December 8, 2008

Bringing Haitian Democracy to Canada

Sure, it's cute for Canada to have appointed a Governor-General who is a black female immigrant. But you know man, there is actually a serious function to the mostly ceremonial position, and that function requires a person who understands the concept of a sovereign parliament.

Canada, unlike Haiti, does not elect or need a President. The Prime Minister is simply that individual who is best able to command the support of a majority of the Members of Parliament. Mr Harper seems to believe that he has been elected President. Governor-General Michaƫlle Jean seems to agree, and is allowing him to avoid facing a vote of No Confidence. That action of hers is contrary to the functioning of a parliamentary democracy.

The Liberals and the New Democrats together won both more votes and more seats than the Conservatives in the October 2008 election. If the Liberals and NDP can form a coalition, they are the rightful government.

But perhaps only a person imbued from birth with the cultural values of a parliamentary system, rather than a presidency, can appreciate this.

No comments: