Thursday, December 4, 2008

Prorogued


Parliament has been prorogued, seemingly bringing this coalition debate to a stand still until at least 26 January. The Harper government avoided a confidence vote this coming Monday when the Governor General gave Harper an early Christmas present by agreeing to temporarily shut parliament down until the new year.  Obviously happy with today's events, Harper commented, "Today's decision will give us an opportunity - I'm talking about all the parties - to focus on the economy and work together."

The coalition was quick to respond to this decision with Dion admitting that it would take a 'monumental change' for the coalition not to go ahead as planned when parliament reconvenes in seven weeks.  Always the orator, Layton declared, "I cannot have confidence in a prime minister who would throw the locks on he door of this place, knowing that he's about to lose a vote in the House of Commons. That's denying about as fundamental a right as one has in a democracy."

Without any bias, I would have to agree with Layton on this, if the coalition legally taking over the government is undemocratic, the parliament being shut down to avoid a non-confidence vote is down right anti-democratic. What is this, 16th century France? Are we really just shutting down parliament because of partisan squabbling? This vote should have happened, and we should be going through another elections process. Has anyone ever stopped to think that, maybe, if we didn't make elections into such circuses there really wouldn't be a problem with holding another election so quickly? 

I'm quickly coming to believe that if the Canadian government is ever to be viewed as legitimate again, we need to have another election. The coalition was never going to be a legitimate leader, and now with this move, Harper isn't either. I can just imagine how this is all going to play out in the international media. I bet American publications are already referring to the coalition as some communist threat, or questioning the stability or legitimacy of Canada on the international stage. With this latest event, I feel like this situation just went from a mess to a small political crisis.

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