Toronto Mike

A Figurehead With Power


When 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 Michaëlle 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 Michaëlle 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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