New appointment a royal conundrum

Amherst Daily News
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Michaelle Jean has whetted Canadians’ appetites for a governor general who isn’t just a royal bore.

Even those who deplore this monarchical system of having a representative for the Queen in Canada, can’t deny the current governor general has been more fun than most.

Consider her shot at being tossed high in the air in a blanket by Inuits in the far north. Her daring to eat a piece of raw seal heart at another event put the icing on the cake – and also exhibited her own less-than-candid support of the traditional seal hunt.

One of the most balleyhooed names to replace Jean has been William Shatner, the original Captain Kirk in the Star Trek series.

Canadians want more of this kind of head of state who captivates the audience. And they’re using such modern means as Facebook to let favourites be known. We can only hope the prime minister is paying attention, since the choice will be his later this year.

Add to this what people don’t want to see: the usual patronage appointment, someone who has kept busy scratching Conservative backs over the years. They don’t want someone there primarily to prorogue parliament if Stephen Harper gets in a fix.

As of Thursday, about 12,000 people had signed on as fans on the Facebook page calling for Shatner’s appointment – although so far he’s not biting. Compare those numbers to a similar site rooting for Reform Party founder Preston Manning with a mere 500 votes. What does that tell you?

There have been other favourites mentioned in recent weeks, including wheelchair athlete Rick Hansen.

Another Facebook page is championing songwriting legend Leonard Cohen for the regal position. He had tallied 6,500 signatures as of Thursday – that for a man who is “spiritual and morally centred” but doesn’t push his beliefs on others, the page states. Hallelujah.

We don’t know if the prime minister is listening, but, happily, this is the most attention Canadians have paid to the process ever. Long live such royalty.

Organizations: Queen, Reform Party

Geographic location: Canada

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