This week Stephen Harper indicated once again that he wants to return this country and its citizens to the 19th century. Bob Hepburn writes in the Toronto Star:
The latest slap at Canada’s independent image came this week when the Harper government announced our army will be tossing out the Canadian-style Maple Leaf rank designation on the shoulders of officers’ uniforms and restoring the traditional British Army-style stars, or “pips,” that existed until the 1960s.
Harper also is expected to restore British insignia and rank designations to our air force and navy.
Harper's latest move is consistent with earlier Harperian decrees:
In just the last two years, he has restored the word “Royal” to the official name of our navy and air force, ordered our embassies abroad and federal offices at home to display the Queen’s portrait prominently and agreed to have Canadian diplomats share office space in British embassies.
What is surprising is how tone deaf the prime minister is to Canadian opinion:
When “Royal” was put back into the navy and air force names, [Peter] MacKay said it was done to correct a “mistake,” a reference to the 1968 decision made by the Liberal government as part of its program to unify the forces.
As Harper moves to promote our outdated British ties with silly moves such as ridding the army of the Maple Leaf insignia, most Canadians have long tired of honouring the British royalty and traditions.
Many commentators have noted the prime minister's morose turn of mind. He appears to be perpetually unhappy. Perhaps the explanation is that he feels he was born too late. Harper would have been happy as a member of the Raj, or giving orders to troops during the Boer War.
Perhaps his next move will be to replace "O, Canada!" with "God Save The Queen."