Sunday, December 07, 2008

Michaelle Jean Should Have Quit

On Friday, the PM asked the GG to prorogue parliament so he wouldn't have to face a no-confidence vote tomorrow. We are told that she could not deny his request unless she had very strong reasons not to, and that if she denied him he would almost certainly have to quit. We are told that she was virtually forced to go along with him and prorogue.

But she had another option. She could have quit. She knew damn well that prorogation is not supposed to be used as a tool to avoid a confidence vote.

Why didn't she quit? Michaelle Jean and other Governors General before her live in the greatest luxury and priviledge of any people in the world. They are treated like royalty, have an enormous staff and budget, and have only titular duties (99.9999% of the time). She faced an enormous conflict of interest: do the right thing or keep her cushy rich lifestyle.

In the dying days of Nixon's regime, Nixon tried to save his neck by refusing to give up taped evidence of his cover-up of Watergate. The incident is known as the Saturday Night Massacre and resulted in the resignations of the special prosecutor, attorney general and deputy attorney general. All three men gave up their jobs rather than subvert democracy. Would Michaelle Jean was as principled.

10 comments:

Jack said...

I confess that I too am deeply disappointed in her. It's hard to let go.

I wonder, in a decade's time, in the middle of a potential Conservative hegemony, if she'll look back and say "I could have stopped him...
I should have stopped him".

Anonymous said...

Why attack the GG, she just wants to keep the entitlements that she thinks she's entitled to.

Prairie Kid said...

Everything she did was allowed under our constitution. Except one thing . . .
she had the audacity to rule against the entitled Liberal Party. Take a look at the polls and see exactly where Liberals sit in Canadians' minds. And when Bob Rae talks about the fact that the Conservative budget has to be defeated even before he knows what's going to be in it, you know why Liberals want to be in government . . . POWER!!!!!

Anonymous said...

The GG did what was best. A period of cooling was needed and judging by what is going on with the leadership race I think she was correct.

Anonymous said...

No, she should not have quit. If she did Harper would install one of his minions as GG and rule with an iron fist. He would have absolute power.

GG fan said...

I knew some dumb asses would turn on the GG for no good reason! you should be ashamed of yourself!

Yappa said...

To GG fan -

I gave my reasons. You didn't provide any sort of argument at all, so nobody's going to take you seriously.

Brad Dillman said...

I'm not upset by Jean's permission for prorogation, though I don't like the precedent that comes with it.

If the GG had quit, Harper would've appointed a puppet.

penlan said...

I completely agree with:

Anonymous said...
No, she should not have quit. If she did Harper would install one of his minions as GG and rule with an iron fist. He would have absolute power.

Sun Dec 07, 10:07:00 PM EST

That would be a total power grab by Harper that would have disastrous consequences for Canadian democracy.

Yappa said...

It's not a given that Jean quitting would have opened the door for Harper to take "absolute power". Doesn't the Queen have to approve GG's? Perhaps Jean could have suggested an interim GG.

Denying Harper prorogation by quitting would have made the current quiescence about this outrageous move to be impossible. Instead of saying "the GG gave us a time out to cool down" the press would have to be discussing the illegality of using prorogation to escape a confidence vote.

Perhaps it would also have meant that parliament would be open for business today and the confidence vote would still be on the agenda.