What is the role of the Governor General?

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Re: What is the role of the Governor General?

Post by NAB »

Point taken nolan.. but I do not apologize for calling into question the intellectual capabilities of our modern "experts" (lay or otherwise) and politicians when it comes to this, or any other, issue. I watch their political games and listen to their debates and just shake my head at the lack of common sense and childishness so many of them display. I didn't follow the coalition argument very closely 'cause I couldn't stop laughing long enough, but if precedent was all they based their "expert opinion" on then I suggest they better find some new (and more qualified) constitutional "experts".

Anyway...

I assume you are referring to the Lord Byng/Mckenzie King affair of 1926 as your precedent? I commented on that above (7th post on this page if I counted correctly - Edit: sorry, previous page now it appears). I presume you have studied the outcome of that in detail, as well as all the constitutional changes since which removed Canada's Governments from being influenced by Britain (including the Monarchy) by anything other than feel good tradition and ceremony? ((I hesitate to use the word "convention" any more, since such is evolutionary and subject to change as we (or rather our governments) wish)). In simple terms IMO, it may be described as having "obtaining our full independance from Britain and the Monarchy in every sense of the word"... many years ago... particularly and finally in 1949 I believe.

Nab
Last edited by NAB on Oct 24th, 2009, 4:16 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: What is the role of the Governor General?

Post by nolanrh »

Actually, as part of heading back to school I'm in a constitutional law class, hence my interest in the discussion. ;)
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Re: What is the role of the Governor General?

Post by NAB »

nolanrh wrote:Actually, I'm in a constitutional law class currently, hence my interest in the discussion. ;)


Great! I would be very interested in your input regarding views different from mine with respect to the modern "power" of the GG, if any.

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Re: What is the role of the Governor General?

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I'll let you know when we get a little more modern.
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Re: What is the role of the Governor General?

Post by Nom_de_Plume »

Well when Chuck and Camilla arrive in a couple of weeks I'm sure they'll put her straight.
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Re: What is the role of the Governor General?

Post by westsidebud »

i say lose the govener general
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Re: What is the role of the Governor General?

Post by NAB »

westsidebud wrote:i say lose the govener general


Presumably that thought would carry over to the situation with the provincial Lieutenant Governor's too? Their role is largely ceremonial as well.

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Re: What is the role of the Governor General?

Post by westsidebud »

yup nab. i agree.what company pays some as a figurehead? i understand what them roles mean but the time has come. the money could be better spent
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Re: What is the role of the Governor General?

Post by Glacier »

My guess is that when Prince Charles becomes King the size of the British Commonwealth will go from 53 to 3 within a decade.
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Re: What is the role of the Governor General?

Post by NAB »

""Royal Family has lost its relevance...

(Excerpts.....)

Canada's waning interest in the British monarchy should come as no surprise to anyone. Nor should it be viewed as an insult to the Royal Family or to its Canadian friends, who recently commissioned a poll with some pretty telling results.

....The disappointing news to champions of the monarchy is that two-thirds of Canadians think the Prince of Wales is out of date and out of touch. More than 50 per cent no longer believe we should have a king or queen as our head of state, according to the poll conducted in August by Torontobased Navigator and obtained by the CBC.

.....The results have inspired much hand-wringing among fans of the royals on the eve of the Prince of Wales' 10-day visit to Canada. The assistant editor of Britain's Daily Telegraph told the CBC the poll would be "truly devastating for the Prince of Wales and he'll be very upset by it, and Her Majesty will be very disappointed too."



..... What should be even more disappointing to the Queen is the poll's finding that 47 per cent of respondents didn't know she was Canada's head of state. But such a blunder can surely be forgiven, since even our own Governor General, Michaelle Jean, seems to have forgotten that fact.""

Full article: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/opinion/ ... story.html
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Re: What is the role of the Governor General?

Post by dandynick5 »

Interesting points on prorogation there Nolanrh. I recall reading another instance of prorogation that occured in 1873 when J.A. MacDonald wanted to avoid the Liberal opposition getting into a parliamentary expose of the Pacific Scandal The details of the actual process of that day show that political skirmishes are nothing new in our history. That the GG actually escaped relatively unscathed from that imbroglio was a bit of a miracle.

How many other instances of Prorogation have there been?
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Re: What is the role of the Governor General?

Post by NAB »

The GG is "Commander-in-Chief" of our armed forces? That's something I hadn't been aware of before (I always thought it was the Queen/King).

In the US (as well as some other countries) the President is Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, and actually has authority as such I believe, ...while in Canada the position appears to be held by the British Monarch and is then vested in her/his representative in Canada. Of course it is more a ceremonial position than a practical one in our case, but I wonder if it will cause another flap similar to the "Head of State" issue as the circumstances are very similar.

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Re: What is the role of the Governor General?

Post by Nom_de_Plume »

Nabcom wrote:The GG is "Commander-in-Chief" of our armed forces? That's something I hadn't been aware of before (I always thought it was the Queen/King).

In the US (as well as some other countries) the President is Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, and actually has authority as such I believe, ...while in Canada the position appears to be held by the British Monarch and is then vested in her/his representative in Canada. Of course it is more a ceremonial position than a practical one in our case, but I wonder if it will cause another flap similar to the "Head of State" issue as the circumstances are very similar.

Nab

The Queen/king is the commander in chief with those duties being delegated to the governor general.
That's probably why chuck ol boy got presented with his uniform and honorary vice admiral rank when he was in here recently, by the Chief of Maritime affairs VAdm P.Dean MdFadden. Possibly in anticipation of him taking over for Mummy one day :dyinglaughing:
Basically what I've noticed her (the GG) role is, is to do all the pomp/ schmooze/award presentations etc that the rest of the big whigg muckety mucks don't have time for.
for example the same above mentioned Chief of Maritime affairs (that's just a fancy way of saying head of the Navy) was presented with his rank and title promotion by the GG.
The Chief of Defence staff Gen Walter Natynczyk (basically the head of the canadian military) was also present at that ceremony, he is second only to the Queen/king with the Governor General representing the monarch at this ceremony.
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Re: What is the role of the Governor General?

Post by NAB »

I took the GG's "Commander-in Chief of the Canadian Armed forces" reference (and wearing of our uniform) perhaps a little more literally and direct, not "Representative of the Commander-in-Chief" (the Queen).

Over the years I have seen a number of GG's come and go, and they were never a big deal to me anyway, just figureheads of pomp and ceremony. I limited my respect for the Monarchy to the King or Queen him/herself. But it seems to me the office of this particular GG is getting a bit "full of itself" lately compared to others over the past 60 years or so. I have no problem with pomp and ceremony so long as it is kept in its place in terms of any real authority it tries to wield. But if the objective is to strengthen the role of the Monarchy in Canada to the extent that it is seen as getting involved in practical political/governmental affairs, then I am not too sure yet I feel comfortable with that, .....any more than I suspect folk in the UK would feel comfortable were the Queen or King to do similar. Or any other country that is a Constitutional Monarchy for that matter.

We have to remember that, in a Constituional Monarchy, the powers of the Monarch (or his/her representative - the GG) are limited to those granted him/her under the current Canadian Constitution and our Laws, so it seems to me what happened in past, constitutionally different, times is rather irrelevant. The question is, what does our current Constitution and Law say about the matter?

Quoting the web site at:

http://www.royal.gov.uk/MonarchUK/Howth ... archy.aspx

"Constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which a king or queen acts as Head of State.

The ability to make and pass legislation resides with an elected Parliament, not with the Monarch.

As a system of government, constitutional monarchy separates the Head of State’s ceremonial and official duties from party politics.

A constitutional monarchy also provides stability, continuity and a national focus, as the Head of State remains the same even as governments change."

********************************

...That seems rather clear to me as it applies to both the Queen and the GG, her representative in Canada. However the question arises as to whether any activities of the Monarch or GG can be seen as trying to influence the political process and/or related parliamentary legislation by our elected representatives, as well as in any way trying to usurp the legal powers of the government, prime minister, or cabinet. (Edit: ...as well as the Senate).

Then of course we have the activities of The Monarchist League of Canada, wherein I found (and wondered about) the statement "In Canada, "freedom wears a Crown.". It do indeed appear 'they" are gearing up in preparation to transfer their allegiance from Elizabeth to Charles. I suspect backroom planning for his coronation ceremonies are already well advanced.

http://www.monarchist.ca/announce/famil ... r2009.html

...and a cost survey related to the GG (as of 2002 - probably much different now) ....as well as some other good information at:

http://www.monarchist.ca/new/docs/costofcrown.html

...and the Monarchist argument..

http://www.monarchist.ca/new/arguments.html

Edit to add: ...and I sometimes wonder too how come, if the GG is the Monarch's representative in Canada, why she/he isn't directly appointed (and supported and paid) by his/her "boss", instead of merely rubber stamping the Prime Minister's decision as to who will occupy Rideau Hall.

Edit further: ...and doing some more reading this morning, it appears that, outside the Commonwealth of INDEPENDENT nations who recognize the Queen of Engalnd as their head of state, there is only one other country who operates with a GG.... Iran.

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

Post by NAB »

Queen to tour Canada in summer

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/ottawa/story/2 ... anada.html

LOL, just about the right time to sign off on the appointment of a new Goveror General ;-)

Nab
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