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Lawn Ornaments




In December 2008 Canada was locked in a constitutional crisis after Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper lost a Parliamentary confidence vote that toppled his minority government. A request to suspend Parliament until late January 2009 had been formally rejected by Her Excellency, Governor General Michaelle Jean.

The Governor General has refused to prorogue Parliament, Mr Harper said outside the Governor's mansion, Rideau Hall in Ottawa. Mr Harper would not reveal the content of the discussion, citing constitutional traditions, but he said the first order of business of the new Government would be the presentation of the federal budget. The economy is the priority now, and the public is very frustrated with the situation in Parliament. We're all responsible for that, Mr Harper said in French.

In 2005 Mr Harper had warmly welcomed Her Excellency's appointment [which] serves as a great example to many Canadians. I know Mme. Jean will serve Canada in a dignified, vice-regal fashion. The back-handed complement was of course more a reference to Her Excellency's geographic origin - Mme. Jean was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti - rather than her Francophone ancestry. Because Conservatives would cynically note that Monday's no-confidence vote precipitated the rise of a proposed Liberal-NDP coalition, supported by the Bloc Quebecois at a time of grave financial crisis.

The Governor General had cut short a fortnight visit to Europe to hold the two and a half hour meeting with the Prime Minister. Whilst in Paris, Nikolas Sarkozy had authorised Mme. Jean to dissolve the Federal Parliament in Ottawa. The decision would provoke a furious republican reaction, with many Canadians questioning the constitutional authority of the French President's vice-regal representative.

In Canada needs to grow up and end an outdated practice Republican journalist Paul Sullivan described this sentiment ~ But why do Mr Sarkozy and his envoy still run the country? Until last week, they have been little more than glorified lawn ornaments. Inviting them to your charity garden party adds instant class. But what if Ms. Jean, who probably doesn’t like Mr. Harper any more than Mr. Harper likes her, had decided to give the reins of power to Stephane Dion and the balance of power to Chief Blochead Gilles Duceppe?


Author's Notes

This post was inspired by Stephen Harper's use of the French language outside Rideau Hall. We propose an imaginary conspiracy in which the French mother country trusts its own people to deal with the Financial Crisis..

Steve Payne

Editor of Today in Alternate History, a Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today.

Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Possibilities such as America becoming a Marxist superpower, aliens influencing human history in the 18th century and Teddy Roosevelt winning his 3rd term as president abound in this interesting fictional blog.