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OTTAWA The monarchy may be tired, regressive, outdated and irrelevant for many Canadians but it's ours.

Canadians don't know much about it only 5 per cent of those polled know that Queen Elizabeth II is Canada's head of state but the desire to abolish the monarchy has dropped dramatically since 1994, and only a minority of Canadians want to give it up.

EKOS Research Associates found that this contradiction is at the heart of Canadians' perceptions of the monarchy.

A clear majority 55 per cent agreed with the statement: "The monarchy is one of those important things that provides Canadians with an unique identity separate from the U.S."

Only 31 per cent disagreed.

But an almost equal proportion 52 per cent agreed with the statement: "The monarchy is an outdated and regressive institution that has no real relevance to most Canadians today;" 33 per cent disagreed.

According to Frank Graves, of the research group, 25 per cent of those polled agreed with both positions.

But Canadians don't know much about Canada's constitutional monarchy.

Of those asked: "Who is the head of the State in Canada?" 69 per cent replied the Prime Minister; 9 per cent said the Governor-General, and only 5 per cent knew the answer the Queen.

When asked which term best describe the monarchy and the royal family, 35 per cent answered "boring," 52 per cent "interesting," 44 per cent "irrelevant," 46 per cent "relevant," 22 per cent "vibrant," and 59 per cent "tired."

The poll was based on 1,217 interviews conducted between May 27 and May 29, resulting in a margin of error plus or minus 2.8 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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