View Full Version : Governor Generals?

7th Sep 2008, 14:21
Reading about Canada's dissolving of Parliament and calling for early elections.

PM Harper went to the Governor General and asked permission as she is the Queen's representative.

I get that it is a ceremonial gesture, but how are Governor Generals selected? How long do they remain in office? What do they do?

There is no insult intended in my starting this thread. I am interested in the opinions of those who live under such a system.

7th Sep 2008, 14:34
Australia. 5 year term. Open things. Like hospitals, kiddies playgroups. Inspect guards of honour. Look benevolent and non-threatening on TV. Occasionally flex muscles (viz the Whitlam government that was sacked by Sir John Kerr). Selection? Probably toss of a coin or an assurance that they are benevolent and non-threatening (to the pollies).

Otherwise they are there purely for decoration and to keep up the pretence that Her Maj is still with us in spirit.

Our latest Gov Gen was sworn in only a day or so ago. For the first time ever it's a chick. We had lots of pics of her with swarms of her grandchildren thereby proving to us that she was benevolent and non-threatening.

7th Sep 2008, 14:35
'Tis much the same as the "Good Ol' Boy" system that operates in Merca, or so I have been told.

7th Sep 2008, 16:38
They find the most unqualified, politically correct person around and make him/her the governor-general.

No different than the US!

Old Grey
7th Sep 2008, 16:41
Surely the correct usage is 'Governors-General'? :8

7th Sep 2008, 17:21

Buster Hyman
7th Sep 2008, 23:24
You are correct old grey!:ok:

The appointment can also be "payback" for favours, like Bill Haydens appointment in Oz.

I think they are underutilised actually. Especially here in Oz, the PM of the day likes to be the one getting the press & photo opportunities that should really be the domain of the GG...of course, ALL parties do it. (Lest the "true believers" think I'm having another crack at their beloved messiah!):rolleyes:

8th Sep 2008, 00:14
In Canada they are chosen by the Prime Minister of the day for a period of five years, I think it is. Usually some party hack who has performed admirably in the service of the political party in power when the opening becomes available. The current one breaks that mold in that she is a naturallized citizen, born in Haiti and, through marriage, also held dual French and Canadian citizenship. (She has since renounced her French citizenship. Major outrage, don't you know.) I come down on the side of having a Governor General. My opposition to abolishing the post could be summed up in three words, President Jean Chrétien. :yuk:

8th Sep 2008, 11:38
IMHO, they should get rid of all the Governor-generals in the ex. colonies and bring back the Viceroys...! God save the Queen. :ok:

8th Sep 2008, 12:12
Like, er, Viceroy Obama for example? :suspect: