Did That Really Just Happen?

I, along with many other Canadians, learned a new word this week: Prorogue. It means to suspend a session of parliament, and that is what has happened. In the midst of the worst economic crisis since the Depression, our Members of Parliament are on a seven-week vacation. This would never have happened if our PM was not a power crazed bully.

Rather than working seriously to  address the economic crisis, as all other reasonable nations are doing, Harper chose instead to take advantage of the crisis to attempt to crush the opposition. The opposition had enough and formed a majority coalition (which did not include the Bloc Quebecois, but did include their support) to oust the government. It was all very democratic and in keeping with parliamentary procedure, despite Harper’s claims to the contrary. Harper reversed his decision on the ugliest of the bills he was trying to pass, but the coalition could not be appeased. Harper had lost the confidence of the House, a necessary condition for a minority government to continue to govern. So Harper did what he does best: Stir up the masses using fear – in this case by raising the spectre of Quebec separatism. Unfortunately, in doing so he also seems to have stirred the sovereigntists themselves from their slumber. He also managed to incite the tiresome Western separatists. So much for national unity.

In a last ditch attempt to save his own skin, he convinced the Governor General to suspend parliament until January. She had little choice. She is expected, as an unelected figurehead, to agree with the PM, even though it sets a dangerous precedent for generations to come. In the future, any leader of a minority government can simply ask for prorogation to avoid a confidence vote in the House that he knows he will lose. Perhaps in generations to come, Canadians will not elect someone who puts his own personal power agenda ahead of the good of the country. One can hope.

What will happen when the House resumes? Likely a non-confidence vote, followed by a new coalition government (and one that is not at all ready to govern) or another election. Oh, goody. In the meantime, we will be bombarded with TV, radio, and mail out ads from the Conservatives that will shred more opposition reputations, and stir up more fear and discontent.

Merry Christmas, Canada.

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~ by standupmimi on December 6, 2008.

9 Responses to “Did That Really Just Happen?”

  1. Now, now, Mimi… let’s at least TRY to sound non-partisan.

    I hate to sound like a Conservative supporter (which I have technically become since the last election), but the shenanigans that have gone on with this silly “coalition” only emphasize why I reluctantly voted for the bullies. Forming a coalition government is absolutely democratic, as is taking down a minority government.

    But with only a few days under the coalition’s belt, we’ve had Duceppe espousing the seperatist cause, Layton shamelessly preening himself in front of the cameras (and trading his party’s morals for the pleasure) and Dion running around with a scared look on his face and bumping into things because, apparently, life is out of focus in the Liberal camp. Now Dion has quit, Rae has dropped out, and Ignatieff has taken control of the Liberals, throwing the existence of the Coalition into doubt… all in a few days! Sounds to me like all of the ass-clowns (Harper included) need to take a breath. The economy will survive, and this chapter will be relegated to the dusty shelves of the parliamentary library to be forgotten like the rest of Canadian History.

    • The coalition wasn’t the smartest thing I’ve ever witnessed, it’s true. And with a lack of any viable alternative, some feel they have no choice but to support the bullies. But I won’t. (I’m not partisan because I don’t support any of the parties – I just really, really don’t like bullies).

  2. C’mon, Iggy! Give us a reason to like you!

    • Globe and Mail Update

      December 10, 2008 at 4:11 PM EST

      OTTAWA — Michael Ignatieff says he is ready to lead a new coalition government unless Stephen Harper’s Conservatives scrap their attack ads, drop their partisan edge and present a budget that addresses the needs of Canada’s struggling economy.

      “He can continue down this path of divisive politics or he can start working constructively with Parliament. The choice is his,” the newly anointed Liberal Leader warned on Wednesday.

      Yes. Scrap the attack ads NOW. I like him already.

  3. Globe and Mail Update

    December 10, 2008 at 4:11 PM EST

    New Democrats expressed optimism that the coalition would remain united in its resolve to bring down the minority Conservative government.

    “The coalition agreement is between the New Democratic Party of Canada and the Liberal Party of Canada, irrespective of who the Liberal leader is,” deputy NDP leader Thomas Mulcair said.

    “Do we want more Harper or do we want a coalition? Our answer is clear. One hundred and sixty one members of Parliament signed the coalition documents last week. Their answers were clear, including Mr. Ignatieff’s. We were sincere when they signed that, we assume everyone was.”

    …um, whatever buddy. Dream on.

  4. Uh-oh… of Ignatieff

    He is lacking in a common touch, as most patricians are, and in a party that needs mending, this will be a problem. Some Liberal MPs find him coldly arrogant. They cite his performance at a caucus meeting last Friday where he warned, perhaps wisely, against being gung-ho on a coalition. “Michael got up and did a rant and it was a disaster,” said one participant. “His finger was jabbing at us. He was saying, ‘Don’t you assume that if we bring down the government that the Governor-General will let us govern.’ Well, we weren’t assuming that anyway.

    “So then he keeps going on and his damn finger keeps jabbing at us and he’s well over his time limit. People are shouting, ‘Time! Time! Order! Order! Sit down!’ But he just kept going. And when he finally left the microphone, no one stood up for him. Not even his supporters clapped.”

    • I don’t suppose the “participant” was identified. If this sort of rumour is true, they have a lot of work to do. After all, if a psychopath can manage to gag and control his party with little dissention, surely Iggy can figure out how to get his party to at least cooperate.

      • Oh, and did you see the paragraph above the one you quoted? From Lawrence Martin in the Globe and Mail Dec 10:

        “He is inexperienced in politics, but compared to his predecessor, Liberals feel he offers a mountain of promise. As he demonstrated at his press conference yesterday, Mr. Ignatieff has a commanding presence, not a willowy one. He is trenchantly articulate in both languages, not neither. He has a powerful organization spearheaded by Ian Davey, as opposed to the disorder seen under Mr. Dion. Politics is about messaging and this is where, compared to both Paul Martin and Mr. Dion, Mr. Ignatieff could make the big difference. He is a lifelong communicator, a writer of both fiction and non-fiction books, a seasoned television commentator, a wordsmith who – I know this sounds strange in Canadian politics – is capable of making an eloquent speech.”

        A good communicator who is even literary. Now that’s a pleasant change.

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