Dec. 5, 2008
- Toronto -
The developments of the past week regarding the governor
general's intervention in the matter of the government's
loss of confidence has renewed calls from Canada's
republican movement for reform of the office of head of
group points out that regardless of the governor
general's decision in this situation, many Canadians are
outraged that a) such power resides in an unelected
position, b) that such a position must, without
question, bend to the wishes of any prime minister,
whatever the party, and c) that decisions are heavily
dependent on interpretation of "precedents and
convention" rather than codified constitutional law.
According to Tom Freda, Citizens for a Canadian
Republic's national director, "The position of the
governor general has often been described as a
constitutional referee whose job it is to ensure that
parliament behaves. Well, if we're to use that analogy,
then what we have now is something akin to one hockey
team getting to choose or fire their own referee and
always being assured of favourable calls."
modern democracy, this is unacceptable." he adds.
"Canada deserves a head of state who is selected by
democratic means and is bound by our constitution, not
vague, unwritten conventions.
advocates reform of the position as preparation for its
eventual severance from the British monarchy, an act
which would make Canada a parliamentary republic. Public
opinion polls indicate that this is the preference of a
majority of Canadians.
organization points out that the head of state reform
issue is also one with widespread contemporary and
historical support. Since 2004, CCR has supported the
findings of the multi-party Standing Committee on
Government Operations and Estimates report; "The
Governor General of Canada Role, Duties and Funding for
Activities, in which the following recommendations were
Conduct a review and initiate a debate on the mandate,
constitutional role, responsibilities, and future
evolution of the Office of Governor General.
Conduct a review of the process for selecting and
appointing the Governor General.
Similar recommendations were made in the Constitutional
Amendment Bill C-60 in 1978.
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