The Governor-General is the national executive of the Confederation of North America. He is chosen by the Grand Council, and his term expires at the same time as the Grand Council that elected him. The governor-general appoints a Cabinet to advise him and oversee various government ministries.
The position of govornor-general may be traced back to Benjamin Franklin's 1754 Albany Plan of Union. The executive in the Albany Plan was known as the President-General, and was to be appointed and supported by the Crown. Joseph Galloway retained the title President-General in his Galloway Plan of Proposed Union at the First Continental Congress.
Sobel does not specifically mention the office of governor-general when he discusses the drafting of the Britannic Design by Parliament in 1780. However, it is likely that the position existed, chosen by the Grand Council to chair its annual meetings in Burgoyne. In discussing the drafting of the Second Britannic Design at the 1842 Burgoyne Conference, Sobel refers to the office of governor-general being revised rather than created, and notes that under the First Design it "had been little more than a figurehead position."
No confidence votes and impeachment
In theory, a governor-general may be removed if he loses a vote of no confidence, but in practice, when Winfield Scott lost a vote of no confidence in April 1849, he remained in office for three weeks while trying to regain majority support.
Although Sobel does not mention it, the Grand Council must have passed an amendment to the Second Design establishing a procedure for impeachment of the governor-general, since this was the method Bruce Hogg attempted to use to remove Governor-General Douglas Watson from office in 1935. Since no attempt was made to impeach Ezra Gallivan during the height of the Starkist terror, presumably the impeachment amendment was passed some time after Gallivan's resignation. Curiously, Sobel mentions a possible no confidence vote against Governor-General Richard Mason in 1962, but not impeachment.
Membership in the Grand Council
At the time the Second Design was formulated in 1842, members of the British government were always members of the Houses of Parliament. Sobel never directly states whether the C.N.A.'s governor-general and his Cabinet were required to be, or allowed to be, members of the Grand Council, but it can be inferred from various references made in For Want of a Nail ... that the latter was the case. Both Christopher Hemingway and Albert Merriman, Grand Council members who became governors-general, retired to the Grand Council after their terms ended, which suggests that they remained Grand Council members while serving as governor-general. Likewise, Councilman Hugh Devenny joined the Cabinet of Bruce Hogg's unity government in July 1940, then resumed his place in the Grand Council upon leaving the Cabinet in November 1949. By contrast, Ezra Gallivan was Mayor of Michigan City when he became governor-general, and his resignation in July 1901 did not result in retirement to the Grand Council; it was only in 1904 that he was offered, and accepted, a Grand Council seat.
List of Governors-General
Nineteen men have served as governor-general between 1843 and 1971. Of that number, four have resigned: Winfield Scott, William Johnson, Ezra Gallivan, and Perry Jay. Another two have died in office: Henderson Dewey and Bruce Hogg.
|1||Winfield Scott||1843 - 1849||Unified Liberal||Indiana|
|2||Henry Gilpin||1849 - 1853||Unified Liberal||Northern Confederation|
|3||William Johnson||1853 - 1856||National Conservative||Manitoba|
|4||Whitney Hawkins||1856 - 1858||Conservative||Indiana|
|5||Kenneth Parkes||1858 - 1868||Liberal||Northern Confederation|
|6||Herbert Clemens||1868 - 1878||Conservative||Indiana|
|7||John McDowell||1878 - 1888||Liberal||Manitoba|
|8||Ezra Gallivan||1888 - 1901||People's Coalition||Indiana|
|9||Clifton Burgen||1901 - 1903||People's Coalition||Northern Vandalia|
|10||Christopher Hemingway||1903 - 1908||People's Coalition||Northern Confederation|
|11||Albert Merriman||1908 - 1918||People's Coalition||Indiana|
|12||Calvin Wagner||1918 - 1923||People's Coalition||Indiana|
|13||Henderson Dewey||1923 - 1929||Liberal||Indiana|
|14||Douglas Watson||1929 - 1938||Liberal||unknown|
|15||Bruce Hogg||1938 - 1950||People's Coalition||Northern Vandalia|
|16||James Billington||1950 - 1953||People's Coalition||Northern Confederation|
|17||Richard Mason||1953 - 1963||Liberal||Southern Confederation|
|18||Perry Jay||1963 - 1966||People's Coalition||unknown|
|19||Carter Monaghan||1966 -||People's Coalition||Southern Vandalia|