Sixty Joyless De-Britished Uncrowned Commonpoor Years (1949-2009)

Elizabeth II Vice-Regal Saint: Remembering Paul Comtois (1895–1966), Lt.-Governor of Québec
Britannic Inheritance: Britain's proud legacy. What legacy will America leave?
English Debate: Daniel Hannan revels in making mince meat of Gordon Brown
Crazy Canucks: British MP banned from Canada on national security grounds
Happy St. Patrick's: Will Ireland ever return to the Commonwealth?
Voyage Through the Commonwealth: World cruise around the faded bits of pink.
No Queen for the Green: The Green Party of Canada votes to dispense with monarchy.
"Sir Edward Kennedy": The Queen has awarded the senator an honorary Knighthood.
President Obama: Hates Britain, but is keen to meet the Queen?
The Princess Royal: Princess Anne "outstanding" in Australia.
H.M.S. Victory: In 1744, 1000 sailors went down with a cargo of gold.
Queen's Commonwealth: Britain is letting the Commonwealth die.
Justice Kirby: His support for monarchy almost lost him appointment to High Court
Royal Military Academy: Sandhurst abolishes the Apostles' Creed.
Air Marshal Alec Maisner, R.I.P. Half Polish, half German and 100% British.
Cherie Blair: Not a vain, self regarding, shallow thinking viper after all.
Harry Potter: Celebrated rich kid thinks the Royals should not be celebrated
The Royal Jelly: A new king has been coronated, and his subjects are in a merry mood
Victoria Cross: Australian TROOPER MARK DONALDSON awarded the VC
Godless Buses: Royal Navy veteran, Ron Heather, refuses to drive his bus
Labour's Class War: To expunge those with the slightest pretensions to gentility
100 Top English Novels of All Time: The Essential Fictional Library
BIG BEN: Celebrating 150 Years of the Clock Tower

Friday, 5 December 2008

Why the Governor General was right.

It’s over: the day, the decision, the crisis, the coalition, and Stephane Dion’s leadership. After the abortive putsch — constitutional as it may have been — the field is strewn with bodies, and the bloodletting has just begun.
- Andrew Coyne on the end of the crisis, the Governor General's decision and the impending death of the Coalition.

I applaud the Governor General and her wise counsel on her decision to prorogue Parliament and to give its Members a badly needed time-out. In my judgement, she picked the least worst of two very bad options, and she should be commended for doing what was required to defend the neutrality and dignity of her office. Make no mistake about it, on the face of it this sets an awful precedent, of backing a prime minister and his ministry on the run from the will of Parliament. But she demonstrated considerable prudence - perhaps even courage - for the following reasons:

1. Parliament expressed a degree of confidence in the Conservative government when it passed the Throne Speech last week. I say again, last week.

2. The current government was elected seven weeks ago with a stronger minority. In a five party/leader race, Stephen Harper won 143 of 308 seats and 37% of the vote, compared to just 77 seats and 26% of the vote for Stephane Dion's Liberals. The Liberal leader received no mandate to be prime minister.

3. Granted you should never govern based on polls, but there are polls and then there are polls. Polls now indicate that had it been a two leader race, one between Harper's Conservatives and a Dion led coalition of the Left, the Conservatives would have won a comfortable majority of the seats with a commanding 20 point lead in the popular vote, something like 47% to 24%. Canadians do not like it.

4. Had the GG thrown out the Conservatives and installed the rickety Coalition in government, the populace would have goaded for her removal or even worse, brought our whole parliamentary monarchy into disrepute.

5. The GG showed a small degree of courage in her home province of Quebec by not handing a share of power to the Bloc Quebecois. Although she stands to gain by completely dispelling any notion that she's in league with the Quebec sovereigntists (an issue that came up just prior to her appointment by the Queen), this will not be a popular move in much of la belle province.

6. Granting power to the Coalition would have fanned the flames of national disunity. It would have pitted Quebec against the rest of Canada, especially Western Canada.

7. Removing the Conservatives from power would have enraged the West. I'm not talking about anger here, I'm talking spiteful, seething and spitting rage.

8. The Coalition is an inherently unstable and factionous thing led by an unusually weak leader, who may have not lasted past Christmas. The Coalition is deeply unpopular with the country partly because it appears like a naked grab for power so soon after an election. Having installed such a fragile edifice, the Governor General would have received a share of the inevitable blame that would arise as a result of the Coalition's failure to properly and responsibly govern the nation.

9. The Conservatives will still have to face the music in January, only this time on a more substantive issue, like the expected federal budget. If they lose the confidence of the House then, the Coalition should be given an opportunity to govern. This is not a cop-out, it's a time-out. A badly needed time-out.

10. As a result of all of the above, few are questioning the political neutrality of the Crown. Our Queen has been saved. God Save The Queen.

Update: Andrew Coyne says it better than I can on the merciful death of the Coalition

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have criticised Mme. Jean, as she seems to forget we have a Queen and instead thinks she is the Queen. That aside, she did the right thing.

Harper is a fool, but less a fool than Dion and Layton. May we have better leaders in the future.

Matthew Rae said...

I agree, it was the only sensible option. What happens now is anyone's guess:

1. Poach Liberal MPs to prop him
2. Name said Liberal MPs to Senate to give him a majority
3. Force the defeat of his government by presenting a very Tory budget, let the coalition take over, let the uproar ensue, coalition defeated, another election, Tory trounce
4. Dion is sacked by his party, Ignatieff or Rae take over, coalition falls apart

Have I missed anything?

WesternCiv said...

Hear hear Beaverbrook.

And these are also reasons why the PM was correct to seek the proroguing of Parliament,
and why Gladstone is incorrect and short sighted in his subsequent "Traitor to the Dominion" piece.