I think this anthem revision proposal is a case of to clever by half. The motivation seems to be some superficial play towards female voters, which remain somewhat elusive. That massive generalization aside, this "gender neutral" argument is already being exposed for what it is, namely a poorly conceived gimmick.
In trying to distract attention, the Conservatives seem to have unwillingly distracted from a serious tone. The Liberals nimbly seized on this anthem revision as evidence of symbolism over substance. Throw in another beauty, Senior's Day, and you present a case of government more interested in optics than actually addressing the issue. The argument can go further, to an insulting reaction, wherein certain subsets are assumed easily impressed or swayed. More woman voters will be drawn to the Conservative cause, not because of real gender equality policies and issues, but because a word was changed, that nobody frankly cared about in the first place. Taken a step further, I can assure you that the cadre of anthem activists- if they even exist- aren't your prototypical Conservative target voter. In other words, there is no real audience for this initiative, and you really risk alienating with pat on the head exercises. Where's the beef, so to speak, is the obvious end game.
The government positioned this throne speech as evidence of the recalibration they needed. Nobody really bought that argument in the first place, but that's the frame the Conservatives held to, and everything is judged within that marker. To then offer relative nothingness, the most trivial of "ideas", makes a mockery of the whole process. It's almost as though the government had to MUCH time on its hands, that they concocted this crap as meaningful. Worse, by drawing attention to the anthem, the government has undercut their own sober message on the economy.
What are people talking about, what has enjoyed wildly disporportionate attention? The sad part, people in the PMO probably thought it shrewd to put the shiny objects, in the window, when in fact they've overshadowed their own economic thesis, while concurrently opening up an effective attack line for your opponent. This idea showed absolutely ZERO foresight, because you already see the can of worms, plus you don't appear serious.
We have a record deficit, a jobless recovery, problems with pensions, problems with productivity, etc, etc, and you give us a changed anthem. A job well done PMO, yes everyone is distracted with your surprise, but for all the wrong reasons. Gender neutral is turning into a net negative.