Thursday, August 18, 2005

General Ridiculousness

This blog has been rather silent throughout the pettiness of the Michelle Jean business, perhaps because I keep nursing mid-week Split Crow induced hangovers, McNair is an avowed anti-monarchist, and Cooper has decided to join the ranks of Andrew Coyne in the internet's ether. I comment only now, at the end, because the Globe and Mail has treated the latest announcement to a full page spread here at home, following yesterday's overdue and all-too-official "clarification", and because the whole scene represents a fine example of the true pettiness and general ridiculousness of Canadian politics as a whole.

I simply don't care much who the given Prime Minister decides to appoint Governor-General. There is no criteria, no express mandate, and no real responsibility attached to the post, absent the dissolution of Parliament decision that is really going to be made by the likes of Peter Hogg first anyway. It is terribly obvious that the only real consideration these days on who to pick is how it will play in the polls to the general public. As long as you don't appoint someone who longs for the break-up of the country or is an obvious hack, it is pretty straightforward. And who would support the breakup of a country that decided to appoint them to such a plush 5 year posting, anyway? This was always going to end how it did.

The hoopla surrounding the mini-controversy is insightful though. The usual characters are outraged that anyone question the beneficence and wisdom of Reverend Paul's selection. His enemies jump to the conclusion that one video doth a "crypto-separatist" make. Spokesman Scott Reid accuses those who raise questions of a whole host of things in colourful language for a week, and then the PMO issues a rather cheeky statement that "Canadians have a right to know that the occupants of Rideau Hall are unquestionably dedicated to Canada" after stone-walling any such inquiries as both a conspiracy and a targetted smear campaign that somehow plays into separatist hands. You really have to hand it to those Federal Liberals. Their ability to spin in pirouettes on the face of a dime is always as remarkable as it is sad.

Meanwhile, most Canadians just shrug their shoulders while on August vacation and mutter, as Rhett Butler did, "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." Should they? I don't see why. Regardless of how "inspired" any appointment made under the current rules might be, it is always difficult to applaud (or care) because it remains so arbitrary. As with the Senate, as with the Supreme Court, as with countless other positions in this country, the Prime Minister seeking a legacy has only to curtail his or her own power by instituting real parameters to these processes into the future. No one will believe you if you run on the point, so don't bother. Just make the changes when you have those keys.

As for me, I have placed the contributions and stories of this GG above all others.

Tomorrow, fittingly, as Kos' "Bill in Portland Maine" will surely remind you, is Rum-and-Coke Friday as well. I have paid good money to a Young Liberal fundraiser to partake in a party "Boat Cruise". So in a salute to the rum runners of olde, I'll smuggle a pint aboard, order pop, toast my favorite captains (Ahab, Picard, and Mayo) and feign increasing worry about the state of the good ship Liberal. Ah, you Nova Scotia Good Times.

Manana Mas.


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