Sunday, March 14, 2004

The Best Argument For Republicanism Yet 

No, I'm not talking about the GOP (there are, of course, many good arguments for them). I'm talking about the ceremonial role that the Queen serves as head of state in Canada, and her representative in Canada, the Governor General. Now, I've always been a moderate monarchist: if it ain't fixed, don't fix it. But after the pompousness and arrogance that Adrienne Clarkson and her husband John Ralston Saul have conducted themselves, I wouldn't miss the existence of the GG post if it ever went away.

Spending for the GG has nearly doubled since Clarkson took the job to approximately $19 million (that doesn't even include the money she spends from other government departments). This includes a $5.3 million trip to Arctic countries that I still haven't seen given us any benefits. And 37 trips on a Challenger jet to her summer cottage.

And now her hubby comes along and defends her (and himself) with such excellent points as the "fact" that Clarkson and Saul's spendings are "probably the least expensive head of state operation in 20 Western democracies." He also goes on about how they "spend 70 per cent of our time travelling around inside Canada, going to isolated communities which aren't talked about most of the time by you in Toronto." The interview can be watched in its full glory here.

Peter Worthington beat me to it, but two questions immediately point out: "Who do these people think they are?" and "What in the world do they think their job is?" "Head of state operation"? The head of state of Canada lives in Buckingham Palace. Adrienne's job is to keep the Queen's seat warm when she's not in Canada. If she doesn't get that, she needs to be fired.

And flying to "isolated communities" is their job? What would they exactly do after that? Enact policy changes and new laws for these poor faraway towns and villages? Oh wait, that's right, she is "above politics". So if she's above politics, how can she bring the political process into relevance for these forsaken folks? Or is she just giving people false hopes here? I am so confused by all this.

It's ironic that Worthington referred to Clarkson as "Queen Adrienne", 'cuz then Saul would be "King John". And as Sir Richard Baker wrote about the real King John: "as for his actions, he neither came to the crown by justice, nor held it with any honour, nor left it peace." Sure feels like the 1200's all over again.

It's entertaining, really, watching someone considered a "philosopher" to use straw men and outright disruptions in a debate. I just feel bad that my friend bought me his book In Equilibrium as a gift. Sorry Michelle, but you really shouldn't spend money to support this guy (and his wife). Thankfully I got sick of it about a quarter through.

But then, that's chump change compared to how they're blowing taxpayer money. I just hope that Stephen Harper would appoint someone with 10 times less ego once the Conservatives toss the Grits out of power.
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