A. Moodie – Will Canada Have A Black PM?
In this week’s Eye Weekly playwright Andrew Moodie ponders whether or not Canada will have a black Prime Minister in his lifetime. As I read through the article I was surprised by the ridiculousness of some of Andrew Moodie’s claims and how little he based them on fact and reality.
“We just need a really good prime minister, and if they’re black or South Asian or First Nations or Chinese, all the better, but they have to be good.” Really? If the person occupying the office of PM is not white then it is better than if they were white? Isn’t that racist against white people? If I were writing that sentence it would read “We just need a really good prime minister, whatever color they are, it doesn’t matter but they have to be good” (This isn’t to say that I think Prime Minister Harper is a bad Prime Minister. I personally agree with the bulk of his policies and think he is doing a great job. But if you read the article linked above you will see that Mr Moodie doesn’t seem to agree with me)
“I did an unofficial Google survey of the three political parties, looking for their diverse members of Parliament. It’s not scientific, I basically went to the websites of the three parties and opened a tab for every person of colour I could find.” Hmm, when trying to evaluate multicultural diversity as represented within Canadian politics did it ever occur to you to go see what the cultural representation of all the candidates were in the last election? I think it would show a much larger proportion of multicultural representation if those numbers were looked at and not just who actually is an MP. (But in case you’re wondering I haven’t looked this up but in his article Mr Moodie doesn’t discuss percentage of the population of a culture vs the percentage of MPs of that culture in Parliament)
“…[R]unning for…prime minister is one of the most noble things a human being can do. At least that’s how Trudeau made me feel. He, much like Obama, makes serving as the leader of a nation a true calling. And much like Trudeau, he makes it look so easy, and so much damn fun…Now, of course, President Obama is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of leader.” REALLY?!?!?! Andrew Moodie what kind of garbage are you spewing? This is the most ridiculous group of statements in the entire article and I am in no way referring to what he said about Trudeau. Obama hasn’t even been the POTUS for a month and you are already defining him as a “once-in-a-lifetime kind of leader”?!?!?! HE HASN’T ACTUALLY DONE ANYTHING YET! “…[H]e makes it look so easy, so much damn fun…” I repeat, OBAMA HASN’T DONE ANYTHING YET! His administration hasn’t even been at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave for a month yet and already you know that President Obama makes being President look easy and fun? How about waiting until President Obama has been in office for a month or 6 or dare I say it a year or 2 before you make such a statement so you don’t sound like a fool. How about waiting for President Obama to have to make a tough decision or two. Ya, I suppose it was really a difficult decision as the President for Obama to tell Citigroup to drop their plan to buy a $50 million plane after they just went to the government asking for a bail out – tough call! Good decision Mr President! You make those difficult decisions look so easy because if I were in your position I don’t know what I’d do. I might even consider buying the plane for Citigroup so maybe they’d put their bail out money to better use (note my tone dripping with sarcasm here, haha)
Further, Mr Moodie fails to take a significant difference between the Canadian and American political systems into account with his wondering of the likelihood of his seeing a non-white PM-in-his-lifetime. That major difference is Term Limits: In the USA there is something called Term Limits in regard to the office of the Presidency. Since the ratification of the XXII Amendment (February 26, 1951) no person can be elected to the office of the President of the United States for more than two terms of 4 years. Canada does not have such a law and a Prime Minister’s term in office can be as long as 5 years before he/she is required to have the Governor-General ‘drop the writ’ and call an election. As such, by law the current President of the United States of America Barack Obama will not be in office after 2016 elections barring a further Constitutional Amernment whereas the current Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper could be the Prime Minister for the rest of his life as long as the people of Canada keep re-electing him and his party. In fact, the longest serving Canadian Prime Minister if you add up all his terms together was Mackenzie King who served for 22 years. The Prime Minister with the longest continual term was Wilfrid Laurier who served for 15 years 2 months and 30 days.
Lastly, we come back to the original question in the article: will 42 year old Andrew Moodie (or 27 year old Dan Levy) see a non-white person living in 24 Sussex and occupying the Office of the Prime Minister of Canada before we die? Who knows and who cares! All that should matter is that we continue to see Prime Ministers that do the best they can to serve the people of Canada and Presidents who do the best they can to serve the people of the United States of America be they man or woman, white, black, Asian, Jewish, First Nations, or purple with pink polka-dots. Whether or not someone who isn’t white becomes Prime Minister doesn’t matter. What matters is that the possibility is open to all citizens of Canada. We should not judge our society based on the results we see but rather in the methods we use.
But that’s just my $0.02, as always your comments are appreciated!