I have writ, mused, speculated about this before: This long Easter weekend though it seems speculation is rife and makes it somewhat obvious that the Prime Minister's office is intent on floating one or two trial balloons on Harper's choices for future Governor-General.
Lest I digress; given the names floated some might be given to suggest they're closer to lead-balloons than trial balloons, I digress. Regardless, the genesis it seems lies somewhere in the entrails of a recent Angus-Reid poll which suggests close to 60% of Canadians are happy with the way Michaelle Jean has carried-out her Vice-Regal role since she was appointed by (then) Prime-Minister Paul Martin.
Though they are across the street neighbours on Ottawa's Sussex Drive, The Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, just gave the Governor-General a phone call in January to prorogue the House of Commons to re-calibrate his Government. Mme Jean has now twice sided with Harper on back-to-back "prorogation", but relations between the Queen's representative and the Prime Minister have been frosty all the way since Harper's minority Tories were elected in January 2006.
It's probably not all Mme Jean's fault: After all, she was appointed by a Liberal Prime-Minister. Way back then there were persistent rumours that her film-maker husband had been sympathetic to Quebec's "independantiste" movement; and (God Forbid!) she worked for the "lefties" at the CBC like her Jean Chretien anointed predecessor, Andrienne Clarkson. So...despite twice acquiescing to the Prime-Minister's delusional controversial prorogation of the House of Commons...Michealle Jean sealed her own fate on an extended Vice-Regal term by: (a) Stealing the media spotlight during Obama's February 09 Ottawa visit (b) describing herself (in a Paris speech) as Canada's de facto Queen (c) stealing the Harper spotlight in the aftermath of this year's earthquake in her native Haiti.
The result, as I have speculated previously (See: "When Just a Phone Call..." Jan, 2/10) is that Michaelle Jean is likely even to be denied a "last Hurrah": Presiding over "Canada Day" 2010 celebrations. - The Queen herself (at Mr. Harper's invitation) will be in Ottawa to do the honours on July first. Michaelle Jean's term in office as Governor-General ends early in September. But seems in spiteful finality, Mr. Harper's Conservatives will anoint her successor while The Queen is in Canada through late June and early July.
Thus this Easter weekend's trial balloons of potential candidates being floated through the Toronto Star and the Globe & Mail. Funny though that the Tories seem intent mostly on proposing white Anglo-Saxon males for the Vice-Regal post. Not that there's anything wrong with that. (I am one) But, haven't we moved beyond the point for the mostly ceremonial post of Governor-General?
It is the Prime Minister's prerogative to propose to The Queen whomever he wishes to name as Her representative in Canada. Maybe he wants someone closer to his own image? How else to explain the names bubbling near the speculative surface: Reform leader Preston Manning, hockey mouthpiece Don Cherry, ex-pat Wayne Gretzky, retired Defence Chief, John de Chastelain; and Mulroney-era confidant Senator Noel Kinsella?
Obviously, it's time for Michaelle Jean and her retinue to call-in the moving vans.