of which were cut down by "law reform" in the 1960s. There was the tort of seduction, a cause of action for a father whose daughter had been seduced. There was breach of promise of marriage. There was alienation of affections. These old torts recognized that the damaging and sundering of covenanted personal relationships did real harm worthy of legal recognition and compensation. Although these old torts are now taken as hopelessly old-fashioned and repressed, recent times have seen the development of torts like intentional infliction of emotional distress, and this development is seen as constructive and progressive. The Family Law Reform Act of 1978 finished off the last of these "heartbalm" torts in Ontario.

Maggie's thoughts about reviving the historic tort came in response to a callout of social conservatives by NR Online's Deroy Murdock. Murdock alleged that social conservatives' interest in preserving marriage seemed to be strictly confined to fighting same-sex marriage. He noted that a Google search had shown no evidence of social conservatives denouncing, a dating site designed, it advertises itself, to help married people cheat on their spouses. None of the outspoken claimants to the title of defenders of marriage were on record as denouncing this for-profit enterprise aimed at its subversion. As I skimmed through Murdock's article I found myself wondering where such an iniquitous website could be located. Way offshore in some country with no extradition treaty, perhaps. Or maybe they would dare to operate from as close as Tijuana.. Perhaps they would even be bold enough to quarter themselves in Las Vegas. But no:
"We made tens of millions of dollars" last year, company president Noel Biderman says from its Toronto base. We are very profitable and successful."
Whoa! The City of Churches has now become Ground Zero in the war against the family. Hopeless as it may be, it behooves conservatives to try to do something about this. If the ship of decency must go down, it should go down with all flags flying.

Practical considerations suggest that a revival of the simple tort of adultery is unlikely to be a winner in Ontario. A counter-attack against the advancing anti- family armies needs to find a weaker section of the front.

But a law supporting creation of a tort of intentional third party promotion and facilitation of adultery, perhaps limited to commercial enterprises, should be something doable. And it just so happens that the law of tort is a provincial matter, and the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party is entering into a leadership campaign.

Let's find out how many PC leadership aspirants will support the creation of a tort of commercial inducement of adultery. At a minimum, their responses will show us where they stand in the war against the family.