Friday, August 05, 2005

GG GGG? Gee...

I'm not a monarchist. Nope. And I would like to see all this Governor General business abolished. But that would expose the fact that the Prime Minister has too much power... And then we'd have to start considering some long overdue democratic reforms.

So, I think we're stuck with the G-G for a while.

Anyway, for a job that is highly symbolic -- no, wholly symbolic -- Michaëlle Jean seems like a fine choice. When I was a kid, you used to be warned about going into Little Burgundy at night. They weren't warning, "Don't go into Little Burgundy: You might become the Queen's representative in Canada!"

Those columnists who are criticizing Jean for having "a paucity of relevant experience" (John Ivison) or being "unqualified to become Governor-General" (Bruce Garvey, I'm looking at you sir) clearly are deluded as to what the "job" actually entails. News broadcasters are in fact perfectly qualified to read Throne speeches and stand on ship decks and shake hands. Oh, it's going to be sooo hard for her to figure out how to dissolve parliament.

I'm sure she'll handle the pressures fine. Has any other Canadian G-G seen a man shot dead in front of her? I don't think so.

Adam Daifallah asks if Jean is a separatist, which seems a funny question. No true separatist would represent the Queen in Canada. If she is a separatist, she's a really casual one. (That's, of course, a possibility: every Radio-Canada journalist is a social smoker and separatist at parties.)

If folks aren't speculating that Jean a separatist, they're calling her a Liberal patronage appointment. "The GG represents the Crown alright. The Liberal Crown," huffs The Monarchist. The theory is that it's all about currying favour in Quebec.

Uh, what? It's been a tradition since Vincent Massey, the first Canadian G-G*, that the post alternates between a francophone and an anglophone. And the majority of French Canadians are in Quebec. And we haven't had a G-G from Quebec since Jules Léger retired in 1979. So, in fact, it would have been really weird if the new G-G wasn't French-speaking and from Quebec.

But she works at that bastion of Liberalism: Radio-Canada! Um... Next.

It's not only that she's a francophone from Quebec who works in the media, see... It's that she's a non-white woman who works in the media! Didn't we just have one of those?

You lost me. Anyway, the fact that her political leanings are in question and that her appointment "surprised just about everyone in official Ottawa" suggests to me that she is a good choice for what is a non-partisan position. Possibly the best choice Paul Martin has made since becoming Prime Minister. Possibly the only choice Paul Martin has made since becoming Prime Minister.

And if Jean is a separatist? I wish. It would be awesome if she abolished her own post or gave the finger to the Queen or something.

Also, I would like to suggest that Jean and get little Marie-Eden a Bouvier.

(*Lyman Poore Duff was technically the first Canadian G-G, but he only held the post briefly after John Buchan died in office. History!)

No comments: