Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Dinosaur, Jean Chretien

Every so often something happens that reminds me of how new our country really is. If it's not a look into the supreme court, and the fact that for most of our country's history it carried very little respect or weight, it's the fact that a single man who only recently left office could have had such an impact on something as important as the nations constitution.

If there are any Americans reading this, and perhaps there are a few, your perspective on constitutional matters is probably very different than what the average Canadian's ideas would be. You see, for us constitutions are mostly unwritten sets of precedent, but the parts that are written are still very controversial amongst many Canadians. Anyway, I digress...frequently.

The man I am talking about is none other than Jean Chretien, or as he is more commonly known amongst many in the White House, The Dinosaur. This derision was aimed at the fact that he's been around forever (Prime Minister for 10 years, but also a central figure in the government for much of the past 40 years) but perhaps the term could also be used to describe the thickness of his political skin, and the size of the shadow he still casts on the political landscape. Well, and the fact that he sort of looks like a dinosaur.

The Great Minimizer, as Larry Zolf put it was just honoured with the Order of Canada Medal. This would be nothing short of the highest civilian honour available. The reasons? Well, he was Justice Minister when the constitution was written, and personally had a large hand in its drafting. That, and the fact that he held no less than 12 cabinet posts, won three majority governments, legalized same-sex marriage, limited the amount of money that can be donated to a political party to only a $1,000 per entity (human or corporate) and choked a protester. Read all about it here.

--I'm still getting used to how this software works, so I'll attempt to leave you with a few photos of The Dinosaur himself.

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