Do you know who’s one heartbeat away from being Prime Minister? It’s an interesting question and the answers may scare and puzzle you. I have the list and it does both to me. Carolyn Bennett as PM? It could happen and I’ll explain.
We don’t have the same system as the Americans where if President Obama dies today, Joe Biden becomes president.
In our system, an order in council is created and is a temporary measure.
If Justin Trudeau were to die today, the first person on the list, would not become PM and stay PM.
The order says:
“In the event that the Prime Minister is unable to perform the functions of his Office, the next Minister named, in order of priority, in the list of Ministers set out in Schedule A who is able to perform the functions of the Office of the Prime Minister is authorized to act for the Prime Minister;”
First on the list is Ralph Goodale who is undoubtedly experienced, having first been elected to Parliament in 1974 before Justin Trudeau and I could tie our shoes. He knows his way around the place and is generally competent.
But the list goes downhill from there.
Watch as I run through a few of the names and curious choices.
The whole cabinet is ranked and has to be a blow to some. Would Marc Garneau, the former astronaut and head of the Canada Space Agency ever have imagined he’d rank 15th behind newcomers with less impressive resumes like Chrystia Freeland or Jean-Yves Duclos?
Given that it’s 2016, is it fair to note that the women and people of colour Trudeau bragged about in his cabinet rank near the bottom, while old white men occupy the top?