The Role of the Governor General: Canadian Government in Crisis

This post has nothing to do with the aims of this blog, and I generally try to avoid any overtly political writing, but I felt I had to write, or else I’d explode.  So if Canadian politics don’t interest you, move on…

I am an anglophone in Quebec. My family has been here since this area was opened up in the 1830s. I have lived with the specter of separation all my life. I have seen first hand the effects of anti-anglo policies and neglect. This region has been in depression since the first referendum in 1980! This week’s news out of Ottawa regarding the ‘coalition’ of the Liberals and the NDP, supported by the separatist Bloc, has me sick to my stomach. Never mind that six weeks ago, most voters soundly rejected the Liberals and the NDP. Never mind that the Bloc’s avowed intention is to sow discord, disharmony, and promote separation at every turn: the Libs, Dippers, and Bloc have joined together to overthrow our elected government.

In our system, that’s constitutionally possible. If the government loses the confidence of the house (typically, a vote on financial matters: in this case, a removal of parties’ public funding – how nauseating, public money going to the Bloc), then the Prime Minister informs the Governor General. She in turn can dissolve Parliament and call an election, or, if she’s convinced a viable alternative can be formed (more members than the sitting government), she can invite the opposition to form a government. Or she can do nothing, but instruct parties to work together for the greater good.

The key word in that is ‘viable’. How viable would a Lib-NDP-Bloc government be? Never mind the optics of the government of Canada relying on sepratists for support: what price has the Bloc extracted?

As an anglo, am I about to be fed to the wolves?  As a Canadian, am I about to see the Quebec-ization of Canada? Believe you me, you don’t want that. Quebec takes over $8 billion a year in transfer payments from the federal taxpayer (cheers, Alberta & the West) to fund its statist programs; it is essentially bankrupt. The Liberal and NDP and Bloc parties themselves are near bankruptcy: do you want these people, who cannot manage their own finances, managing the country’s?

So, if, like me, this concerns you, you could send a note to the Governor General herself, and let her know just how high the stakes are… (I faxed her this morning):

The Rt Hon Michaëlle Jean

The Governor General

Office of the Secretary to the Governor General

Governor General’s Office

1 Sussex Drive

Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A1

Telephone: (613) 993-8200
Fax: (613) 993-1967

By the way, the Governor General is the Queen’s Representative in Canada. The postion is a political appointment. In this case, our current GG was appointed by Paul Martin, former Primer Minister and Leader of the Liberal Party.  The last time we were in a similar mess, the GG had been appointed by the monarch in London, so there was no perception of bias towards one party or another. Those days are long gone:  is bias a factor today?