Oh, Canada

Canada is leading the operation in Libya but no one is leading Canada.

Canada is making headlines today.

First, it has been announced that a Canadian General will be commander of yet to be fully defined NATO operations in Libya.

Second, Stephen Harper’s government has fallen after a no-confidence vote.

So, to summarize: Canada is leading the operation in Libya but no one is leading Canada.

FILED UNDER: Humor, World Politics, , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Linda says:

    Wow. Just wow.

    *walks away, shaking her head in disbelief*

  2. Ben Wolf says:

    Keep in mind we spent a month with no presidential successor back in 2000. Electoral dumbness isn’t limited to places other than the U.S.

  3. James Joyner says:


    Parliamentary governments fall all the time; there are succession plans. Ditto in the US: There were contingencies in the event the 2000 election wasn’t resolved by noon on 20 January 2001.

  4. Ben Wolf says:


    I agree completely.

  5. pylon says:

    Is the suggestion that any time there’s an election called in Canada, there is no leadership, and no government? Really? Or was this just an attempt at humour?

    Last time I looked, the PM is still the PM until an election changes that. Parliament isn’t sitting, but the administration continues until it changes after an election (and indeed, not immediatley thereafter – there’s a transfer just like after a US election).

  6. Torrey says:

    This is not quite true. First of all, Mr Harper has yet to visit the Governor General and ask His Excellency to dissolve Parliament. Mr Harper is still the Head of Government until sometime tomorrow.

    Second, the role of the government is to advise the Head of State–or in this case, her representative the Governor General–who remains unchanged. His Excellency the Governor General is still Commander in Chief of the Canadian Forces, and in the unlikely event that the election result does not produce some sort of arrangement in the House of Commons, the Governor General can step in to work out a solution amongst the various parties, or even govern directly himself if needed.

  7. MarkedMan says:

    News flash: Snarky Blog Post Is Taken Way Too Seriously In Comments Section!

  8. pcbedamned says:

    Rest assured Dear Yanks – you will be getting Iggy back on May 3.
    Bring on the Conservative Majority !!!!!!!

  9. MSS says:

    Torrey, your comment that “Mr Harper is still the Head of Government until sometime tomorrow” (i.e. last Saturday) does not go far enough. Harper is still head of government till he either resigns, or faces parliament after the election and is defeated.

    Obviously, James’s notion that “no one is leading Canada” was meant as a joke. Or at least I assume it was.

    In fact, Harper clearly wanted this election. Otherwise, there was a deal with the NDP ready to be made. He and his party chose not to make it, and to go to the voters in search of a majority government. He just might get it (though I would not bet on it). The move is very much a definition of leadership (and I say that as someone who is by no means a fan).

  10. Janessa says:

    I notice you do not mention the credentials of Lieutenant General Charles Bouchard in charge of NATO campaign in Libya? And the reason he was chosen is the most highest regard all NATO countries have for his abilities;even the US. Sounds like sour grapes for you personally. Certainly not the average American citizen who want limited involvement in Libya.Check the recent polls.