“In just over two weeks, Ontario could become the sixth province or territory in Canada led by a woman. Think about it: Female premiers at the helm of almost half the country’s 13 provinces and territories, including the four biggest provinces. To put it in an even more compelling way, 87 per cent of the population would have a woman for a premier.” — Toronto Star
Well I’ve thought about it, as instructed, and frankly, it scares the hell out of me. If you care about endangered species, you should be alarmed, too. I’m writing today to alert you to an emerging crisis faced by an animal that we have long taken for granted. It’s the male Canadian premier.
In the space of a few years these magnificent wild creatures have lost huge tracts of their natural habitat. Mismanagement, poaching and the creeping menace of feminization have reduced their population by half. Some people shrug at this crisis. They say the mismanagement was the fault of the male premiers themselves. Cynics — regrettably many of them women — sneer: “Act like baboons long enough and you’ll end up on the same endangered list with them.”
But that’s short-sighted thinking. Do we blame the orcas for continuing to swim around the same patch of water in which there are no fish? Of course not. We care about the whales and do everything we can to save them. So it should be with the male premiers.
There was a time when they had free range over the entire country. With their healthy layers of winter fat and their expensive suits, they were a familiar sight for generations. Their natural aggression wasn’t always pretty to watch. Remember Meech Lake? Remember the rutting matches at first ministers’ conferences every year? But nature is sometimes brutal. And those territorial instincts ensured dominance over the harsh ecosystems in which they thrived.
Gradually though, their numbers started to dwindle. The old silverbacks died off. Younger males took over, but didn’t have the staying power. They got preoccupied with dangerous sidelines: The HST in B.C., the Mafia in Quebec, the teachers in Ontario. Those are very high-risk behaviours for leaders. Even if they do have opposable thumbs.
And increasing numbers of women started to encroach on their traditional hunting grounds. The females played it all innocent and supportive, early on. But when the males started to falter, they pounced.
As I write this, the male premiers’ range is now reduced to a few isolated sanctuaries far from the power centres they used to control. Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, places like that.
At the current rate, Canada is losing them at a rate of almost two a year. If the trend continues, the male premier will be extirpated within the decade.
Imagine a country in which the male premier is extinct.
Do you want to watch public policy formulated by leaders who build consensus based on cordial dialogue?
Of course you don’t. It would be like hockey without fighting.
Do you want to watch a bunch of female first ministers sitting around televised conferences respecting each others’ feelings? Where would that leave the news channels? You can act to avert this urgent crisis. By sending me money right now, on the following basis:
- A $100 donation would buy a new pair of boots for a ranger, who would patrol what’s left of their habitat. The Harper government is complicit in the loss of these creatures through poaching. It dangles the prospect of ambassadorships and Senate appointments and the easily-distracted males sometimes just give up. Rangers could guard against further incursions.
- A $1,000 donation would fund an education program for juvenile males. Some are growing up with no knowledge of their past entitlement. Weekend seminars would reawaken their natural sense of primacy and instill the drive needed to reclaim their place.
- A $10,000 donation would bring Jane Goodall to Canada. Her lifetime of experience in Africa is badly needed here. If she can intuitively understand chimps, she help with the breakthrough we so badly need in understanding male premiers.
The alternative is to do nothing. Follow that course and male premiers will be like pandas — adorable curiosities you only see in zoos, kept alive through breeding programs.
I don’t want to live in that kind of world and I’m sure you don’t either.