Canada's Conservatives and the bumpy path to power

Stephen Harper and his Conservative party may manage a victory at the polls in the Canadian election this Monday, but this electoral win won't necessarily translate into a Tory government for Canada. The Tories could win the most seats but still be shut out.

The Governor—General, the Queen's representative in Canada and the titular head of our government, has the power to "ensure that Canada always has a Prime Minister. For example, if no party had a clear majority after an election, or if the Prime Minister were to die in office, the Governor General would have to choose a successor."

The Governor General in Canada today is an attractive young former journalist who was appointed by our current Prime Minister Paul Martin. (Although the G—G is nominally appointed by Queen Elizabeth, she does so on the advice of the Prime Minister). 

Her Excellency The Right Honourable MichaŽlle Jean, CC, CMM, COM, CD ... (born September 6, 1957 in Port—au—Prince, Haiti) is the current Governor General of Canada. Jean was appointed by Queen Elizabeth II, on the recommendation of Prime Minister Paul Martin, to succeed Adrienne Clarkson and become the 27th governor general of Canada.

To listen to her, it would seem that her credentials for the job (which used to be given to distinguished older statemen and captains of industry) are that she has overcome adversity, experienced racism, has known poverty, and distinguished herself in the peculiar postmodern manner.

In other words, we must know that this beautiful, multi—lingual and extremely successful journalist is in fact a victim.

And she believes that the job of Governor—General is essentially that of Social—worker—to—the—Nation. It will be her job to "reach out" to the disadvantaged, to minorities, to abused women, on others in need of compassionate embrace.

But I digress. The point is that this G—G and her spouse are openly anti—American and their political views are so left of center that they are comfortable consorting with Quebec separatists, most of whom are ardent socialists.

To this G—G, marinated in the world of the academic and journalistic left, a Tory government may well imply "fascist" government. The prospect of opening Parliament and delivering a throne speech for a Tory government must fill her with horror. Her previous career was, after all, in the groves of academe, in the field of literature, generally the most left—leaning of all faculties. She actually acquired French citizenship while living in Canada, having applied for and received it after marrying her French husband, documentary film—maker Jean—Daniel Lafond. Only when her responsibilities to Canada became so visible did she renounce her dual citizenship and proclaim her undivided loyalty to Canada.

In our parliamentary system, the Liberals and the New Democratic Party can form a coalition. If their combined seats exceed the seats won by the Tories, (which is very likely), Paul Martin can visit the Governor General and ask to be recognized as the government. 

If Harper fails to win a majority of seats, this prospect becomes a distinct possibility.

Even if Harper wins, the collective intelligentsia of Canada will set their hair on fire and protestors will take up permanent residence in front of the Parliament buildings, in a desperate effort to stave off the coming Darkness. The very forces of the press and intellectuals, which normally might be anticipated to protest outrageous anti—democratic behavior from a G—G frustrating the electoral decision of the Canadian people would jump for joy if this G—G kept the dreaded Tories out of power.

The Tory revolution is by no means assured.

Lona Manning writes from Canada.

Stephen Harper and his Conservative party may manage a victory at the polls in the Canadian election this Monday, but this electoral win won't necessarily translate into a Tory government for Canada. The Tories could win the most seats but still be shut out.

The Governor—General, the Queen's representative in Canada and the titular head of our government, has the power to "ensure that Canada always has a Prime Minister. For example, if no party had a clear majority after an election, or if the Prime Minister were to die in office, the Governor General would have to choose a successor."

The Governor General in Canada today is an attractive young former journalist who was appointed by our current Prime Minister Paul Martin. (Although the G—G is nominally appointed by Queen Elizabeth, she does so on the advice of the Prime Minister). 

Her Excellency The Right Honourable MichaŽlle Jean, CC, CMM, COM, CD ... (born September 6, 1957 in Port—au—Prince, Haiti) is the current Governor General of Canada. Jean was appointed by Queen Elizabeth II, on the recommendation of Prime Minister Paul Martin, to succeed Adrienne Clarkson and become the 27th governor general of Canada.

To listen to her, it would seem that her credentials for the job (which used to be given to distinguished older statemen and captains of industry) are that she has overcome adversity, experienced racism, has known poverty, and distinguished herself in the peculiar postmodern manner.

In other words, we must know that this beautiful, multi—lingual and extremely successful journalist is in fact a victim.

And she believes that the job of Governor—General is essentially that of Social—worker—to—the—Nation. It will be her job to "reach out" to the disadvantaged, to minorities, to abused women, on others in need of compassionate embrace.

But I digress. The point is that this G—G and her spouse are openly anti—American and their political views are so left of center that they are comfortable consorting with Quebec separatists, most of whom are ardent socialists.

To this G—G, marinated in the world of the academic and journalistic left, a Tory government may well imply "fascist" government. The prospect of opening Parliament and delivering a throne speech for a Tory government must fill her with horror. Her previous career was, after all, in the groves of academe, in the field of literature, generally the most left—leaning of all faculties. She actually acquired French citizenship while living in Canada, having applied for and received it after marrying her French husband, documentary film—maker Jean—Daniel Lafond. Only when her responsibilities to Canada became so visible did she renounce her dual citizenship and proclaim her undivided loyalty to Canada.

In our parliamentary system, the Liberals and the New Democratic Party can form a coalition. If their combined seats exceed the seats won by the Tories, (which is very likely), Paul Martin can visit the Governor General and ask to be recognized as the government. 

If Harper fails to win a majority of seats, this prospect becomes a distinct possibility.

Even if Harper wins, the collective intelligentsia of Canada will set their hair on fire and protestors will take up permanent residence in front of the Parliament buildings, in a desperate effort to stave off the coming Darkness. The very forces of the press and intellectuals, which normally might be anticipated to protest outrageous anti—democratic behavior from a G—G frustrating the electoral decision of the Canadian people would jump for joy if this G—G kept the dreaded Tories out of power.

The Tory revolution is by no means assured.

Lona Manning writes from Canada.