12.04.08: The Day Stephen Harper Officially Flipped the Bird to Canadian Parliamentary Democracy.

by matttbastard

So, as you probably heard, Uncle Steve managed to stave off the inevitable till mid-January:

Gov. Gen. Michaëlle Jean has granted a request from Stephen Harper to suspend Parliament until late next month, the prime minister announced on Thursday, a move that avoids a confidence vote set for Monday that could have toppled his minority government.

“Following my advice, the Governor General has agreed to prorogue Parliament,” Harper said outside Rideau Hall after a 2½-hour meeting with Jean.

“When Parliament resumes Jan. 26, the first order of business will be the presentation of a federal budget.”


Monday’s no-confidence vote could have precipitated the rise of a proposed Liberal-NDP coalition, supported by the Bloc Québécois or it could have resulted in another election, depending on the Governor General’s response.

But the decision to suspend Parliament — made after Jean cut short a two-week trip to Europe — only gives the Tories a reprieve until Jan. 26, when they plan to table a budget, which would be a confidence vote, as all money bills are.

In the interim, the Tories will continue to wage a public relations blitz against the Liberal-NDP coalition.

Alison nails it:

Steve pulls the fire alarm and walks into the exam he knows he’s going to fail.
GG says it’s ok and grants him an eight week extension on his separatists and socialists topic.

Man, it’s like election time all over again–only now people actually give a shit about the outcome (too bad we can’t cast a vote on the matter.)

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

8 thoughts on “12.04.08: The Day Stephen Harper Officially Flipped the Bird to Canadian Parliamentary Democracy.

  1. How is it undemocratic? Proroguing is just as much a part of the constitution as forming a coalition is. Sure, it’s avoiding the issues, but hopefully now we can see some actual co-operation between the parties so that a reasonable budget, good for ALL Canadians, can be achieved.

    Hopefully in the mean time we can see how shaky a liberal-ndp coalition actually would be. This 1.5 months will give parliament some time to cool off, return to a more rational level; emotions are running a bit high.


  2. when the governor decides to close down the parliament, this decision grants full powers to a minority government which is now under fire from opposition parties. i don’t think it’s a democratic procedure. there is no input from citizens here, nor is there a voice given to the opposition parties. all happening just before xmas, when nobody gives a damn… i’d say it shows that politics is about schemes, strategies and tactics, not about representing and working for citizens.


  3. When has politics ever purely been about “representing and working for citizens?” I would say never. There’s always posturing, schemes and tactics.

    By proroguing parliament, the GG has provided the parties the ability to cool down and start thinking rationally. The conservatives can still be voted down when they present the budget in January. Again, I hope this gives the parties some time to think and develop a better budget in collaboration.


  4. How is it undemocratic? Proroguing is just as much a part of the constitution as forming a coalition is.

    Of course proroguing is part of the constitution — but was intended to be invoked only in circumstances of dire national emergency, not in response to a normal function of parliamentary democracy (ie losing the confidence of the House). Setting a precedent like “parliament can be arbitrarily halted because a sitting government is in danger of losing a confidence motion” seems pretty, y’know, contrary to the spirit of parliamentary democracy. Unless you consider “ZOMGWTFBBQ I LOST TEH CONFIDENCE OF TEH HOUSE!!1one” to be a grave national emergency. (I have it on good authority that Harper presented it to Jean exactly that way, complete with scare caps and exclamation ones.)

    Apparently the GG does (as do you, although your ignorance doesn’t carry much weight, no offense).

    God fucking help us all.


  5. Dire national emergency seems to be largely a matter of interpretation (nice thing about democracy for the most part). The loss of confidence of the government weeks after the election could definitely be a crisis especially now that we have the benefit of seeing how shaky the coalition would have been (see: Liberal in-fighting). In addition, a purely leftist government is not representative of Canadians, especially western Canadians who would hardly be represented at all by a Liberal-NDP coalition with Bloc support.

    Either way you slice it we’d have two shitty governments, either a Conservative minority or a majority coalition of Liberals, NDPs, and BQs. Neither really represents the diverse interests of the nation.

    Also: I’m sorry you need to resort to petty insinuations and ad hominems to get your point across, it’s pathetic.

    I’m a fan of the prorogue personally. Read my latest blog entry if you’re interested.


  6. . In addition, a purely right-wing government is not representative of Canadians, especially urban Canadians who would hardly be represented at all by a Conservative majority.



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