Canadian Politics from Canada's Centre

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Path to the PMO: Canada's Cursus Honorum for Political Aspirants

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Recently, I took an Intro to Classics class where I studied the ancient Greeks and Romans, the latter of whom had something called the Cursus Honorum. It made me wonder about whether there's a Canadian Cursus Honorum, or path to the Premiership.

When I was in high school, I admired Paul Martin who was then Canada's next Prime Minister. I noticed that he had come to prominence with the Finance portfolio, and it made me think that there was more than one way to the Premiership (besides having a background in law, as many MPs and politicians do).

The Cursus Honorum was the path for ambitious Roman youth to the halls of power. It involved studying in the Academy of Athens, which was the Ancient equivalent of taking "university" courses. (I used quotation marks because the way university existed then isn't equivalent to today's incarnation of university, though the idea has always been that of a place of higher learning.) After graduation, the young Roman boy (girls weren't really part of public affairs) was assigned/elected to one official post after another. Eventually, the cream of the crop became Consuls. Consuls were the Roman heads of state.

Now my question is this: Does a Canadian Cursus Honorum exist? Are there some set things someone can do that help propell them to the PMO? I'd love to hear your comments on this.

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2 Comments:

At 9:41 PM, Canadian Politico Anonymous Anonymous said:

I certainly think that there are signature physical characteristics that one must have in order to be hold the "premiership" as you call it. First of all, you need to be educated, you need to be relatively wealthy (at least upper middle class), you need to be over the age of 45, you need to be male or a female who acts like a male, you need to be white (any close shade of white will do), and you need to speak french.

So basically, I've ruled out about 3/4 of the population. Are there certain things that can be done you ask? Sure, be born a white male to a good upper middle income bilingual family, whose wealth you can inherit and who can afford skyrocketing tuition fees by sending you to school and university.

No wonder youth don't vote.

 
At 7:19 PM, Canadian Politico Blogger lecentre said:

Haha! I love it! That's hilarious. You make some good points though. I'm hoping to find more than just dollars, whiteness and schooling on the path, though.

 

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