Screw the Monarchy!
Vivent les patriotes !


The double significance of this holiday, “Victoria Day” or “Journée nationale des patriotes.”

Sommaire en français Aujourd’hui, c’est à la fois la « Fête de la Reine » et « Journée nationale des patriotes ».

Today is a legal holiday in Canada, both federally and in most provinces and territories. In most places it is called “Victoria Day” or, more colloquially, the queen’s birthday, in honour of the birthday of Queen Victoria. In other words, it is a celebration of the monarchy, that antiquated institution which is ridiculous enough in Great Britain, but even more ridiculous in former colonies such as Canada, because it means that Canada’s head of state is a foreigner!

Patriots’ Flag of Lower Canada
Patriots’ Flag of Lower Canada,
used from 1832 to 1838.

But here in Quebec, things are done a little differently, fortunately. Here, this late-May holiday is officially named “Journée nationale des patriotes” or “National Patriots’ Day” in honour of the patriots of 1837-1838 who fought for democracy, freedom and national recognition for Lower Canada (now Quebec). Their fight for reform led to a number of armed confrontations with British colonial forces and inspired a similar movement in Upper Canada (now Ontario). Several of those involved ended in exile, while others paid with their lives and were hanged.

Lately we have been inundated with news (i.e. propaganda) about the British royal family, what with the recent marriage of a certain Harry with somebody. This led me to make the following Facebook posting:

Screw the monarchy. I do not give a sweet flying fuck about the goddamn royal wedding. Screw the media for promoting it so stupidly.

…which generated quite a few likes among my friends. One Polish friend observed:

I support your opinion, David. For ages they are parasites identically as a clergy of all religions.

…to which I replied:

Yes, and the monarchy is a religious institution, founded on the principle of “divine right”—the monarch owes his or her title to “the grace of God.” It would be difficult to be more arrogant than that.

Local Montreal media published several good commentaries on this orgy of super-star worship. For example, Antoine Robitaille, in an article published Saturday (May 19th) entitled Pourquoi la monarchie m’énerve (“Why the Monarchy Annoys Me”), observes:

The monarchy and royal families continue to fascinate us. The members of these dynasties are as famous as film stars, perhaps even moreso. This is because we are bewitched by the super-rich. Perhaps even more interesting is the anachronistic aspect which links the present to the nation’s distant past. Nevertheless, the monarchy represents an infantile stage of politics. First and foremost because it is so simple: one person rules, that’s it. This person’s children will take over eventually. Hidden beneath all the glitz and glitter, politics in all its aspects—debate, division, conflict—is obscured. Thus, we tend to be spontaneously monarchist with children. The stories which captivate them often involve kings, princesses and princes.

In another article published the same day, Simon-Pierre Savard-Tremblay considers the cost, both material and symbolic, of this monarchistic nonsense:

All this pomp and pageantry illustrates one thing: that the monarchy as an institution is on life support. Its only remaining option to assure its survival in people’s hearts and minds is to project a cool and fashionable image.[…]

Everyone agrees: royal power today is essentially symbolic and decides absolutely nothing. So be it. But this is an admission that we pay the lifetime salary of governors-general, amounting to close to $300,000 annually, not to mention their 160 employees, including three photographers and four chauffeurs, for no reason whatsoever. […]

But the monetary cost of these positions is not the principal problem. Even if all of them were unpaid volunteers, even if they somehow earned revenue for the state, their positions should nevertheless be abolished. Symbols have meanings. Our head of state is officially Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada. She follows us everywhere, on all our coins. Our members of parliament must swear allegiance to her and must declare that their decisions and actions are guided by an unelected person who holds power, for life, for strictly hereditary reasons […]

All these positions being symbolic, they nevertheless constitute a living reminder that we are still subjects of the queen. […] this backward old institution, which even the most magnificent marriage cannot rescue from irrelevancy, should be consigned to oblivion.

To conclude, two days before the holiday Monday which, in English Canada, is known as Victoria Day, I prefer to wish you an excellent National Patriots’ Day. You remember, right? The patriots who were hung for treason against the British crown? I remember.

Finally, in an article from two years ago, Les patriotes : un devoir de mémoire (“The Patriots: A Duty to Remember”), Joseph Facal offers a brief reminder of the historical context:

The patriots were certainly poorly armed, lacking in experienced military leadership, with no support from the United States, with no clear strategy, and divided between radicals and moderates. However, well-armed, ultraloyalist, paramilitary organizations, tolerated by the British authorities, were determined to kill in the bud any plans for an independent republic of Lower Canada. […]

Was this merely an “ethnic” conflict between French and English? Certainly there were cultural and linguistic animosities. However several anglophones, especially those from an Irish background, were members of the patriot camp and fought against British imperialism. Several francophones, on the other hand, had advantageous social positions and supported the status quo controlled by London.

The patriots fought not only for an independent republic, but also had demands concerning universal suffrage, free education, the death penalty, equality of rights and others. They were inspired by the great principles of the century of Enlightenment and by other emancipation movements on the American continent.

In conclusion, the best way to celebrate this queen’s birthday, 21 May 2018, is to promote abolition of the monarchy and to honour those who fought for freedom and against the monarchy. Joyeuse Fête des Patriotes !

Next blog: Laïcité, législation et gouvernement au Québec

Challenges for Canadian Secularists

2016-09-20, updated 2016-09-21

A (non-exhaustive) list of seven challenges which Canadian secularists must meet in order to promote a state which is truly independent of religious interference.

Sommaire en français

Une liste (non exhaustive) de sept défis que les partisans de la laïcité doivent relever afin de prôner un État véritablement indépendant et libre d’ingérence religieuse. Ces défis sont :

  • Prôner l’abolition de la monarchie
  • Abandonner le multiculturalisme (communautarisme)
  • S’opposer à tous les intégrismes, y compris l’islamique, et pas seulement le chrétien
  • Reconnaître que certains codes vestimentaires sont nécessaires pour la laïcité
  • Respecter le choix du Québec en matière de laïcité
  • Laisser tomber votre puéril engouement pour Saint Justin Trudeau
  • Rejeter l’influence de la gauche régressive



The monarchy is a religious institution, incompatible with fundamental human rights.

The fact that Canada’s head of state must be of a particular religion is bad enough, but it is only a symptom of the underlying problem: the monarchy is essentially a religious institution, in which the king or queen rules by “divine right,” i.e. a mandate from an imaginary divinity. The fact that Canada’s monarchy is constitutional does not change that situation; it simply makes the monarchy non-absolute. Similarly, so-called “moderate” Christian churches avoid some of the worst excesses of fundamentalist churches, but they are still Christian.

Furthermore, hereditary transmission of the title of head of state violates the principle of equality which is fundamental to human rights and secularism. Finally, the bizarre circumstance that Canada’s monarch is a foreigner—and the head of state of a foreign country—tends to favour those whose ethnic background is from that country and to undervalue all others.


Multiculturalism = communitarianism = cultural relativism = ethno-religious determinism = religious essentialism = soft racism = an electoral strategy of unscrupulous politicians

I have criticized multiculturalism in previous blogs and articles and many other writers have pointed out the flaws in this nice-sounding but retrograde concept. In particular the Canadian Multiculturalism Act must be repealed or at least modified substantively so that it can no longer be used to favour the more religious (including fundamentalists and worse) over the less religious and the non-religious.


Christianity is not the only crappy religion. Islam is just as dangerous—and currently it is arguably even worse (which does not imply that we can stop criticizing Christianity for now). Sikh, Hindu, Judaic and other fundamentalisms are also dangerous.

In particular, we must resist the Islamist ploy, so commonly used to manipulate well-meaning fools, of playing the victim, of exaggerating the seriousness of anti-Muslim acts. In Canada, hate crime statistics indicate that the most frequent targets of such acts continue to be blacks and Jews.

Although is it obviously unfair to blame all Muslims for the actions of Islamist terrorism, all Muslims, including so-called moderates, nevertheless have a responsibility to confront the reality of that terrorism—i.e. the fact that the coran and other core documents of Muslim tradition contain much hate propaganda and many calls for deadly violence—and to distance themselves definitively from it. The fact that the torah and the bible also contain similar content does not mitigate Muslims’ responsibility; it simply means that Christians and Jews also have responsibilities.

As the journalist Joseph Facal puts it, not all Muslims are guilty but all are responsible. Adopting the posture of a victim is a strategy for shirking those responsibilities. (“enfermement dans une posture victimaire qui conduit à se défiler devant ses propres responsabilités.”)


Or do you want police and judges to wear collanders and niqabs?

It is unacceptable for public servants—especially those with coercive power such as police, judges and prison guards—to display blatant symbols of religious or political affiliation while on duty. To allow such aberrant behaviour has nothing to do with “rights”—rather it amounts to granting a privilege to the wearers of such symbols and to their religion or ideology, a privilege which compromises everyone else’s freedom of conscience.

Face-coverings are even worse, as they are impediments to security and communication, among other issues. They should be forbidden for all users of public services, not just state employees on duty.


The Québécois have every right to choose laïcité without being vilified for it.

During the debate over Quebec’s proposed Charter of Secularism in 2013-2014, opposition to the Charter from Canada outside Quebec was ferocious and based largely on ethnic bigotry against Quebeckers, bigotry which is often called “racism” (although inaccurate here, because French-speaking Québécois constitute a nation, not a “race”). When the PQ goverment was defeated in the provincial election of April 2014 and the Charter thus died, the defeat was because voters rejected the PQ’s sovereignty option, not secularism. Polls show that secularism remains very popular among Quebeckers, and their secularism is more in line with the modern republican tradition of laïcité which is obviously superior to the lame 17th-century Lockean pseudo-secular tradition which is dominant in English-speaking countries and remains so, largely as a result of anglo-ethnocentrism.

(This tension was also very evident during the recent burkini controversy. More on that in a future blog.)


Justin Trudeau is as anti-secular and as shallow as Pope Franky. Like the pope, his strength is in dishonest self-marketing.

Trudeau opportunistically courts the votes of various religious communities by flirting with very dubious Islamists (with ideological affinities to the Muslim Brotherhood) and with fundamentalist Sikhs.

Trudeau insults gays and women by marching in gay parades and claiming to be a feminist while continuing to be very chummy with religious fanatics who practice gender segregation and oppose gay rights and gender equality.

Trudeau slanders secularists by lumping us all in the same category as a bigoted con-artist like Donald Trump.

To criticize Trudeau does not imply support for his adversaries and enemies. That would be falling into the trap of what I call the “binary fallacy” and which Wikipedia calls “False dilemma”.


Western women who wear the veil contribute to the subservience of women elsewhere in the world for whom wearing the veil is an obligation.

The regressive left uses specious accusations of “intolerance,” “xenophobia,” “islamophobia,” etc. to deflect or silence legitimate criticism of religions and multiculturalism.

Secularists must explicitly reject the odious influence of the regressive left which Wikipedia describes as “a section of left-wing politics which is accused of paradoxically holding reactionary views due to tolerance of illiberal principles and ideologies (such as extremist Islamism) for the sake of multiculturalism and cultural relativism.” This accusation is certainly valid in light of the behaviour of many leftist and centrist Canadian politicians, the most noteworthy being Justin Trudeau who, for electoral advantage, regularly panders to various religious communities (such as Islamist and Sikh) which tend to be of the fundamentalist variety.

It is shameful how Trudeau and his ilk present the wearing of the Islamic veil as some sort of victory for women’s rights when in reality it is precisely the opposite. Remember the admonition of Mona Eltahawy, author of “Headscarves and Hymens”: western women who wear the veil contribute to the subservience of women elsewhere in the world for whom wearing the veil is an obligation.

Next blog: False Memes from the Burkini Wars