A Figurehead With Power

OttawaWhen they taught us in primary school about our Governor General, they always referred to the position as symbolic and merely a figurehead with no actual power. Canada is, after all, a democratic nation, and the Governor General is merely a tip of the hat to the Queen of England... a bow to our nation's royal roots.

This crazy coalition government proposal is gaining steam, and it's looking like Governor General Michaƫlle Jean is now a figurehead with actual power. The Liberals, NDP and Bloc have reached a deal that would make Stephane Dion our Prime Minister and put members of the NDP in cabinet positions. The Bloc won't vote against this coalition for at least 18 months. This means Dion will become PM without an election, even though he himself is stepping down in May as the Liberals appoint a new leader, who would then become our new Prime Minister.

Of course, it's all going to be up to Michaƫlle Jean. She has the power to agree to this proposal or deny it, sending us back to the polls for yet another election. It's her call, this symbolic nod to our old British ties has teeth.

And if this coalition chatter has you feeling dizzy, don't feel bad. We're in unchartered waters here. We have a parliamentary system that's quite a bit more malleable than that cut and dry electoral-college-vote-for-president thingy down south.

You won't find me joining Facebook protest groups or rallying against it with others who feel it's undemocratic. It's parliamentary pandemonium and it's crazy enough to work.

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Comments (12 - click here to join in!)


Oh, the majority rule is undemocratic? Then what is democratic?

December 1, 2008 @ 10:47 PM


only 59% of Canadians bothered to vote last election. if they didn't care to vote, why should they care who's the PM now?

December 2, 2008 @ 7:47 AM

James Edgar

the coalition itself does not bother me much. I'm not a famn of Layton or Dion but I can live with them a bit. I do have a problem with the Bloc deal. I can see occasionally working with them . But I can't see signing power sharing aggreemenmts with them. that bothers me.

December 2, 2008 @ 9:21 AM

Mike from Lowville

Right on woodpeck! But, you can find many crawling out of the woodwork on Freddie P's site!

December 2, 2008 @ 9:32 AM

Toronto Mike

It's the nature of the parliamentary system, so I do think it's democratic. In fact, I think it might work.

But I find it cute that Dion could do such a poor job as leader of the Liberal party and still end up Prime Minister.

It makes be feel a little less foolish for writing this: http://www.torontomike.com/2006/12/the_next_prime_minister_of_can.html

December 2, 2008 @ 9:46 AM


You find it cute, I find it scary.

December 2, 2008 @ 6:40 PM


Dion isn't going to be prime minister for long.

December 2, 2008 @ 6:51 PM

Toronto Mike

True, Iggy takes over in May.

December 2, 2008 @ 6:52 PM

Mike from Lowville

Tee, what I find scary is our, ahem sub-prime Minister pleading to the piper in Parliament, Mr. President!! Who's stick does he suck? And every time I see that beaach Lisa Raitt sitting behind him nodding like a typical Harper bobble head, makes me want to through my shoe at my 42 inch.

December 2, 2008 @ 10:35 PM

Freddie P.

Mike from Lowville, you're beyond pathetic.
You're an enemy of Canada.

December 3, 2008 @ 8:37 AM


Australia 1975: according to the Queen, the G-G must listen to the PM. Consider parliament prorogued.

December 3, 2008 @ 9:35 PM


Mike from lowville your voice is being drowned out by all of the disgusting disinformation spewed out by the likes of all these tory assholes so far up harper's ass it isn't funny... speak up even louder because for the next 7 weeks harper will be on his megaphone spitting his bullshit on each and everyone of us until we become so apathetic and annoyed with everything that we settle for the status quote. and Freddy P your the fucking reason the separatists have any say what so ever, you see you deal with them like neo-cons deal with perceived threats ....shooting them down at any cost and belittling they're plight... this coalition will acknowledge they're concerns not back them and that's how you deal with people cordially, and if you treat them with respect in the end it will only help to unify this country!

December 6, 2008 @ 12:55 AM

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