Canadians add Royal into Air Force and Navy - monarchists silent about cost

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After four decades, the strongly conservative pro-royalist Harper Government of Canada has taken the unusual step of restoring the "Royal" moniker to the Navy and Air Force.

Canada's republican movement says the restoration of the pre-1968 titles of Royal Canadian Navy and Royal Canadian Air Force is a backward move, designed to appeal to conservative traditionalists and could backfire.

"The government may be vastly overestimating the size of the demographic this kind of action appeals to," said Citizens for a Canadian Republic spokesperson, Tom Freda.

"This isn't the 1950s, nor do we have 1950s values, he adds.

"Canada has been accustomed to moving away from colonialist symbols, not toward them. I can't imagine the mainstream public in 2011 seeing this decision as positive."

Regarding the potential constitutional implications, Freda said, "Australia's military still has the royal designation and they're further ahead in the republican debate than Canada. So, in the larger scope of things, it has no relevence to our inevitable evolution to a one hundred percent Canadianized head of state."

Tom Freda also said the cost of the move had not yet been quantified by the Canadian Government.

Given Australia's monarchists often use the ridiculous argument that the cost of changing the names of the Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australia Air Force is a reason for Australia not becoming a Republic, Independent Australia fully expects them to denounce the move in the strongest possible terms.

We'll be watching with interest.

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