August 30, 2011
When you think about it, we already have lots of royalty in Canada: the Royal Canadian Mint, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Royal Bank of Canada, the Royal B.C. Museum.
So on the face of it, renaming two branches of the military to the Royal Canadian Air Force and Royal Canadian Navy doesn’t seem all that significant.
But we have a feeling there is more to this announcement from the Conservative government than meets the eye.
When the Tories were elected with a majority government, there was much speculation among pundits that Canadians are becoming more small-c conservative in their outlook.
It wouldn’t be surprising. After all, as Winston Churchill once said: “If you’re not a liberal at 20 you have no heart, if you’re not a conservative at 40 you have no brain.” And as with much of he western world, an increasing bulge in Canada’s population is indeed over 40.
The way we see it, Stephen Harper and friends are hoping to nurture the trend. They would like to see the Conservatives take over the mantle of natural-ruling party.
This would go a long way to explaining the nod to our historic ties to Britain’s royal family in the military, taking us back to the pre-Trudeau era. After all, it will be an expensive exercise. Any company that has contemplated something even as seemingly minor as changing its logo knows it’s getting into something big.
For example, when Pepsi changed its logo in 2008, experts estimated the design itself cost $1 million – but that was just the beginning. The real cost was in removing the old logo everywhere it appears and putting up the new one.
For Pepsi, that’s a whole lot of trucks, vending machines, stadium signage, point-of-sale material and more. Experts noted the final tally could reach hundreds of millions of dollars.
For the Canadian military, it could be even more costly when you consider all the vehicles, ships and aircraft, plus signage at bases, recruitment posters and so on.
Even the Royal Canadian Legion considers it a waste of money. They say the cash would be better spent looking after the needs of veterans. We have to agree on that point.
The Conservative government recently told South Korea that Canada would not be taking part in Expo 2012. The reason, according to a statement issued by Heritage Minister James Moore’s office: “Canadians elected us on our promise to return to balanced budgets. This requires difficult decisions.”
In the end, it seems some decisions are easier than others when they are based primarily on the interests of the party in power.