Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Jean's Poor Judgement

People and pundits continue to question the wisdom of choosing Michaelle Jean as our new GG. In some ways it's a bit late since she's being installed today. Still....it may get her to realise she needs to pull up her bootstraps if she is to gain the respect of the country she will be leading.

Paul Wells today revealed that Jean's preferred singer is a separatist. This woman has a distinct lack of judgement and an up yours attitude to Canadians outside of Quebec, which makes me think she's like a politician in Ottawa: so insulated from the world outside her own cosy corner, that she cannot conceive of how those outside think. Critics hounded Adrienne Clarkson for her travel spending. Jean is going to have to spend twice that just to catch up to Clarkson's knowledge of Canada and thus truly qualify to be OUR head of state.

Clarkson took the GG office out of mothballs and showed us how the GG, unlike the PM or leaders of parties, can represent all of Canada to every Canadian and to the world. She began the process of making the GG a unifying and inclusive force for our country. I fear that Jean's limited knowledge of Canada, her insularity, and her seeming pouting at having to communicate to her people will reverse all that Clarkson has worked hard to achieve. We had a Stateswoman leading us for 6 years. We have a young pup who has no clue coming in. She will have to work hard, be prepared to open up her mind to new attitudes and a new way of experiencing Canada to have a hope of filling just one of Clarkson's shoes.

Paul Wells wrote, "I'm not at all sure I care anymore what happens at Rideau Hall." I hope he re-energizes because we need him and erudite writers like him to care and to keep us informed. Only then can we hope to effect change at the PM level so that we don't have this kind of thing happen again.

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Update: After hearing Governor General Jean's speech, I foresee an interesting 5 years ahead. She will be an activist GG, continuing what Clarkson started. She feels so strongly that the two solitudes are over (which I think every immigrant has always felt) she said it twice in French and English and also spoke of solidarity and bringing harmony to the world. Her other two areas of concern are ecology and the marginalized in this country. I remember my astonishment at seeing GG Clarkson in Regent Park, astonishment because no federal or former GG had done that before and because she didn't just stopover and hide up in a hotel in Toronto after the photo op like all other federal politicians do. She actually visited our city. I wonder if Jean will visit Jane and Finch and speak for all the marginalized there by her presence.

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