Sunday, October 01, 2006

What the Governor General Can Do

I think this column in the Saturday Star by Jim Travers is a don't miss read. Here is an excerpt:

Ottawa—It's just emerging now that the most revealing moments of Hamid Karzai's three-day visit didn't unfold on the floor of a House of Commons packed with politicians and below its galleries glittering with military brass. They came, instead, at a provocatively stage-managed dinner for 20 hosted by Canada's Governor General and Commander-in-Chief Michaëlle Jean....

On the table for nearly three hours last Friday night was exactly what the Governor General wanted: a full and frank discussion of the pros and cons of a worrying, complex campaign. What she delivered to her guests was significantly different from what Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Karzai spent the day selling to an increasingly skeptical nation.

Instead of bromides about a winning international effort wrestling terrorism to the ground, she artfully and apparently intentionally created the preconditions for a fundamentally disturbing conversation about the obstacles blocking the road between war and peace, destruction and reconstruction.

This to me is the most creative use of the potential of the position of Governor-General in the modern era that has ever come to my attention. And it was on a topic that urgently needs more debate, certainly something more than the "bromides" of Stephen Harper.

No comments: