Michaelle Jean may be Canada's best diplomat
When Michaelle Jean ascended to the role of Governor General, she would have been forgiven for thinking that she didn't have her work cut out for her.
Considering the central importance of the Governor General's office to Canadian democracy it's odd that the Governor General has largely been irrelevant in Canadian politics.
However, it's becoming increasingly clear that Michaelle Jean is setting the bar for future Governors General higher than it has ever been before.
There should be little doubt that Jean is one of the best diplomatic assets Canada currently has at its disposal -- if not the absolute best.
It seems that no matter which world leader Michaelle Jean meets she cannot help but impress. Following Barack Obama's visit to Ottawa this week Jean has been invited to continue correspondance with Obama regarding the situation in Haiti.
With Canadian soldiers still serving in the country, Haiti has become Canada's forgotton mission. And while Canada recently increased its aid commitment to Haiti the day-to-day prospects of Hatians has reportedly improved very little.
While the arduous task of arranging a formal visit to Washington may be prohibitive to Jean actually paying a visit to Obama in person, Jean will hopefully keep the lines of communication between herself and Obama open.
The new US President isn't the only foreign dignitary -- and key ally -- that Jean has mightily impressed. French President Nicolas Sarkozy was known to be awestruck by the Governor General.
Considering Jean's obviously incredible talent for the task it seems that the amount of time it takes to plan an official visit -- reportedly upwards of a year -- may actually make the Governor General's office a waste of her talents. Perhaps it's time for Canada to establish a new office -- perhaps something along the lines of a Diplomat General -- to accomodate individuals of Jean's mammoth talents, and allow other, less overwhelmingly impressive, individuals to serve as Governor General.
To date, Jean's efforts have produced dividends on two important areas of Canadian policy -- the fight against Quebec separatism and Canada's peacekeeping mission in Haiti.
By contrast Jean's successor, Adrienne Clarkson, ran up an impressive bill traveling Europe peddling the questionable idea of "Nordicness" to not-so-impressed northern European dignitaries.
If Michaelle Jean continues to impress on the global stage one can only imagine where her career path could take her. Perhaps elected office could lead her to becoming Canada's second female -- and first black -- Prime Minister.
But considering the normally apolitical nature of her office, such speculation may be more than slightly imprudent.
One way or another, Michaelle Jean is an incredible asset to Canada. Hopefully, Prime Minister Stephen Harper is wise enough to make the most of it.
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