Friday, July 09, 2010

Governor General appointment follow up

One of the simplest and most interesting comments among all the Johnston Governor General appointment coverage comes in this context:
The position of governor-general has evolved greatly after more than six years of turbulent minority Parliaments. Mr. Johnston’s legal background may soon be put to use, if the next Parliament is as hung as the present one is.

“The government is very fortunate that he would want” the post, said Peter Hogg, one of Canada’s leading constitutional scholars.
Said one of those who advised Governor General Michaelle Jean when Harper came looking to prorogue during his controversial December 2008 request and who is intimately familiar with the bind in which this Prime Minister might place a Governor General. The Governor Generalship is now a position holding risk for any accomplished person who might be sought out for it. Makes you think about how our institutions are evolving these days, to contemplate what used to be historic scenarios. If there were a cooperative parliament functioning, I don't think the Peter Hoggs of the world would be making remarks like that.

Or maybe Hogg was just speaking to Johnston's qualifications. Whatever the case, it made this reader laugh out loud.

Also interesting, from this Globe editorial:
Mr. Harper, who has been widely and justly criticized for misusing the royal prerogative powers around prorogation, approached the appointment of the next governor-general with both rigour and evident respect for the office.
...
The dignified selection process, and the resulting appointment, which takes effect with Mr. Johnston's installation on Oct. 1, are worthy of the office of Governor-General.
While he does get credit for this appointment, there is also a hint here that he might be attempting to correct or make up for what he may be judged very poorly for in history, his two controversial prorogation requests to the Governor General, the 2008 one in particular. But that's all done and they'll be judged on their own facts.

Whether Harper's display of "evident respect for the office" through this appointment and process means anything for tight parliamentary spots in our near future, we'll see.