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UPDATED: Constitutional NON Crisis

Is Jean is declaring war on Harper? Or did he declare war first?


 

UPDATE: GG has put out a press release saying it was all a mistake long-planned relaunch of the website.

***

The GG.Ca site went dark overnight. The link Geddes has in his post no longer works. The site is working now, very slowly. The splash page when I woke up this morning was a massive picture of Michaelle Jean at the UN. The page bore no resemblance to standard gc.ca website. There was, though, a link to a Heritage Canada page with a picture of the Queen on it: Note: Last night, it was impossible to find a reference or photo of the Queen on the GG website.

The new site has another new splash page, with three photos of Jean. No other links are working at this time — they are clearly loading the pages on the fly.

Is Jean is declaring war on Harper. Or did he declare war first? And how much of this goes back to the crisis of last fall?

Of course, anyone who knows what is really going on should write me jandrewpotter@gmail.com

UPDATED WITH A QUESTION:

Geddes above/elsewhere is making the operationalist claim that someone who walks/acts/speaks like a head of state must be one. But here’s a question, which I’m told Michael Bliss raised during the crisis last fall:

What happens if Harper asks the Queen to dismiss the Governor General?

UPDATED WITH A PIC:

This is what the site looks like at 10:27. Totally off the reservation:

gg.ca


 
Filed under:

UPDATED: Constitutional NON Crisis

    • AP I don't believe it had the blue meme prior to yesterday did it? is this just a 'common look and feel' revamp? albeit likely an interim measure as the site is updated if it is. the timing deos seems illogical tho.

    • AP I don't beleive the GG site had the blue meme prior to yesterday. do you recall? could this just be a matter of bringing the GG site in-line with the 'common look and feel' and current appearance merely temporary measure? of course, timing and images being improbable (at least anywhere outside of ottawa).

      as for walks/acts/speaks and dismissals. not sure, but i suspect that the Queen et al would do everything she could to not have to intervene (e.g., forced resignation).

  1. read the "Constitutional Responsibilities" section under Role and Responsibilities. It doesn't say explicitly, but definitely implies, that the GG is the head of state.

  2. Rachel hacked it.

  3. This is silly. The GG is for most practical reasons our Head of State. I'm not sure the Queen would want to get involved in any kind of tiff between the government and the GG.

    • Yes, I mean who really cares about the details when we are talking about THE CANADIAN CONSTITUTION.

      The fact that the Queen is our Head of State matters. It means that on the advice of the PM (ie. if the PM asks her to) she can replace the governor-general. That might have made a large difference say, last December. Lets say Jean didn't prorogue, and Harper instead went through the Queen (as Mulroney did to stack the senate). Now, you may think that is a bad – fine, start working for a constitutional amendment (good luck) – but it is our system for better or worse.

      • "Yes, I mean who really cares about the details when we are talking about THE CANADIAN CONSTITUTION."

        The PM doesn't. He described the legitimate actions of our parliament as a "coup d'etat."

        If words matter, they matter all the time.

        • Some words – like say, the ones in the legal documents that govern the country – are more equal than others (like promises of no deficits, or no tax on income trusts).

    • It is very silly, but if X is not Y, and merely has some qualities similar to those of Y, then the appropriate response is admitting that and apologizing for earlier misstatement, not a game of "Neener neener neener, screw you, I'm basically almost kind of the Queen, you awful little peasants."

      As for not wanting to get involved, it's too late for that. The GG is attempting to usurp a very formal and significant legal designation from the Crown. This is the kind of thing that's started civil wars, in the extreme. Would your boss stay out of it if you started calling yourself by his title?

  4. It is very silly, but if X is not Y, and merely has some qualities similar to those of Y, then the appropriate response is admitting that, not a game of "Neener neener neener, screw you, I'm basically almost kinda the Queen."

  5. It is very silly, but if X is not Y, and merely has some qualities similar to those of Y, then the appropriate response is admitting that and apologizing for earlier misstatement, not a game of "Neener neener neener, screw you, I'm basically almost kinda the Queen."

  6. Wowzers… I've got a bit of experience working on gov't website design, and let me tell you, this kind of overt divergence from script would send off alarm bells at central agencies.

  7. 'What happens if Harper asks the Queen to dismiss the Governor General?'

    Maybe there is a Senate seat waiting for our GG?
    Or Ambassidor to Haiti?

    Or maybe the GGs website was getting updated overnight to prepare for the upcoming Royal visit?

  8. Shouldn't the responsibility of reminding the Governor General of her role and duties be the Queen; her boss?

    Perhaps the Governor General will pull a Conservative and say she misspoke, making the whole issue disappear into the ether.

    • That's exactly what I thought. I mean, if we're arguing over the technical details of just how de facto a head of state the GG is, shouldn't the Prime Minister Office maybe remember that she doesn't answer to him?

    • She did not misspoke..she is the HEAD OF STATE…Harper is HEAD OF GOVERNMENT.
      We are not American's where the President is both. In Canada we have two people doing the President's job.
      Learn your history if you want to be called a Canadian…

      • Pay attention Julie. The Queen is the head of state, not the GG

      • Heh, I would correct you (content, grammar and spelling) but I'm not sure what the point would be. Ohh well…

        Our Head of State, the Queen, and her core power is the basis for all three branches of government; judicial, executive and legislative. Her representative, the Governor General, has formally granted powers which can be revoked by the Queen (but her legitimacy in doing so would be in question).

        The Prime Minister is head of the executive branch of government, which in common usage has Government meaning the executive branch; but not our entire government (which has three branches).

        The President is not the head of the judicial branch of government, so that position does not have the same power concentration as the Prime Minister and Governor General combined.

        I could always stand to learn more Canadian history, but I'm not sure what that has to do with the constitution (compared to law and jurisprudence). I would however pit my knowledge of Canadian history against yours anytime you want.

  9. The website works just fine. entering gg.ca as your URL won't load, but http://www.gg.ca loads just fine. What's the problem here?

    • Wow. That wasn't the look of the site just 38 minutes ago…..

      • The site has changed at least three times this morning. The site is now down and says "Sevrice unavailable".

        REPUBLICAN COUP.

  10. Well, the site keeps changing. And early this morning, it looked NOTHING like the standard look and feel, it was some weird rogue website. And now it is down completely.

    My recollection of the site yesterday is that it was a very generic site that looked like every other gc.ca site…

    • yeah, no the wayback machine indicates the blueness was there earlier…. odd. and you are right not the same as the rest of gc.ca sites. I though they might be temporary placeholders but it does not look like it. I am still getting it to operate tho. id did notice your link doesn't work but if i search google then click their link it does.

    • yeah def not common look and feel! (seems nicer tho).

      it does make clear that "Since Confederation in 1867, Canada has been a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary democracy. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is the sovereign and Canada's head of State."

      http://www.gg.ca/role-and-responsibilities/consti

    • yeah def not common look and feel! (seems nicer tho).

      it does make clear that "Since Confederation in 1867, Canada has been a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary democracy. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is the sovereign and Canada's head of State."

      <a href="http://www.gg.ca/role-and-responsibilities/consti…” target=”_blank”>http://www.gg.ca/role-and-responsibilities/consti

      is the revolution already over? is it safe to come out?

  11. The GG's website states the following: "The Crown is a legal body or institution through which the head of State caries out his or her duties. Our head of State is placed above the government. The head of State does not exercise political authority and is non partisan." This is a manifest absurdity! The Crown is a person–Queen Elizabeth, our Sovereign–not some disembodied legal fiction "through which the head of State caries (sic!) out her duties". The Crown is the Head in a monarchical constitution. To suggest otherwise is tantamount to treason! This cannot be tolerated!!!

    • Of course The Crown is a legal concept, don't be ridiculous.

      • Of course the Crown is a legal concept and a legal institution, but all of the powers and entities in the constitution which refer to the Crown–Crown prosecutors, Crown lands, Crown corporations, Crown this and Crown that–ALL presuppose the living monarchy as their source. The GG's statement is a sophistical, neo-republican attempt to drive a wedge between the Crown and the head that wears it. This is constitutional nonsense!

  12. I suspect that if it ever came down to it, the Queen would follow the precedent established during the Australian Constitutional Crisis of 1975 and refuse to get involved in Canadian politics during an on going political/constitutional dispute.

    In '75, when Australia's two main political parties were locked in a stand-off between the House and Senate, the Governor General of Australia responded by dismissing the sitting prime minister and appointing the leader of the opposition as PM. The House in turn responded by passing motions defeating the brand new government and demanding the reinstatement of the original prime minster.

    The Speaker of the Australian House has the duty to inform the Governor General of such motions; when the GG refused to meet with him, he went straight to the Queen. That's when the Queen said that as a matter of prinicple she would not get involve in the internal affairs of Australia.

    http://whitlamdismissal.com/overview/

  13. I don't like this.

  14. You would think they could find a photo of GG looking regal, Head of State like, and not like she has just wandered off the set of Mad Max.

    • Unless of course this really is a coup, in which case, looking like someone from Mad Max might make the feds think twice about sending one of the Queen's regiments to Rideau Hall to attempt to arrest the GG!

      LOL

  15. Interesting: What if the Federal Conservatives had it their way:
    – There would be no GG?
    – Courts would fall under and answer to Parliament?
    – The Constitution would fall under and answer to Parliament?
    – Big business would sit at the head of each table?

    Please fellow Canadians… wake up … a minority is one thing, a majority is simply scary!!!

    • I'm as anti-Harper Tories as anyone, but in this case it seems to me that "having their way" is simply having everyone only apply the term Head of State to our actual Head of State.

      I think our federation can survive people being forced to use a title only to refer to the person it actually refers to, as opposed to someone else. Making people remember their basic grade eight civics lessons isn't going to lead to some sort of tyrannical corporate distopia.

  16. The site is being updated like any other Govenment site. It's comon knowledge that the Queen coming and Prince Charles are both coming to Ottawa. This information needs to be updated on the GG web. If you know your history and the Role of the GG's office then you should also know that she IS the head of State and Harper is the head of Government…

    Get with it and learn how Canada works…stop comparing us to the States.

    Maybe Harper should of been informed of his role when he got the job.

    • I can't believe that someone could write that the Governor General is the Head of State and admonish people to "get with it and learn how Canada works" in the same post.

      It's like someone writing "Everyone knows the sun revolves around the Earth! Get with it and learn some basic science people!".

      I don't actually think the Governor General is seriously attempting to usurp the powers and prerogatives of the Sovereign, but reading all these posts today is starting to make me feel like maybe she should be removed from office simply to provide Canadians with what is clearly a much needed civics lesson.

    • Oh, and I also love this notion that asserting (the truth) that our Head of State is Queen Elizabeth II is somehow "comparing us to the States".

      Did the U.S. re-adopt the Monarchy and I missed it?

  17. Time to fire her separatist butt out of Rideau Hall

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