Monday, July 13, 2009

Merit


Queen gives Chr├ętien Order of Merit

Queen Elizabeth has appointed former prime minister Jean Chr├ętien to the Order of Merit, placing him in the exclusive ranks of such figures as Albert Schweitzer, Mother Teresa and Nelson Mandela.

The award, founded in 1902 by King Edward VII, is given to "individuals of exceptional distinction in the arts, learning, sciences and other areas such as public service," according to a news release from the press secretary of the Queen.


Given how few foreigners receive the Order of Merit, it's certainly quite the honour - the Queen certainly must think highly of the former PM.

For those keeping track, the Queen also awarded Pearson this honour in 1971, while Mackenzie King received the order from King George in '47.

Labels:

17 Comments:

  • Yes - now will people please stop whining about our cherished monarchy?

    By Anonymous Nick, at 1:34 AM  

  • So, for those keeping track, that's 3 Liberal prime ministers and no Conservatives?

    The liberal-dominated monarchy strikes again!

    By Blogger - K, at 8:38 AM  

  • Liberal dominate Monarchy NON-ELECTED strikes again....LOL.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:49 AM  

  • I still think we should dump the Monarchy...

    And, with the exception of maybe Borden, it's hard to think of a Tory PM since 1903 who would be deserving of this. Even Chretien is a bit of a stretch, but a lot of it comes down to the Monarch's disgresion I suppose.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 9:39 AM  

  • jean has the best political instincts and by extension the best understanding of Canada of any living person. i've worked with dozens of politicians and it's not even close. He just knows what to do- it's a damn shame we can't find more people like him who have the love of public service to serve as MP for 27 years and be a minister in 6 portfolios before becoming PM. Our leaders now have zero machinery of government experience and it shows...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:56 AM  

  • Chretien will, of course, turn down the honour, in keeping with his strict interpretation of the Nickle resolution in the case of Conrad Black.

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 11:36 AM  

  • Chretien's not a foreigner for the OM -- he's a subject of Her Majesty.

    By Blogger Ben (The Tiger), at 11:41 AM  

  • I still think we should dump the Monarchy...


    Again, not me. The idea of "President" Harper fills me with dread.

    By Blogger Greg, at 11:45 AM  

  • Chretien will, of course, turn down the honour, in keeping with his strict interpretation of the Nickle resolution in the case of Conrad Black.

    Sorry, it doesn't apply.

    By Blogger Greg, at 11:46 AM  

  • The Nickle resolution would require action on Harper's part anyway, and Harper isn't going to do anything (because you know, Harper is always petty and partisan, unlike Chretien), but I made my comment to highlight a general issue.

    What principled or consequential reason is there for denying peerage to Canadian citizens (who are also British citizens) while allowing them to receive orders like this?

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 12:17 PM  

  • He should be deprived of his citizenship if he wants it. His vicious partisan attack on Black should be punished severely.

    Her Majesty should have been told that it was exceptionally inappropriate to bestow ANY award on this man given his behaviour.

    Then repeal the Nickle BS and celebrate any and all Canadians who her majesty wants to reward.

    By Blogger Hey, at 12:52 PM  

  • "And, with the exception of maybe Borden, it's hard to think of a Tory PM since 1903 who would be deserving of this."

    You're not very good at thinking are you? Mulroney accomplished far more as PM than Chretien ever did. Free trade, the GST, actually dealing with the environmental issues of the day (CFCs and Acid Rain), and the privatization of Crown assets that resulted in many of these companies being operated much more efficiently. Mulroney's failed Constitutional reforms still affect policy today (for better or worse).

    Compare this to Chretien whose crowning achievement is balancing the budget which was an impressive achievement but is it any more impressive than bringing in the free trade deal or the GST? Chretien's environmental policy was a disaster compared to Mulroney and on the unity file, the separatists nearly won the 1995 referendum while he was PM.

    Chretien deserves the award because he was around for a long time and did a pretty good job but the same is true with Mulroney (and Trudeau). However, the main reason Chretien got the award was because the Queen liked him.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:05 PM  

  • Ummmm...Canadian citizens are NOT "also British citizens"...They're also British subjects, not quite the same thing.

    Oh, well, I suppose some Canadian citizens are both, if they have dual citizenship. I am. British by birth, Canadian by choice.

    By Blogger Party of One, at 3:48 PM  

  • Conrad Black was both a British and Canadian citizen. He had to renounce his citizenship in order to accept his lordship. So, yes it is relevant. At any rate there have been Canadian citizens (that weren't dual citizens) given knighthoods - while Chretien was PM.

    "Chretien deserves the award because he was around for a long time and did a pretty good job but the same is true with Mulroney (and Trudeau). However, the main reason Chretien got the award was because the Queen liked him."

    Firstly, blaming the referendum result on Chretien is a pretty weak argument. Mulroney used separatists to help him get elected, incensed them with failed constitutional amendments, and helped create an environment where the PQ could come to power, and where Lucien Bouchard could become a national figure (able to lead the referendum). The turning point in the referendum polls came when Chretien started campaigning. Moreover, the Clarity act has helped put separatism to bed for the past 13 years. That isn't Chretien's only accomplishment.

    Chretien didn't just balance the budget. He encouraged R&D (Canada had been a laggard), resisted liberalizing the banks (unlike much of the rest of the world - a decision which has saved us from much misery), legalized gay marriage, substantially lowered corporate taxes, completely overhauled how political parties were financed, avoided the Iraq war while committing Canadian troops in Afghanistan, created a federal gun registry, modernized Canada's anti-terrorism laws, greatly expanded trade with China, and presided over a period of considerable economic expansion enabling him to cut taxes and increase spending (more than making up for the cuts in the mid-90's).

    You may not love all of these things, but it is not a bad legacy:
    (I would rank him as our third-best PM).

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 4:19 PM  

  • "Mulroney used separatists to help him get elected, incensed them with failed constitutional amendments, and helped create an environment where the PQ could come to power"

    Mulroney's constitutional reforms were a response to strong separatist sentiment in Quebec not the cause of it. Do you really think the separatists would have simply rolled over and disappeared if Mulroney had never come to power and tried to reform the Constitution to satisfy Quebec? I don't. And saying that the Clarity Act has put separatism to bed for 13 years is ridiculous. At the height of the sponsorship scandal support for sovereignty was around 53%. How is that "putting separatism to bed"?

    As for the economic aspect of the Chretien legacy much of it was simply the logical extension of the Mulroney years. Who would have expected that free trade and tax reform could lead to economic prosperity? Don't think I didn't notice that you said it's unfair to tar Chretien with the 1995 referendum result because it was all Mulroney's fault and yet praise Chretien for years of prosperity that are at least as much the result of Mulroney's pro-business economic reforms as they are due to Chretien's.

    Mulroney turned the ship of state around and Chretien kept it clear of the icebergs. And I never said Chretien's legacy was bad. I said Mulroney's was better.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:36 PM  

  • Canadians are not British subjects.

    By Anonymous ich bin ein kanadischer, at 9:35 PM  

  • My understanding is that Nickle applies only to receiving titles. It was designed to suppress the growth of an aristocratic class in Canada (that this has grown up anyway, is another issue). So, Chretien's award does not fall under the provisions of the resolution.

    By Blogger Greg, at 7:36 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home