I write this from my seat at the U of W grad ceremony. These things have a habit of being long, but that length is exacerbated when graduates are forced to listen to the self aggrandising of former politicians that are never really former politicians, rather they are unelected mouth pieces.
Today, former Minister of Foreign Affairs presented his former boss ( the former Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, Minister of Indian Affairs...) Jean Cretien, an honourary doctorate of law.
Now my first thought was the obvious patronage between these two old Liberal stalwarts. We endured a walk through their political achievements brought to us through the clear memory of the men responsible. The charter of rights, billinguillism, gay marriage, abortion, gun control... The list went on, couched in, "Look what I did. Change the world".
I won't bother offering my opines of the Liberal government, rather I'll simply say that old Jean has little connection to today's graduates who are unlikely to bother considering that the Clarity Act was not anything to be proud of since it came as a result of almost losing the county. Jean didn't keep the county together. It was as a result of a former PC MP who moved to Quebec provincial politics that pulled it off.
My best memory of that event is how Jean had his speech planned just moments after a different Jean (Charest) began his, causing all the televised coverage to go to his speech, ensuring the nation didn't hear what the real hero had to say. Nice touch.
The other thing that struck me was that no one graduates from the U of W with a law degree.
I guess the degree isn't worth much.
Congratulations to all the grads. And while you go out and change the world, try not to emulate the two old boys you had to listen to today. Be true to yourselves.