What is the role of the Governor General?

NAB
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What is the role of the Governor General?

Post by NAB »

Interesting debate going on about the Governor General's position. Seems some, particularly Rideau Hall bureaucrats, seem to be of the idea she is "Head of State" in Canada, while in reality she is not, the Queen is. Michaelle Jean is merely the Queen's representative and, since the Queen has no power over Canadian governance, Michaelle Jean doesn't either IMO.

Thoughts?

Nab
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Re: What is the role of the Governor General?

Post by steven lloyd »

Nabcom wrote:Interesting debate going on about the Governor General's position. Seems some, particularly Rideau Hall bureaucrats, seem to be of the idea she is "Head of State" in Canada, while in reality she is not, the Queen is. Michaelle Jean is merely the Queen's representative and, since the Queen has no power over Canadian governance, Michaelle Jean doesn't either IMO.

Thoughts?

Nab



All show. No power. Kinda a waste of money (tradition?).




Later though, gotta go.
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Re: What is the role of the Governor General?

Post by mtnman1 »

I don't know...he gets to wear a pretty neat robe in public. He even gets a sash.....stylish ...oh, never mind....
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Re: What is the role of the Governor General?

Post by steven lloyd »

mtnman1 wrote:I don't know...he gets to wear a pretty neat robe in public. He even gets a sash.....stylish ...oh, never mind....



Just so you know, Michaelle Jean is a "she" (just goes to show what impact her role has).
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Re: What is the role of the Governor General?

Post by Queen K »

steven lloyd wrote:
mtnman1 wrote:I don't know...he gets to wear a pretty neat robe in public. He even gets a sash.....stylish ...oh, never mind....



Just so you know, Michaelle Jean is a "she" (just goes to show what impact her role has).


When she ate part of a seal heart people went ballistic. As if she'd opened a McD's in the Parliament Buildings.
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Re: What is the role of the Governor General?

Post by fred 2 »

She does about as much good as the senate
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Re: What is the role of the Governor General?

Post by NAB »

At least the Senate has a legal constitutional role to play in influencing government, and would be on even more solid ground if elected by the people rather than appointed by the governing party as a political perk.

But it was sort of interesting at the time how many thought the Governor General had (or should have had) the deciding say in who governs Canada and how ....(the "coalition" effort by Layton and Dion, or she should have been able to deny PM Harper the right to prorogue parliament as recent examples).

Seems to me, were that the case, we would be stepping back in time to being increasingly governed by decisions of Monarchs, and even the Queen does not have that power here (or even in the UK for that matter). I see the position of the Queen (Monarch) as a "figure head", maintained by a few traditional elements from ages past ...usually in the areas of feel good pomp and ceremony. Possessed of no real power over democratic and elected government, ...so it seems to me rather pompous of Rideau Hall and Michaelle Jean as "the Queen's representative" in Canada (as well as those here who would like her to be able to call the shots of state) to call her "head of state" ....if by that it is meant to confer on her authority that was taken away from our Monarch's ages ago (along with their heads if necessary).

But the question begs, do we still have those among us who think Kings and Queens (or Governor Generals by extension as the King or Queen's "representative") should be given back increased authority to 'rule' us, or even overrule our elected representatives in any way at all? Even the British Monarch knows better than to comment publicly based on her position regarding sensitive national and international political issues of the day, ...yet we seem to still have some folk taking the position that she (or her representative) has (or should have) that right as traditional "Head of State".

Nab
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Re: What is the role of the Governor General?

Post by WhatThe »

Royalty is for sure from a bygone era, however in the case of queen Elizabeth, she still has a place in england. She has been sitting for nearly 60 years, seen prime ministers come and go and been a source of inspiration for the british people. The woman has accomplished many things humanitarian wise as has the royal family. That said I would like to see us cut ties and become a republic but since in reality neither the monarchy or gg do little here I have a hard time caring.
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Re: What is the role of the Governor General?

Post by Mr. Personality »

I don't see why we still have this tie to Britain. Are we not our own country now? What does the Governor General do besides run around spending money?

Also, being the Canadian Head of State, what power does the Queen of England have in Canada?
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Re: What is the role of the Governor General?

Post by NAB »

I wonder what the annual price tag would be if one added up the budgets of the Governor General and all the provincial Lieutenant Governor's (who apparently can also claim to be the representatives of the Queen in Canada).

As for the Queen, IMO she has absolutely no "power" in Canada, so it seems to me her representatives have none in any practical sense either.

Nab
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Re: What is the role of the Governor General?

Post by NAB »

...I came across this article this morning which sort of fleshes out the positions being taken..

Excerpts from: http://www.timescolonist.com/entertainm ... story.html

"" Just as the uproar has prompted monarchists to urge renewed recognition of the Queen's key place in Canada's constitutional monarchy, others see the dispute as a good reason to eradicate all vestiges of the British-based Royal Family from Canada's political order.

In busy comment sections of news websites across the country, there are also those calling for a kind of made-in-Canada monarchy that would drop the Queen from the equation and make the Governor General the country's sole ceremonial figurehead - and unambiguous head of state.


Others are keen to see both the Queen and her Canadian viceroy dumped in favour of a single, elected, presidential-style prime minister who serves as both head of government and head of state - the long-sought goal of Canada's considerable contingent of republicans.


Editorialists are divided on the matter, too. The Edmonton Journal on Sunday opined that Jean's "head of state" reference was a "non-event" because it is "a designation everyone understands to be honorary in practice in our parliamentary democracy."


But the Ottawa Citizen called "the GG's self-promotion" an "embarrassing" error compounded by the fact "that she and the prime minister are now engaged in a very public spat about it."


The words that launched the furor - and an impromptu countrywide civics lesson - were uttered Oct. 5 during Jean's address to the executive council of UNESCO, the UN cultural agency.


Speaking about the global dream of intercultural harmony, she said: "I, a francophone from the Americas, born in Haiti, who carries in her the history of the slave trade and the emancipation of blacks, at once Quebecoise and Canadian, and today before you, Canada's head of state, proudly represents the promises and possibilities of that ideal of society.""

Edit to add: Since the positions of Governor General and provincial Lieutenant Governors are only honourary and ceremonial in practice, and without political power (similar to the Queen herself) - it might be argued that if the Queen wants representatives in Canada ....she should foot the bill for their existence and maintenance herself? As well perhaps playing a direct role in supervising their behaviour and utterances?

Nab
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Re: What is the role of the Governor General?

Post by ce-Web-rity »

The head of state in Canada is the Queen.

The Queens powers in her absence from Canada are exercised by the Governor General. Both of them are considered above politics and remain for the most part is ceremonial. The monarchy is the building block of Canadian politics.

Michaëlle Jean's declaration that she is the head of state probably comes by way of ignorance to our system or ego. The citizens of Canada are reasonable to expect that the person holding the position knows what their role is within our democracy.

In sympathy for Ms Jean, many Canadians don't know who their head of state is either. A 2002 EKOS poll found that only five percent of Canadians could correctly identify Elizabeth II as their head of state. Most thought that it is the Prime Minister.

Elizabeth II has been our head of state February 1952.

Michaëlle Jean's self declaration that she is the supreme ruler of Canadian politics serves us well as a reminder that she isn't.
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Re: What is the role of the Governor General?

Post by Al Czervic »

Nabcom wrote:Interesting debate going on about the Governor General's position. Seems some, particularly Rideau Hall bureaucrats, seem to be of the idea she is "Head of State" in Canada, while in reality she is not, the Queen is. Michaelle Jean is merely the Queen's representative and, since the Queen has no power over Canadian governance, Michaelle Jean doesn't either IMO.

Thoughts?

Nab



But who else would eat raw seal organs ?
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Re: What is the role of the Governor General?

Post by NAB »

Al Czervic wrote:
Nabcom wrote:Interesting debate going on about the Governor General's position. Seems some, particularly Rideau Hall bureaucrats, seem to be of the idea she is "Head of State" in Canada, while in reality she is not, the Queen is. Michaelle Jean is merely the Queen's representative and, since the Queen has no power over Canadian governance, Michaelle Jean doesn't either IMO.

Thoughts?

Nab



But who else would eat raw seal organs ?


Good point Al LOL :-) Someone's gotta do it I guess. ;-) Might have had more impact though if the Queen had done the job herself.

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Re: What is the role of the Governor General?

Post by steven lloyd »

Or Stephen Harper ?

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