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View Diary: Canadian government on the brink of collapse (113 comments)

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  •  Slightly OT - How do Canadians feel about (2+ / 0-)
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    fishhead, rufusthedog

    Michaëlle Jean? She is so rarely talked about here in the US.  I only became aware of her after I was filmed by her husband Jean-Daniel Lafond.
    Am still unclear about her exact role/powers in this situation.  

    I'm celebrating Barack Obama's victory with CocoaLove. Catch us with the protests after 01.20.09.

    by Denise Oliver Velez on Fri Nov 28, 2008 at 01:34:49 PM PST

    •  The GG has a few options... (1+ / 0-)
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      under the Canadian system.  She can ask Dion, the leader of the official opposition, if he is capable of forming a government.  It would be a coalition situation with the NDP.   The diarist has outlined her options above.

      A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward. FDR

      by rufusthedog on Fri Nov 28, 2008 at 01:40:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Jean (2+ / 0-)
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      Odysseus, Montreal Progressive

      I did link her bio in the article - she has an interesting background as a Haitian immingrant-turned journalist.

      The Governor General represents the Crown in Canada - hence her powers are identical to that of the Queen as she operates in the United Kingdom.  She alone has the power to appoint a government and dissolve Parliament (for the purposes of an election).  Obviously, custom constrains the extent to which she can intervene in Canadian politics - the Crown must me seen to be scrupulously impartial and amenable to the advice of its ministers.  That's why this situation will be interesting.  If Harper advises an election, but Jean asks Dion to form a government, it could do anything from raise eyebrows to stimulate a full-blown constitutional crisis.

      "The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation." - Pierre Trudeau

      by fishhead on Fri Nov 28, 2008 at 01:43:00 PM PST

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      •  This is exactly the kind of situation where the (6+ / 0-)

        governor general has some real powers. I don't think that it is a constitutional convention that Jean must do as her prime minister tells her in this matter.

        If the opposition parties defeat the government in a motion of confidence, she has the choice of remedies: Call an election (unlikely with an election just a month ago), ask another party to try to get the confidence of parliament, ask the prime minister to keep negociating and regain the confidence of parliament.

        But I agree that when this discretion and powers are exercised it is a HUGE deal because Jean is not an elected official.

        Gender neutral marriage. NOW.

        by Montreal Progressive on Fri Nov 28, 2008 at 02:14:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Not off topic at all, (0+ / 0-)
      •  Jean to return to Canada? (1+ / 0-)
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        The GG is currently on official visits in Europe, but Reuters is reporting she is ready to return if necessary:

        Canada's head of state, Governor General Michaelle Jean, is monitoring political developments in Canada and is prepared to break off her state trip to Europe early if needed at home, her office said on Friday.

        "Her Excellency is very aware of her constitutional responsibilities. Contingency plans are in place for her to return to Canada should this be required," the governor general's office in Ottawa said in a statement.

        Link to Reuters' article

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