Sunday, October 21, 2007

the right man for the job

In a previous blog I expressed some anger and frustration at recent developments (Stephen Point as Lieutenant-Governor and Tsawwassen Final Agreement). Tonight, on the occasion of another group of nations approving their Final Agreements, I wish to share some additional thoughts on the nature of the Lieutenant-Governor's position and the so-called, BC Treaty Process.

The more that I think about it, there could hardly be a more appropriate person for Lieutenant-Governor than Stephen Point. He is indeed the right man for the job. First, I should explain exactly who the LG is (seeing as I'm relearning it all in POLIs 101 and 102 this semester). Prior to Canada becoming a country (officially assuming control over domestic matters in 1867), the colonies of Upper and Lower Canada (Ontario and Quebec), New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Vancouver Island, and British Columbia were ruled by governors. These governors were the personal and practical representatives for the English monarchs (most notably a bunch of King Georges, Edwards, a William, and Queens Victoria and Elizabeth II).

The powers of the monarchs changed considerably after the 1689 English Bill of Rights. England and her imperial colonies gradually worked their way through responsible and representative governemnts until we arrived at the current liberal-democratic arrangement we have today. While the Queen no longer possesses any practical power in England or her former colonies, she retains official representatives for ceremonial purposes. In Canada, Queen Elizabeth II is represented by the Governor General in Ottawa (Michaëlle Jean), and a Lieutenant-Governer in each of the 10 provinces.

Officially, Stephen Harper is not the head of state of Canada. Queen Elizabeth II is. In fact, the Canadian Constitution makes no mention of the Prime Minister or Cabinet. Instead, it refers to the Privy Council (which used to advise the afore mentioned governors). Constitutional convention however, empowers the Prime Minister while the GG and the 10 LGs are for show only. This is my point. A lot of fuss was made about Michaëlle Jean being both a woman and a minorty (Haitian) and Stephen Point being the first indigenous LG.

Not only do they not have any real power, convention strongly suggests that they remain apolitical. No power. No politics. Lots of pomp and ceremony. It reminds me of the law-making authority provisions in the recently ratified Final Agreements (again, they are not actual treaties). While indigenous folk may make our own laws, they must conform to Canada's laws and should there be a conflict, the laws of both BC and Canada prevail in an overwhelming majority of the cases. So, we would have no real power, at least not radically different than the current state powers.

Perhaps that is the Point.

Westward the course of empire goes forth.


At 10:22 PM, Blogger OldManRivers said...

Hail to the Lieutenant-Governor.

"Developments" like this make me think that the counter-point, or at least the, universe response in balance (ya know, cause and effect, ying and yang. For every action, there is a equally strong reaction).

In simple: you'd think this would make us "do" something.

I think we have a responsibility to the future to do something, my friend. I think we do.

At 2:57 PM, Blogger Gannyaa said...

Sangáay 'láa! Good Day

There is lots too do. Don't give up blogging!

African Within ~ Gerald Massey [circa 1907 AD].

Our "friends the enemy" cheerily assure us that certain things are settled once for all in favour of Historical Christianity, and any further kicking against the fact is all in vain.

These people have a vision of their own, and as it was bequeathed to them they will not part with it, even though they have to close their eyes to see! They will die in the "good old faith." But that is what others of us cannot do.

We are finding out that names the most hallowed are spurious counterfeits of the ancient gods. We are learning that the literary fortunes of the Bible were made by Mythology.

Eighteen centuries since the religion of faith, the "good old faith," began to take the place of knowledge. Its history is one long and gory record of the battles of Belief versus Knowledge, of Faith at war with Facts. What is there that men have not found compatible with faith that was all the while at war with facts? Have they not cut each other's throats, believing it to be for the glory of God?

Have they not burned bodies by the thousand, believing it to be the sure way of saving souls from hell-fire? Have they not made the Cross into the hilt of the sword to give them the better grip-hold of it whilst slaughtering myriads for the faith?

Do but think what Woman has suffered from the belief,--the foul and foolish calumny,--that she was the cause of the fall of the human race! She ought never to forgive it. She ought to wake up and work, and sleep no more, until that lying libel is dead and damned, and the whole system of false teaching to which it belongs is swept out of the world for ever.

Religion, for ages, has been a reign of terror, under the oppression of which it was impossible for so tender a flower as love to flourish.

Meanwhile, the Church that continues to put forth this scheme of salvation and impose it on the public at the expense of the nation (some eight or ten millions annually!) ought not only to be disestablished and disendowed, it ought to be prosecuted for obtaining money on demonstrably false pretences!

"The same correspondent desires to know whether I would exclude the Bible from our children's schools. Most certainly. I would have the Bible-basis superseded for all future teaching as unscientific, immoral, and false to the facts in nature. The mass of people who are Bible-taught never get free from the erroneous impressions stamped on their minds in their infancy, so that their manhood or womanhood can have no intellectual fulfilment, and millions of them only attain mentally to a sort of second childhood."

more ...

Todd Gannyaa


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