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Letter to the Governor General of Canada

(Sent a few moment ago to the GG's office…)

Wed, Jan 9, 2013 at 6:09 PM
6:09 PM
Message starred
FROM Colin Cordner TO 1 recipient
This Friday's Aboriginal First Nations meeting
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From

Cxxxxxxxxxxxx

To

info@gg.ca

Your Excellency,

I write to you on an issue of great and escalating importance; perhaps you will give it ear, or perhaps not. It has certainly been said on more than one occasion that Your Excellency's post is but one of figurehead, moreover, a mask for the prevailing political winds from the Prime Minister's Office. Certainly it has been the case that Prime Ministers in the past have taken exception to any exercising of independent political judgement on the part of Governor Generals which might be seen as to infringe upon what seems to be felt their infinite prerogatives of office. High office, it is said, often gives rise to illusions of absolutism.

Nevertheless, one might risk the wager that Your Office maintains its proper independence and authority against all such illusions. I say this because, in ignorance, I can only suppose that Your Excellency's intention not to attend the Aboriginal First Nations meeting upon the Friday is perhaps an expressed preference of the PMO. I can only hope so, because such an absence from the scene could easily go down to posterity as one of the most dangerous political errors of a generation. Indeed, one may only compare the disaster of the Meech Lake Accord: another grand political project brought low by a failure to understand and respectfully address the people of the First Nations on their own terms.

I do not wish to bore Your Excellency, so I will respectfully provide my humble analysis of the situation, which may highlight aspects of the issue which, it seems, the PMO and many in the media have gravely misread. It is the generally expressed opinion of non-Aboriginals that the "Idle No More" protests, and the fast engaged in by Chief Spence, can be classified as an instance of "issuism": that these are the activities of an identifiable interest group looking, as it were, for a greater slice of the pie. In short, a liberal utilitarian problem, to be solved using liberal utilitarian means. This is a misunderstanding. Your Excellency, the acts which we are witnessing are not as characterized. To state it plainly, the commentators have completely overlooked what is a growing religious (or, if you prefer, spiritual) component to these political acts. Chief Spence is not merely a pushy, secular leader. Increasingly, she is the transcendental representative of a newly articulating community of the spirit, as evinced by the many invocations of the symbols of "The Land" in interviews with Aboriginal leader, and Aboriginal men and women on the street. What I'm thus attempting to warn you of is that you are in the process of witnessing the fast-unto-death of a religious martyr, one who has very quickly become a representative figure of the people of the First Nations.

Your Excellency, I hope that you understand that the gravity of the situation may thus be quite greater than has generally been recognized. This is not a problem that can be solved by the Prime Minister and a cheque-book; issues of the spirit cannot, by their nature, be so addressed and bribed. As the symbolic representative of the Crown recognized by Chief Spence and the Movement, and thus the symbolic representative of the spirit of the people of the Dominion, Your Office carries the burden of responsibility to represent symbolically the Crown at this Friday's meeting. This responsibility falls to Your Office regardless of the preferences of the PMO, Yourself, or any other. It is what it is, quite frankly, and one must carry one's burdens. To not do so, in this case, risks carrying upon your head a stigma in the eyes of the First Nations which I'd warrant you'd rather not be remembered for.

Thus, Your Excellency, I sincerely hope that You exercise your prerogative and seal this meeting with Your presence. As things stand, the meeting has lost all legitimacy among the First Nations before it has even started. One cannot slight the transcendental representative of a people without consequence -- particularly as a representative of the Crown. Hopefully I have impressed upon you that this is, at least potentially, a grave situation, which, if not remedied, may very well result in protest actions which will make the Oka Crisis seem like high tea with the Queen.


Sincerely Yours,
Cxxx xxxxx, Ph.D. ABD
Carleton University
Department of Political Science

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