GG appointment

This week the speculation about who our next Governor-General would be (and whether it would be some ideological appointment like Preston Manning or some Totally Cool appointment like William Shatner) was officially put to rest:

David Johnston, an academic of lengthy credentials who is president of the University of Waterloo, will succeed Michaëlle Jean as governor-general. Mr. Johnston spoke to reporters at a news conference after Thursday morning after the announcement was made official.

The reaction in the Progressosphere might be summed up as: “SHOCKA! Bland old white guy PM appoints bland old white guy GG!  EEEEEK!!”   Personally, I liked Mary Simon for the appointment, but overall this guy Johnston doesn’t seem like a bad choice in spite of being a bland old white guy.  For those keeping track of such things, our last two GGs have been female and minority, so maybe it was the BOWGs’ “turn”.   Or maybe it’s just that as a Constitutional law expert Johnston has the intellectual gravitas to fill the post with acumen, if not the dash and panache of his predecessor.

I always liked GG Jean — she’s snazzy and smart and great with the media, since she is of them.  And I loved that she did such quintessentially Canadian things as snacking on seal heart.  And this:

But much as I liked her, she lacked the legal confidence to push back against Harper when it could have made a difference in Canada’s profoundly goofy politics. As a Constitutional law expert, Johnston might be less likely to rubber stamp Harper’s every request to prorogue Parliament…. butbutbut, wait a minute:  if so, then why was he appointed at all, given Steve’s insane totalitarian fascist dictatorial tendencies?

I keed.  Johnston seems like a politically-astute appointment in what will likely be an election year; intelligent, uncontroversial and inoffensive.   Since recent polls indicate that for the foreseeable future we’ll be governed by a Conservative minority propped up by the usual sleazy consortium of spineless pimps and hacks known as “the opposition”, and with Harper’s Conservatives standing by to usurp the Liberals’ role as “Canada’s Natural Governing Party”, maybe Harpie isn’t too worried about the future.

12 Responses to “GG appointment”

  1. 1 ck Sunday, July 11, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    Johnston probably sold his soul to the devil for this appointment for the plush quarters at Rideau Hall & the other perks.

    With the Liberals @ 23% in the last poll and Sweater vest Steve’s numbers shooting up and the NDP, Bloc and Greens remaining exactly the same, & after hearing many folks being just A-ok with things like police chiefs inventing laws and amputees having artificial legs ripped from their bodies from cops, Steve will more than likel get his majority.

    I don’t see Iggy’s bus tour doing much to help him.

    Just another dude to add to the collection of an era of the man in the Grey Flannel Suit.

  2. 2 JJ Sunday, July 11, 2010 at 12:49 pm


    Johnston probably sold his soul to the devil for this appointment for the plush quarters at Rideau Hall & the other perks.

    Since the GG is largely a ceremonial appointment, I guess we won’t know that until there’s another constitutional crisis of some kind.

    Interestingly, that EKOS poll wasn’t exactly great news for the CPC either, still mired at 34%. If that’s the response to the G20 fiasco, which some see as the fault of Harper for insisting on holding it in Toronto, then it’s pretty lame and will likely rise a bit in a few weeks 😦 People always like the government better when it’s in recess 😆

    WRT the G20, civil liberties abuses etc: The general public doesn’t grok the difference between the idiots who were burning cop cars and the majority of protesters who were peaceful. There are a few reasons for this, but basically you can thank the media. If it bleeds (or burns) it leads.

    Something else people don’t get is that protecting the civil rights of the few, even (especially) when you disagree with them, secures the rights of the many. Among the G20 protest signage that I’ve seen, there were issues being championed that I totally disagree with, but I will always support their right to be out there protesting because it’s central to a free society.

  3. 3 West End Bob Sunday, July 11, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    After reading The Armageddon Factor, I’ve been looking for a radical right-“wrong” religious connection in this appointment but haven’t found any. Rather surprising based on harperco’s history . . . .

  4. 4 Torontonian Sunday, July 11, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Harper has painted himself in a corner–again.

    The choice of the new Governor General is proof
    of that. David Johnston is much smarter than
    Harper and shouldn’t be a shrinking violet when
    it comes to major decisions such as prorogation.
    Harper is overmatched by his new G-G.

    I rather sense that Harper realises he’s at
    the end of his public political life and wants
    to have at least one thing, the appointment of
    the new Governor General, as his legacy.

    Can you think of any other thing that Harper
    could look back at and proudly state, “I did that.”
    He’s dismantled so many things and cut back on
    so many others.

    “You won’t recognise this country once I’m
    finished with it”.

    How true, how true.

    Now we have to put it back together again.

  5. 5 ck Sunday, July 11, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    Torontonian, I wish I had your optimism. I still say Steve will get his majority.

    Steve has found his perfect storm for an election, however stupid it sounds. You know, that bill c9 the senate wants broken down? That bill that wingnut Finley says “let’s dance”? Steve doesn’t threaten elections unless he’s sure of his odds, the master tactician that he is.

  6. 6 JJ Monday, July 12, 2010 at 11:25 am

    West-End Bob – I bet a lot of people had that idea, but he doesn’t appear to be a snakehandler of any description.

    The fact that he’s an academic is surprising — an ivory tower elitist 😯 Although, it’s interesting to note that a couple of years ago Waterloo denied its campus atheist group recognition as a club. Don’t know where this stands now, but that was the story in 2008. Hmm…

  7. 7 JJ Monday, July 12, 2010 at 11:43 am

    Torontonian – Mr.Johnston certainly appears to be very bright, and will probably be a credit to the office. I’m a little surprised that Harper would appoint someone with Johnston’s Constitutional savvy — I would have thought he would appoint someone more malleable.

    Maybe in the event of any future proroguements he wants to be sure the public knows the GG isn’t letting him have his way because of lack of legal knowledge to make an argument against him.

    I rather sense that Harper realises he’s at
    the end of his public political life

    Hm, well I guess if he doesn’t get a majority next time out, that may be the case. But I don’t know who they could possibly appoint as leader that would convince more Canadians to support the CPC. As lame as the other parties are, the Conservatives have a real trust problem. Rather than trust the CPC with their vote, they’re just refusing to vote in larger numbers.

  8. 8 JJ Monday, July 12, 2010 at 11:49 am

    ck – For someone who dislikes Harper as much as you do, you certainly give him a lot of credit 😉 😆 Although, in comparison to the Iggster Harper may indeed be a Master Tactician.

    Don’t you want an election? Since nothing ever seems to change in terms of public opinion, I think they should probably get it over with already.

  9. 9 brebis noire Wednesday, July 14, 2010 at 3:43 am

    Rick Salutin does a great job explaining why this high-achieving old white guy was specially selected by control-freak Harper to be GG:

    “In 1997, former prime minister Brian Mulroney received $2.1-million from the federal government over a case in which he’d been mentioned in leaked RCMP documents as a suspect in a corruption matter. He denied under oath having much to do with a bagman and scamp named Karlheinz Schreiber. But it later emerged that he’d taken large amounts of cash from him that he kept secret. Under the pressures of minority government, more details surfaced until Prime Minister Stephen Harper reluctantly agreed to a public inquiry. But, crucially, he called on David Johnston to define its limits….

    All I’m saying is, if you view the inquiry gig as a test of what the guy might do in a situation where Harper interests are at stake, you’d be reassured. Alternately, if he’d set terms that worked against what were seen as Harper interests, do you think he’d have become G-G? I’m not politicizing this; the appointment itself does so. Especially for a leader who, as his mentor Tom Flanagan says, “thinks about these things all the time.”

    Norman Spector pointed out the same facts in his G and M blog last week.

  10. 10 Jasper Wednesday, July 14, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    That abortionist Morgentaler gives me the creeps, just think of many babies this monster has killed

  11. 11 JJ Thursday, July 15, 2010 at 7:50 am

    Brebis – Thanks for the link, interesting stuff.

    I’ve noticed that the fundies hate Johnston because he supports The Gay Agenda 😆 and that counts for something in my books. Whether he’ll rubber stamp Harper’s every request remains to be seen — frankly I can’t see Harper appointing anyone who he thought might do otherwise. Given that his base already hates the guy. there has to be an upside to this appointment for Harper, and it could be that he will be onside in the event of a crisis.

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