Sunday, February 25, 2007

President of University of Toronto Receives Order of Canada

 
David Naylor is the President of the University of Toronto. He's one of the best Presidents we've had for several decades. A few weeks ago he received the Order of Canada in recognition of his work in Medicine and the University.

That's our Governor General Michaelle Jean beside him in the picture. As the Queen's representative in Canada she is our Head of State. The awards ceremony was at her house, Rideau Hall, in Ottawa.

It's comforting to know that Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper can't do a lot of damage to the country as long as Michaelle Jean is Governor General and the Rt. Hon. Chief Justice of Canada is Beverley McLachlin.

4 comments :

  1. "As the Queen's representative in Canada"

    Every time I feel disgusted that Sweden still have a formal hereditary ruler, I can take heart that some nations have it worse.

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  2. I don't understand your comment. In Canada we get to choose a new Head of State every four or five years.

    The job is not political so we avoid all the conflict of powers problems that are so common with elected Heads of State. At the same time we reap all the benefits of having a complete separation of the Head of State position from the Chief Executive position.

    What this means in practice is that the Governor General, like the Queen, can entertain foreign visitors without making a political statement.

    Michaelle Jean is the titular commander-in-chief of the armed forces. Canadians don't get confused about the difference between the official commander-in-chief and the politicians who make decisions about going to war. It's easy for us to reespect the commander-in-chief and oppose the politician without feeling disloyal to the country.

    There are huge advantages to having a constitutional monarchy. That's why so many countries have evolved in that direction and retained their ancient monarchies. Right now we're living in a time where the dangers of electing a President who has extraordinary powers is apparent.

    You should be happy to live in a country where those powers are dispersed among Head of State, Prime Minister, Parliament, and the Supreme Court. In America the so-called separation of powers is pretty much a farce.

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  3. In America the so-called separation of powers is pretty much a farce.

    As an American I often use my free speech right to bash the USA -- and I have no love of GWB and his rapacious policies. But your statement is flatly false. What we see now in the USA is a consequence a single political party dominating (or nearly so) all three branches of government, and -- perhaps more importantly -- the rise of multinational corporations exerting their influence.

    What you enjoy in Canada is not having the military-industrial complex and the energy industry as the dominant sectors of the economy.

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  4. Oh, I was making a joke about Canada among others retaining the "Queen's representative" instead of separating from the old empire.

    "There are huge advantages to having a constitutional monarchy."
    I cant see that. IIRC, our republican interest organization suggests that the speaker of the parliament should be the nominal head of state. That seems like an equally good solution, without reminders of the old hereditary position.

    "You should be happy to live in a country where those powers are dispersed among Head of State, Prime Minister, Parliament, and the Supreme Court."

    I'm not certain that the system in Sweden enjoys the cleancut separation anglo-american countries excel in. AFAIK it is said to be a slightly different system. Our system has served well under a population that has simply been content with it. (The laws and regulations are quite simple since they are rather few and most often nation-wide, for example.)

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