Saturday, September 02, 2006

Toronto Day — 2: Erasing people from history.

One of the things I had to do before heading up to Canada on tuesday is to change money in order to get from the airport to my hotel in the least amount of time possible, so I did that today.

One of the thing s I noticed is that the foriegn Queen is still on the twenty. They had discussed putting Pierre Trudeau on it, but it seems that the Liberals weren't too thrilled with the idea. However, they did do one thing when they changed the design of the fifty, which still has the face of Prime Minister William Lyon Makensie King. They changed his dates in the de facto top job from "1921-26, 1926-30, 1935-48", to just "1921-30, 1935-48." This in effect erases the prime ministership of Arthur Meighn, who held the job for a few months in Canada's wildest political year, from history.

Now Arthur Meighn was not one of Canada's better PMs, in fact, he was one of the worst, an arrogant son of a bitch who didn't do anything worthwhile during his first government in 1920-21, and who's second term was a truncated disaster, which had the happy side effect of destroying royal power in Canada and moving forward the task of independence, something which wouldn't be finished until 1982's patriation of the Constitution. The fact that he's pretty obscure doesn't change the fact that he did indeed have the job, and while he doesn't have more than the better part of a paragraph in the history books, writing him out completely as they do on the $50 bill is something which is dead wrong.

It reminds me that the US senate refused to have a bust of Spiro T. Agnew in it's hallowed halls after the bastard resigned in disgrace because, well, he resigned in disgrace. But was indeed Vice President and all the others, including two indicted for treason and a couple of other would-be felons, had one, so he deserved it, not as an honor but because he had the job.

There was a debate a couple of years back as to whether Reagan deserved to be on a stamp after he died. Of course, he was president and dead presidents, including the likes of Buchanan and Nixon, got stamps. Governments should aknowledge former leaders even if, like Jimmy Carter, they're schmucks. Thus Canada should at a couple of 1926s on the fifty. There's room.

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