Last week I received a statement for one of my pension funds
showing me the gains I made over the past year. The bottom line, my investment
ended the year (October 31) some $16,000 less than it started. Yes, I lost
$16,000 on one pension fund alone last year.
financial times … which brings me to my question: What would you do as
the Governor General of Canada?
Canada’s Head of State: Her Excellency the Right
Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General
Clearly, obviously, the economy is challenged. Granted, the
Canadian economy is in much better shape than the United States and many other
nations, but our new government under Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the
Conservatives ought to be doing something about this.
For the benefit of any non-Canadian friends, Canada
just finished a federal election a scant 7 weeks ago where the Conservative
Party was returned to power with a minority government.
Last Thursday the Minister of Finance rose in Parliament and
introduced an economic update that focused more on cutbacks to prevent a
deficit than on measures to stimulate the economy. The update also included a
plan to stop the flow of taxpayer dollars, based on votes, to political parties
across the board.
All hell broke loose, and, as a result, a vote of confidence
is now looming (this coming Monday evening) which the Conservatives will certainly
lose. The Conservative government will then fall and Canada will be without a government
7 weeks after electing one.
The Liberals and the New Democratic Party with the support
of the separatist Bloc Quebecois have formed a cooperative to rule instead, and
have promised a full fiscal plan to address the economy.
Canada is now
facing a political crisis – the like of which we’ve not seen in a
The decision on what will happen next rests with Canada’s
Head of State, the Governor General, Her Excellency the Right
Honourable Michaëlle Jean, who has three options before her:
- Call a new election (this last
one, less than two months ago, cost Canadians $300M);
- Accede to Prime Minister
Stephen Harper’s expected request to prorogue (suspend) Parliament
for up to a year, which in my opinion will only forestall the inevitable
fall of government and do nothing to ensure the economy and business of
government continues; or
- Invite Liberals/New Democratic
Party to form a new government, with the support of a party – the
Bloc Quebecois – whose sole agenda is the separation of the Province of Quebec from the Canadian Federation.
The Prime Minister will address the Nation tonight to give
us his view of things, and will likely announce his intention to ask the
Governor General tomorrow to prorogue Parliament; a request she can – and
in my opinion – ought to deny.
Proroguing Parliament under the Canadian Constitution is
meant to be used when Parliament is hung, not as a means for a government to
avoid facing a vote of confidence. Tinkering with our Constitution so it acts as
a self-serving tool for one political party is a very, very dangerous game to
play and the Governor General should not open that can of worms.
is not careful, we will become a dangerously polarized country very quickly on
To answer my own question, if I was Her Excellency, I would
call a new election and let the decision on who will form our government rest
where it ought to, with Canadians.
What would you do?…