Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Canadians Deserve to Decide Their Head of State

Or as close to it as possible

With Michaelle Jean set to vacate Rideau Hall and Prime Minister Stephen Harper set to choose her replacement, a great many Canadians seem excited to find out who her replacement will be.

A great many more do not.

It really isn't that difficult to understand why. Canadian political appointments have long been anticlimactic. Speculation abounds leading up to the appointment, then Canadians shrug their shoulders afterward.

Compare this to political appointments in the United States, where appointees are scrutinized by elected figures, and subjected to a lengthy confirmation process.

Discussion of the appointment before the fact has actual meaning in the United States. In Canada it doesn't. In Canada, citizens have very little -- more like no -- input into these appointments. South of the 49th parallel, at least citizens have some indirect influence on the matter.

That Canada's head of state -- or, rather the representative of Canada's head of state -- can be appointed in a manner so utterly inconsequential to the majority of Canadians is entirely unacceptable to any country considering itself to be a democracy.

It's long been time that Canada's political appointments are either subject to a confirmation process or, better yet in the case of the Governor General, an election.


  1. An election could be in order. Maybe we could have one at the same time as a General Election to cut costs. A confirmation process for a Head of State just seems not democratic enough.

  2. We could do a reality show/tv show to open up the selection process.

    1) House BB: five candidates live in mansion for a few weeks.
    2) Survivor with cool drinking contests somewhere remote.
    3) Are you smarter than a 5th grader?

    think of the optics and fun all around!

  3. The clear problem with electing the Governor General is finding a method to ensure that the office remains non-partisan.

  4. I thought the present GG was appointed by the Lib govt but that didn't make her partisan did it... I am thinking about the coalition, the one that was avoided because of her fairness and intelligence for what was good for the country.
    We are still under the thumb of the UK, even if in name only.

    BTW, Patrick - off topic... your comment posted last night, I was not able to publish, sometimes blogspot does some crazy things when I try to publish from my email account. Sorry.

  5. Michaelle Jean has been a fantastic GG. The only gripe I have is that the office weilds a lot of power for an appointed post.

    If we were to elect the GG it would be more likely that it would become a partisan office, unless there was some mechanism in the nomination process to prevent partisan nominees.


Post your comments, and join the discussion!

Be aware that spam posts and purile nonsense will not be tolerated, although purility within constructive commentary is encouraged.

All comments made by Kevron are deleted without being read. Also, if you begin your comment by saying "I know you'll just delete this", it will be deleted. Guaranteed. So don't be a dumbass.