Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Harper suspends Parliament ... again!


This is not Windows... that you can restart with Cntrl-Alt-Delete whenever you want to and all is well. This is the engine of our functioning democracy.

More than Harper, our Governor General Michele Jean should be ashamed. Perhaps there was a reason to prorogue Parliament last year due to the Coalition. There is no reason to do so now.

This might be the first of many that entices people who were OK with Harper and uncomfortable with Ignatieff to start voting Liberal again.


Larry said...

The Libs did it in 2002 and 2003. I'm not a fan of the prorogue but it is a tool the governing party gets to it or not.

mezba said...

Hi Larry, thanks for the comment.

To me proroguing doesn't serve any useful purpose and should be abolished.

Anonymous said...

Actually the Liberals under Cretien did a total of four times. Too bad blogs weren't such a prolific form of critique back then. Would Liblogs have called it the moves of a great strategic leader back then?

mezba said...

Hello Anonymous,

perhaps you missed the number of times I am criticizing Ignatieff.

Liberals are not all clone troopers unlike the Conservative supporters.

Prorogue = bad for democracy

Anonymous said...

via David Akin blog;

Jean Chretien prorogued Parliament four times during his time as Prime Minister: February 5, 1996; September 18, 1999; September 16, 2002; and November 12, 2003.

On each occasion, the Liberals killed their own legislation. Several bills ended up dying over and over again due to Liberals proroguing Parliament or calling early elections.

September 16, 2002 – After a summer of Liberal in-fighting and Jean Chretien being forced to announce his planned retirement date in August, Chretien prorogued Parliament, killing legislation so that he could unveil his legacy agenda.

According [to] Eddie Goldenberg, Chretien decided to have a Throne Speech just to test the will of the Martinite forces who were trying to push him out early: Chretien was happy. “I like that. It is exactly what we just discussed. Prepare me a statement. But just one more thing,” said the old fox. “I want a Throne Speech in the fall. The government will stand or fall on it. If they want to vote against me on it, then it is the one case in which I will run again.” (Eddie Goldenberg, The Way it Works, p. 380)

November 12, 2003 – Jean Chretien announced that Parliament was prorogued on the eve of the Liberal leadership convention (so Chretien and Martin didn’t have to sit together in the House of Commons and face a dispute over who was Prime Minister). Martin did not become Prime Minister until December 12, 2003 and Parliament did not resume until February 2, 2004 – almost four months later

The current session has lasted as long as many comparable sessions under the Liberals, and longer than several of the sessions under Jean Chretien and Paul Martin.

mezba said...

All of the above reinforces my original point.

It's amazing that any criticism of Harper is met with "well the Liberals did it too."

So Harper is no better than the worst of the Liberals!

kirbycairo said...

There is a major point missing here. It is tradition in the British Parliamentary system that you cannot prorogue parliament unless the GG or the Queen is certain that you have the confidence of the House. Thus when Cretien Prorogued he did so with a majority and therefore, a priori, the confidence of the House. For a PM to Prorogue simply in order to avoid question of a coverup when he is in a minority position is an entirely different story. The question is not, therefore, prorogation; the question is whether the PM is use prorogation to manipulate the general will of the House of Commons. This difference goes to the very heart of legitimacy and the question of whether or democracy is under threat.

mezba said...

Hi kirbycairo,

thanks for bringing up an excellent point.

It seems Harper will use prorogue to run away from the Parliament every time he is in trouble.

mezba said...

To the Anon who has commented with some allegations against Trudeau, if you stop being Anonymous, and link to some sources for your allegations, perhaps then I can publish your comment.

tjeerd said...

People want to see the Vancouver games, not the Ottawa games.

The Liberal "your time is up" party, don't get it, never will.

mezba said...

wow... with this attitude no wonder Parliament gets prorogued again and again.

Shane said...

Chretien never ran a minority govt. Chretien prorogued majorities before session end because bills were all passed and the work he set out to accomplish in the earlier Throne Speech was completed. This is a common occurrence with majority governments. Harper, in a minority, went on strike without completing his work, leaving countless bills suspended to die. There is absolutely NO reason to prorogue Parliament in a minority situation that still has ‘confidence’ in the House – other than to hide from facing questions on your policy decisions. Comparing the two situations is disingenuous at worst; completely ignorant of our Parliamentary system at best.

mezba said...

Shane, thanks for that piece of information.