Thursday, September 30, 2004

If this is where the monarchy is headed, count me out

Adrienne Clarkson is apparently set to overstay the Governor General's normal five-year term. The decision comes as the Liberals' minority government prepares to return to Parliament next week -- a session that some say could be one of the most unstable in decades. Observers say this requires an experienced governor general to be in place, should a constitutional crisis arise. "Experienced?" It's a ceremonial position. It doesn't require training, only knowledge of the correct viceregal protocols, and Rideau Hall has a staff for that. She's staying because she's a known quantity, a free-spending Liberal-friendly GG. It's a clever means of subtle retrenchment on Paul Martin's part. An obviously friendly appointee made now would raise complaint from the now-far-more-powerful opposition, but merely extending the term of the current Governor General can't be too objectionable, right? I hereby make the remarkably obvious prediction that, should any constitutional crisis arise during the course of this minority government, Clarkson will side (precedent be damned) with the Liberals. I have a soft spot for tradition and reverence for the past, sure; that's one of the reasons I enjoy studying history. But continuing to give more than utterly symbolic power (or the barest of public funds) to the wasteful and out-of-touch representative of monarchy is disgraceful in the 21st century. If Canada had a more logical and sensible form of constitutional government, Adrienne Clarkson's current position of influence would be unnecessary, and she could return to holding swanky parties without charging it to the public treasury. That's the best argument for republicanism there is.


Blogger Chris Taylor said...

It could survive if we were more sensible about our appointees. Somebody serious, who knows what being an actual commander-in-chief is all about. Like Major-General (Ret.) Lewis Mackenzie. Appointing self-important CBC hacks like Clarkson to a largely ceremonial (but constitutionally important) role only ensure that they blow through our taxpayer dollars like nobody's business.

10/07/2004 05:17:00 AM  

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