If you’ve had any access Google News lately or are in fact Canadian, you know that Canada has a new Governor General(-designate), former astronaut Julie Payette, replacing outgoing Conservative pick David Johnston.
While her position is without a doubt controversial within Canada, it’s not as spooky as the Alex Joneses of the world would have you believe.
I promise, this won’t be a complete brain drain.
The Governor General of Canada (French: Gouverneur(e) général(e) du Canada) is the federal viceregal representative of the Canadian monarch, currently QueenElizabeth II. The person of the sovereign is shared equally both with the 15 other Commonwealth realms and the 10 provinces of Canada, but resides predominantly in her oldest realm, the United Kingdom. Because of this, the Queen, on the advice of her Canadian prime minister, appoints a governor general to carry out most of her constitutional and ceremonial duties. The commission is for an unfixed period of time—known as serving at Her Majesty’s pleasure—though five years is the normal convention. Beginning in 1959, it has also been traditional to rotate between anglophone and francophoneincumbents—although many recent governors general have been bilingual. Once in office, the governor general maintains direct contact with the Queen, wherever she may be at the time.
Yes, the fact remains that we have the Queen on our $20 bill.
But if you know anything about British history, you know that the Queen (currently Elizabeth II) is merely a figurehead and holds little more than ceremonial power. The same is true for Canada and other so-called former “commonwealth” nations that predominantly non-violently gained independence from the United Kingdom over the years (as opposed to the violent revolution waged against the UK by the United States).
While appearances will suggest that the Queen holds significant power over the Canadian people, that is not the case. It is because of this that many in my country believe it’s time to do away with the Queen and the Governor General altogether and become a republic. One argument that has been frequently used against this, for better or worse, is index finger (because we’re so damn polite) extended across the 49th Parallel.
Is our system perfect? One doesn’t exist. But we can appreciate ours, or much of it, without slandering someone else’s. I hope this made sense to you all. Any questions or comments can go in the comment section. I will try to respond as I am able. Thank you.