The job is open, and I want it. Who wouldn’t? It pays $300,000 annually, with housing included.
Canada needs a new Governor General, the previous one having resigned under a cloud. On paper she looked great, but there were problems. No need to go into them here.
On paper I don’t look anywhere near as impressive. My French is weak, I’m not world famous and I don’t see myself as much of a people person. But I think I can do the job well. I must admit the $149,000 annual pension after five years on the job might be a factor too.
Being Governor General is a tougher job than it looks. There are ceremonial duties, political duties, a lot of things that perhaps the last GG apparently didn’t consider before she accepted the job. If you value your privacy, do you want a job th
at comes with a security detail? And a house so big you need a squad of servants?
Do you want a job that requires you to make small talk with everyone from kindergarten children to the Queen of England? For many that may not be appealing. I must admit that some aspects of the job don’t thrill me, but I can put up with some mild inconveniences for a five-year period. It can’t be any worse than the two years I was an occasional duty parent at my children’s nursery school.
I have some sympathy for the outgoing GG who discovered the job didn’t suit her. That doesn’t mean there is any excuse for her alleged bullying of staff, and inattention to the responsibilities of the office. But there’s nothing wrong with admitting that the job, which looked appealing at first, wasn’t the right fit.
Maybe she should have resigned when she realized it wasn’t for her. Maybe the money and perks were too good to pass up. Or maybe she didn’t see the impact she was having on her staff.
Sadly, the Prime Minister will never consider me, even though I could do a better job. I don’t yell at people – and I am willing to do the tedious tasks that are part of the assignment.
As a political creature, I think I have a better grasp of the constitutional duties that go with the job than many a celebrity candidate. Though I must admit it would be tempting to disallow the occasional piece of legislation that defies common sense.
As an introvert I have learned to by “on” when the job demands it. In a long radio career, I accepted that meeting the public regularly was part of the job description. So too with being Governor General, except even more so. I can do that if it is only for five years.
The most recent Governor General was chosen on the whim of the Prime Minister, which is historically how it has been done in Canada, once it stopped being a place job for minor British royals. I’m not sure that is a bad system, though obviously there were red flags that should have been raised in the vetting of the last appointment. Most of our Governors General have done the job well.
The previous Conservative Government though created a committee to look at appointments to the office. In retrospect today’s Prime Minister probably wishes he had done the same. I think he was too concerned with getting rid of anything the Conservatives had done to see that a hiring committee was common sense.
Realizing I’m not going to be considered for the job, I could make suggestions as to who else could fill the role. Some could be for amusement (Donald Trump anyone?) Others would be serious.
Thinking about that though, one name immediately cam to mind. But would he want the job? Bob Rae.
Son of a diplomat, former NDP Premier of Ontario, former interim leader of the federal Liberals, Rhodes Scholar, bilingual, respected around the world. He would seem to be a logical choice. And he knows what the job entails.
Which might be enough to convince him to decline it should it be offered.
Still, as I am sure there will be media speculation in the next week or so before a decision is made, remember you heard Bob Rae’s name here first.
What are the chances that I am right?