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Should you be upset that Stephen Harper is proroguing Parliament?

As Aaron Wherry explains, the real question is this: Why must we wait for Parliament to resume?


 

Adrian Wyld/CP

Is there anything inherently wrong with proroguing Parliament? No, of course not. But that’s not really the question.

Is it wrong for the Prime Minister to desire, now two years into his government’s most recent mandate and with most of its legislation passed through Parliament, to begin a new session with a Throne Speech that will lay out an agenda for the next two years? No, of course not. But that’s not the relevant question here either.

The relevant question, instead, is this: When will the House of Commons be recalled? And, if the answer to that question is anything other than September 16, as scheduled, the next question is this: How does the Prime Minister justify putting off the return of Parliament?

That prorogation is now a rather fraught exercise is almost entirely the result of the actions of Mr. Harper (with an assist from Dalton McGuinty). Having used it to avoid a confidence vote in 2008 and having scuttled a committee investigation of the treatment of Afghan detainees when he asked the Governor General to prorogue Parliament in 2009, Mr. Harper made prorogation a focus of debate and suspicion. Personally, I applaud his efforts to raise public awareness for the workings of Parliament—and selflessly expending his own political capital to do so. From here on, every use of prorogation will be subjected to a new level of scrutiny and perhaps never again will a Prime Minister, or Premier, be able to think about proroguing the House without considering how they will explain the move to a public that has seen the measure exploited for purely partisan reasons. For that, we should thank the Prime Minister.

If, as he suggested, Mr. Harper prorogues Parliament before this fall, it will at least be less obviously problematic than the last two times he’s done so. He won’t be doing it to avoid a confidence vote and he won’t be killing a problematic investigation.

That leaves only the details to explain.

In his comments this week, the Prime Minister suggested the House would be recalled for October. October is a lovely month in the capital, for sure, but the House is currently scheduled to return September 16. According to the Globe’s sources, the House is likely to now be recalled for a Throne Speech after Thanksgiving. That would eliminate 20 sitting days from the current schedule. As I noted last month, that could mean—depending on precisely when Parliament returns and whether any days are added—a parliamentary year of 105 days, the shortest non-election year since 1968.

Is that a problem? I suppose your answer to that question depends on how you feel about the basic principles and practices of parliamentary democracy and how inclined you are to think poorly of the Prime Minister’s decisions.

Is there an alternative? Of course. The Prime Minister could plan instead to wander over to Rideau Hall on September 15, ask the Governor General to prorogue Parliament and, in the next breath, ask David Johnston to recall Parliament for the next day. In theory, I suppose, he could walk over to Rideau Hall on the morning of September 16 and have Parliament prorogued and recalled in the space of five seconds (give or take the time necessary for the Governor General to do whatever he has to do to make these things official). Or, if he insisted on not returning for September 16, he could propose that Parliament return a few days later, but sit the same number of days longer before the end of the year.

Is there an explanation for extending Parliament’s summer break and eliminating 20 sitting days? There should probably be at least an attempt to provide one. And that explanation should be held up to scrutiny. A full year ago, the Prime Minister suggested he would seek to establish a new session of Parliament at the midway point of his mandate, so this moment has not just suddenly arrived. Was it somehow impossible all along for the Prime Minister to avoid delaying the return of Parliament and eliminating 20 sitting days? I confess I don’t see how.

As it is, it’s not particularly clear why 20 sitting days would be eliminated. And, at the very least, we should probably not be casually casting such days aside. If Parliament is to mean something, whether or not it is actually sitting would seem to be of rather primary importance.


 

Should you be upset that Stephen Harper is proroguing Parliament?

  1. What difference does it make? They don’t answer questions in QP. They put their Agenda in a gigantic omnibus bill and ram that through. Even the Cabinet is window-dressing. Just declare martial law and give Wherry a well-earned vacation.

    • Yes Wherry needs a vacation. However, whether you like it or not the government is operating the same way any other majority government has in the past. However you just don’t like the party in power. Too bad.

      • Past majority governments have managed to pass bills and achieve goals. Yesterday, Harper simply restated the same goals he’s said since 2006. So what difference does it make for him to have a majority or not: he cannot seem to get anything done because he’s too busy defencing the corruption of his senators.

        • This comment was deleted.

          • Dude, take your email address off the comment; you wouldn’t want your inbox polluted with progressives’ comments, now would you?

          • He would probably get a bonus for all those progressive email addresses as people send to the troll.

        • Or not, he doesn’t seem to be even commenting on the corruption of his senators

        • Again I don’t think this is the point..he is NOT busy defending or condemning his senators, he is simply ignoring the fact. Proroguing until Oct..tentatively, is what he said, just is the hope that people will forget that he has said nothing since he defended his senators

      • I think the point is that proroguing is common mid term, the problem is that he is not recalling until into Oct. that is problematic in my mind. They do not need more time in their constituencies as they are not listening anyway

  2. Don’t worry about it AW. I’m sure the PM will come up with a way to make up the lost days…another good old fashioned 900 page omnibus bill, rammed through without all the fuss of committee oversight and all that superfluous voting malarkey, should just about do it nicely i think.

    • Yup you can see time allocation being justified later by the fact that they lost too much time at the beginning of the session. And it will be carried out while keeping a straight face by the minister for democracy.

  3. Tjee, I don’t think Canadians knew what prorogation was before the media gave it as much attention as now with the Harper government. I have been following politics for a long time, much longer than this PM, and I cannot recall that prorogation or the calling back of the MP’s was ever such a big news story as it has become now.

    Why is that?

    Other PM’s have used prorogation more often than Harper has, and yet, the news about prorogation is all about Harper and his decision to use his right. I don’t understand why suddenly the act of prorogation, or the timing to call back MP’s is so news worthy, when it was not so in the past, ever.

    Three weeks difference and the media must be in an uproar? Oh, please, give it a break.

    • Obviously it’s because he once used it to govern by decree when he did not have the confidence of Parliament. Tends to stick, somehow.

      • Other governments have used it in that way. Why the uproar when Harper does it?

        • No. Making stuff up does not make your argument stronger.

          • You get 39 thumbs up for telling lies! Waw! That tells me a lot of people try to gang up on me. That further tells me they are afraid of something. :)))

        • As Gayle says, no government ever prorogued before to avoid a confidence vote. Mackenzie King tried to dissolve Parliament to do that and the GG at the time refused the advice. But Harper made history by proroguing and continuing to govern without democratic authority.

          • Give it up. There have been two elections since with the voting public giving the Conservatives a larger mandate each time. After all it is the people who decide not a pile of lefties on this board.

          • When Chretien prorogued the House because of the Somali inquiry, was that a first in history?

            Did Chretien get attacked because he used proroguation, as his right, in a new way – his way?

            Please do tell. Don’t hold back.

          • Not true … Macdonald prorogued during the Pacific Scandal to buy some time and hopefully cool emotions. It didn’t work for him, as he was defeated when Parliament resumed. Harper could likewise have been defeated in Jan 2009 when Parliament resumed, but the Coalition had imploded in the intervening period.

        • Or as I said elsewhere on this site:

          This prorogation is not nearly as abusive as the previous two, but the fact we are even talking about it in light of scandals Harper may be avoiding is a sign that the public has not forgotten his abuse of power the last two times. You reap what you sow and all that…

          • Yes the public still remembers and gave the Conservatives a larger mandate each time there was an election. What is it you don’t understand?

          • “What is it you don’t understand?”

            How the electorate could be so stupid so often. That’s what I don’t understand.

          • Of course they must be stupid if they don’t vote the way you think they should vote. Yikes!

          • No – but they must be stupid to ignore the corruption and incompetence.(To be fair, it is a minority of the electorate – but unfortunately a key sliver)

            Tossing the Libs was overdue and I was glad to see a Harper minority.. initially. When in opposition the man talked like he had integrity. It didn’t take long for me to see it was all BS, though.

            I just wish more people would wake up and pay attention to what the CPC does / does not do, rather than letting themselves be hoodwinked by the ads.

          • Once again you can only vote for those that put themselves up for election. Harper certainly isn’t perfect but the choices are unacceptable given the state of the world.

          • Hey, did they cut your pay or something? Are you authorized to disclose that Harper isn’t perfect?

          • “the choices are unacceptable given the state of the world.”

            Ah yes, with those troubles lapping at our shores. Plus the opposition leaders have tax-and-spend plans so extreme that they will turn us into Greece. Right? Because Stephen Harper told us, right?

          • no it is called evidence based decision making

          • Note that no evidence has been provided.

          • Keith, what surprises me is that you people insist on calling those you have voted Conservative “stupid” but you expect them to vote YOUR WAY next time even though you have been nothing but demeaning toward them. Do you honestly think this is the way to entice people to vote with you? What happened to the old adage about getting more with honey than vinegar? Surely, you do not believe what some people say about the lack of intelligence of people from certain areas of the country. If you want people’s votes, you must at least realize that they are intelligent and start to understand the reasons why they vote the way they do.

          • I’ve seen the posts on here by many a CPC supporter that pretty much prove my point. There are exceptions (I’d rank you as one; your support for the CPC frankly baffles me) but yes I’d say that anyone who votes for such a corrupt bunch is stupid or delusional.

            (I’m sure I’l get a chorus of “Adscam!!!” for that statement from some on here but I truly did think the Libs had to go when that broke – and even before Adscam made news (I voted PC in the prior election, that last time there was still such a party to vote for). Unfortunately, Harper did not come close to living up to the principles he espoused while in opposition.)

            There are also a lot of stupid – or lazy, or apathetic – voters who don’t support the CPC – they are the ones who can’t be bothered to get off their asses and go to a polling station.That’s almost half of the eligible voters in this country.

            So, between stupidity and apathy, we’re stuck with Harper. And if people don’t like being labelled as such, then maybe they should stop complaining about what I call them and actually do something to prove me wrong.

          • You are very offended by Harper’s actions, others are not as offended. You think his leadership has been a disaster, others do not agree. You have difference of opinion and for that, you label as “stupid” or “delusional”. I am trying hard to understand how doing so will make them see things your way but for the life of me, I cannot.
            As for myself, I am undecided how I will vote.

          • The irony is, most of those who think it is OK for Harper to do these thngs hated the Liberals for similar behaviour. That kind of blind partisanship can’t be convinced of anything.
            I’m not running for office; I have no expectation that most Harper supporters will change, no matter what I say; so I have no need to pull my punches.

          • Most did not vote for Harper and a lot were misled and not able t o vote in time me being one of them.

          • Coldtoke…this whole illegitimate government claim where everyone says, “most did not vote for Harper”, could be said about almost every government we have ever had in Canada. Jean Chretien got almost exactly the same percentage of the popular vote so in fact, “most did not vote for Chretien” either. Very few Canadian Prime Ministers have ever gotten 50% of the popular vote. That is a moot point. The facts are that in Canada, a party only needs about 39% of the vote on voting day to get elected. The Liberals and the NDP have a tough time because they are splitting the vote on the left.
            My point is that neither party is going to attract Conservative voters by calling them “stupid”. You can suggest that someone was mistaken in voting for the Conservative Party but you don’t question their intelligence and then expect them to feel welcome in your party among people of such “high intelligence” as yourself and all the others who are already enlightened.

          • “Most” did not vote for any other specific party either; why does the left have so much trouble admitting that? 96.3% didn’t vote Green; 94% didn’t vote Bloc; 81.10% didn’t vote Liberal; 69.4% didn’t vote NDP; only 60.4% didn’t vote Cons. Gee.

          • Speaking of stupid voters and a Government that is corrupt and incompetent, what gives in Ontario?

          • Lack of a decent alternative – same reason Harper has lasted this long.

          • here we have it folks – I always wait for this very response – here is where you know when the left wing nut mind find loses all grasp of reality – invariably – they will blame it on the ‘ stupidity of the voter ‘ how could anyone give harper a majority it’s those stupid voters again – then they turn around and say we harper supporters don’t respect democracy – in other words folks Hypocrite ‘ is the mildest definition I can think of! – what about next election if harper gets another majority – wait for it as I am sure you will use it again and not even realize that the problem isn’t stupid voters in a democracy – it’s hyper partisan people that are so far in denial they honestly can’t see it – the collective wisdom of the average canadaian always comes through and to insult it only reflects on your true appreciation of demcracy!

          • I respect democracy; I just think more Canadians need to actually pay attention to it. The low voter turnout alone is proof that a huge chunk of the population just doesn’t give a damn.
            Maybe if more of those apathetic non-voters would get off their asses, we’d have a better government.
            So stupid; lazy – take your pick. We have plenty of both, across the spectrum.
            And BTW – non-CPC and “leftist” are not the same thing – I’ve ocasionally voted PC back when we had a decent party on the right. I’d argue the nuts are pretty equally distributed.
            But yes, comments like yours are fairly good support for my theory that CPC supporters are, by and large, stupid.

          • So if people are re-elected, it makes what they did right? Might makes right is a morally bankrupt argument.

          • The fact is the people are the final arbiters of what is right or wrong when it comes to who they elect. You can claim morality all you want but the fact is the voter is always right. I know that drives the left wingers crazy but that’s how it is.

          • So the fact that the majority did not support Harper in each election is evidence that what he did was wrong?

            No matter how you twist it, 37% is not a majority. It gives parties a majority of seats, but the democratic legitimacy of someone who earned just over a third of the popular vote is pretty tenuous, especially over matters of circumventing said democratic institutions. It was a problem with Chretien, and continued to be a problem with Harper. Our system produces strong functional mandates, but those mandates have questionable democratic legitimacy.

          • Harper at 60.4% is the smallest percentage of “did not vote for” of all the parties. If this were a horse race, which it isn’t, only then would the horse with the biggest cheering section win the race, even though it came in last.Thank God it isn’t a horse race; we think we have troubles now.

          • Indeed. One reaps what one sows: Harper got re-elected with a larger seat count after he prorogued the House when he felt the need to do so (as in when the coalition forces were ready to embrace the BQ to rule over this country).

            So, in short: The public increased its approval of the PM, and so his seat count went up.

            Proroguation was in fact not a real issue to begin with, otherwise Harper would have had a loss of support.

            Now we’re at it again: proroguation bad because Harper uses it? The history of public voting preference does not back up your particular theory of why this should be news – again. It has been tried and proven to be false!

          • Nice job cribbing from hollinm, but I’m afraid you both miss the point.

            You, because you’ve changed your argument from “everyone does it” to “who cares because he got away with it”.

            Hollinm because he thinks the fact people held their noses and voted for Harper means they supported his decision to prorogue, instead of that the LPC was disintegrating and most people did not want to see an NDP government.

            None of which has anything to do with the fact that people will always question Harper’s motive for prorogation.

          • I was not cribbing; just because hollinm gave you a similar answer does not mean my answer was not mine to begin with. People can hold similar thoughts, specially when it is true that Harper did in fact increase his support AFTER the uproar over proroguation.

            Asking for proroguation is the right of any PM. When a PM, any PM, decides to exercise that right is at his or her discretion.

            No PM is required to ask YOU or Wherry when he or she as PM can ask to be granted proroguation. Why would you think it must be up to you or anyone else BUT the PM if only the PM has the right and no one else.

            You are purely speculating why Harper won his election after the proroguation uproar. The fact remains that people did NOT take Harper down because of an uproar about proroguation, or they would have done so, given that the voters indeed had THAT chance and did not take it.

          • Yes, Harper has the authority to prorogue. This is obvious. You cannot abuse a power you do not have.

          • Actually, Canadian PM has the right to request proroguation, The GG has the right to grant it.

            A right is a right. If you are not PM you do not have the right to ask for proroguation and I don’t think Wherry is PM, is he?

            So let the PM exercise his right. If the public does not like how he exercises the right he has, then let it be known at election time. But at such time, his approval ratings went up, not down.

          • They did let him know. Most of the country voted against him.

            What does Wherry not being PM have to do with it? Wait! I know… Nothing…

          • Are you serious? Said it before; will re-iterate: 96.3% DIDN’T vote Green; 94% DIDN’T vote Bloc; 81.1% DIDN’T vote Liberal; 69.4% DIDN’T vote NDP; and only 60.4% didn’t vote Cons. Tell us again who had the least votes?

          • “… Harper did in fact increase his support AFTER the uproar over proroguation.”
            You seems to be assuming that prorogation was the cause of the increase. Do you have any evidence of this? After all, the vote occurred quite some time after. It is just as plausible that he got that increase because of other, unrelated factors. It may even be thatthe CPC earned an increased share despite prorogation.

          • Lots are afraid of Harper and his so called Government I thought it was the government of Canada. Fact is people will vote PC out of fear. Once he gets control of the internet ,if he doesn’t already everyone will vote PC instead of just not voting.

          • Yup, you win the prize for being the most paranoid Canadian! Quick, go hide under your bed (if you are not already hiding there with flashlight and extra batteries in hand). LOL What a joke.

          • There is no evidence people held their noses. They voted for Harper because in their view he was the best on offer. Yelling that 60% didn’t vote for him is an empty argument. We have a system and that system has been in place since confederation.

          • Sure we do, but the fact remains the majority of Canadians did not vote for him, so you really should not try to rely on the fact he won a majority as evidence that “Canadians” do not care about prorogation. Because they kinda do…

          • Most Canadians never heard of prorogation until the left wing media and the lefties starting screaming about it. First of all most Canadians did not agree with the coalition government being proposed. That is why there were rallies around the country supporting the Conservative government. Having the Bloc pulling the strings behind the scenes would not have been in the best interest of the country but it sure would have helped Quebec.
            The media and the lefties thought they had Harper over the Afghanistan thingy. Guess what despite much hot air being spewed daily about the government hiding the fact they were condoning torture nothing showed up. Guess who won that battle. The opposition looked foolish.

          • I think what you mean to say is that most Canadians had not heard of prorogation until Harper so obviously abused his powers and prorogued in order to avoid a vote of non-confidence.

            PS: There were a lot of rallies opposing the Harper government too. And, as it turns out, the majority of Canadians do not support the Harper government. So…

          • Actually, it’s not an empty argument at all when what you’re claiming is that being elected means Harper’s actions were acceptable. They were, apparantly, only acceptable to a minority of the voters, a minority that happened to form a plurality when those who objected to his leadership did not agree on which other candidate would be better.

          • Your argument is empty. The system is the system and it has been that way since confederation. There have been only a few times when a party gets 50% of the vote including your buddies in the Liberal party. With four or five parties running it is unlikely that any party now or in the future will get a majority of the votes. Until the system is changed and no political party who wants power will change it. It has nothing to do with being acceptable or not acceptable. The voters voted and the results are the results. You have no idea why voters vote the way they do. It may have nothing to do with whether they like Harper or not. I don’t think voters are one dimensional. Don’t try to mirror your hatred for Harper on the voting public.

          • And the system has been flawed since Confederation. But no politician will try to fix it because the ones in power would stand to suffer from any such changes.

          • On this we agree.

          • It very much has to do with what’s acceptable or not acceptable. After all, you’re the one claiming that the election results mean that the prorogation must have been acceptable to Canadians. But the election results simply do not support that assertion, as the majority of Canadians voted for someone other than the CPC.

          • I have no idea what Canadians thought but could care less. The fact is there was an election. The Conservatives won a larger mandate. Few parties win with 50% of the popular vote and so by extension more people vote for other parties in any given election. Chretien couldn’t even get 50% of the popular vote when there was no real opposition. Votes are no fungible. People vote for parties for a variety of reasons. End of story. Time to move on.

        • Name said government, Francien.

        • Because the REASONS are different. Harper uses it to gain power. The others used it for working purposes. But continue with your glass of Kool-Aid.

          • Oh, I see. When Chretien prorogued to shut down the Somali affair, it worked for him. Chretien at work. Excellent.

          • Somali affair took place in 1993.
            In the same year, the Liberals were elected with a majority government.
            In 1997, they were re-elected. With another majority government.

            Given that as they had a majority government, a non-confidence vote was never on the table, how, exactly, are you contending that Chretien prorogued to avoid such a vote as Harper did?

            Did you also have trouble with those old Sesame Street “Three of these things go kind of together” bits?

    • It’s Harper’s own damn fault. If he hadn’t abused prorogation twice to run and hide from confidence and scrutiny (in that order), he wouldn’t have people wondering what he’s up to when he asks for a more routine prorogation. It’s kinda like the inverse of the fable “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”.

      • Nobody other than lefties and the anti Harper crowd are questioning prorogation. The people seem to have accepted the need for prorogation and have given the Conservative government a larger mandate each time out. if they were so pi$$ed they would have thrown him out.
        By the way Harper was suppose to be hiding from the Afghanistan torture issues. How did that work out. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Just a lot of hot air by the left wing crowd and their supporters in the media.

        • Um, the “anti-Harper crowd” at its nadir still comprised over 60% of the electorate…

          • That may be true but the fact is people vote for different parties for different reasons. So you can quote the number but it irrelevant in our system.

          • No, it means Canadians are not neo-Cons.

          • Which completely counters your earlier argument that “[t]he people seem to have accepted the need for prorogation”. “The people” haven’t. Thanks for proving my point for me!

            Maybe a percentage of those new CPC voters did. Or maybe they chose to vote CPC despite Harper’s use of his get-out-of-jail-free card.

        • Yes, the “vast left wing” media did completely drop all of their reporting of the continued torture of Afghan detainees. I’m glad you remember.

        • I feel like there’s an aspect here that’s not being addressed. Among the common allegations to the Conservative party are over-funding for their election campaign, and robo calls. Both of these tactics were used to manipulate voters in key areas. Both are downright dishonest.

          It’s not because voters are stupid that the Conservatives have a majority government. It’s because Harper knows exactly what to say to the public to make it seem like he’s doing good. He knows how to manipulate even the leftist media. Note how we’re talking more about the prorogation itself than the reason for the prorogation. “He prorogued parliament, big deal.” I agree. There’s lots of things I care about more than the fact that the parliament has been prorogued, but here we are talking about prorogation.

          Tell me, hollinm. Why do you like Harper’s conservatives?

          • So Harper is just like all politicians. How surprising. You don’t think other PM’s manipulated the media etc. etc.
            There is no evidence that the Conservatives conducted robo calls. You want to believe it but there is no actual evidence. If there was you would think Elections Canada would be able to find out. There are lots of suspicions but no provable concrete evidence. In fact only the Libs have been fined for not following the rules when it comes to making telephone calls i.e. Valeriotte and Garneau.
            I have voted for other parties in the past. I will vote for a party that has the capability and capacity to govern the country. That at this point is the Conservative party. I will not vote for a rich kid who has no real life experience nor a socialist who has no experience with a caucus made of kids and thinks taxing everyone to death is the answer to all things.

          • So far it seems like their negative ad campaign is working wonders. You think very ill of the other candidates, which is your prerogative. The fact remains, however, that we have no evidence that Trudeau or Mulcair lack the capability to run the country.

            You still haven’t answered my question, though. What specifically about the Harper government has clinched your vote?

            What have they made happen that you appreciate? How has the government improved YOUR life?

          • You are right it is my prerogative to assess the other parties and their leaders. You really need to get in touch with reality. Where are the Dippers or the Libs going to get around 150 seats in the next election. Quebec can no longer elect a government in Canada. So the Dippers and the Libs will be fighting over all things Quebec. That leaves Harper with the rest of the country.
            Harper managed the country through the recession adequately so that we did not feel the pain other countries felt. He lowered my taxes. He did pension income splitting. He is not a yes man to the world powers etc. etc. So there are a few things for you to chew on. By the way the anti Harper crowd focuses on strategies, tactics and process. Many Canadians I suspect see right through that and ignore it.

    • Go back and actually read the article. Wherry answered all your questions right there for you.

    • The news isn’t all about Harper. That’s just factually incorrect. McGuinty here in Ontario got pilloried for his prorogation of the provincial legislature, too. He was trying to dodge scandal, just as Harper is. This is a problem with Liberals as well. It’s not a partisan issue. Making it one is precisely how politicians manage to get away with the crap they keep shovelling on our heads. They can count on loads of defenders no matter what. If, say, Justin got exposed as a former crack dealer, all kinds of people would be sticking up for him and whining about the media. He could count on it, no matter how damning the evidence.

      Thanks to bullheaded partisans on all sides, all the parties are becoming increasingly irrelevant to Canadians.

    • LOL I had missed that one somehow…thank you for posting it!

      • It’s a great story. It must be funny because it’s true. Or is it the other way around?

        But that story disappeared from the radar very quickly..

        But if you do a search for stealth snowmobiles like I have, it’s all there. LOL

        I’m guessing Bob and Doug Mackenzie have been advising Prime Minister Stephen Harper on matters relating to the Great White North, but it’s super-duper top-secret, so they can’t talk about it.

        http://drdawgsblawg.ca/2013/08/-time-to-give-credit.shtml

        • Ahhh gawd….now I need more coffee! A vision of people all floating mid-air ruined the last one…..

  4. If Harper robocalls the next election Parliament will be prorogued for 364 days a year.

    The 365th day will be used to put through an Omnibus bill, hear a 5 minute speech from GG wots-‘is-name….and then he’ll prorogue again. Wash, rinse, repeat.

    The media will no doubt do yet another unnecessary round of explaining what ‘prorogue’ means….as if all of us had been living in Albania this last century and a half and didn’t know….and that will be that..

  5. “Is there an explanation for extending Parliament’s summer break and eliminating 20 sitting days? There should probably be at least an attempt to provide one.”

    “Go f*ck yourself,” he explained…

  6. This comment was deleted.

    • Always nice to hear the view from PMO.

      • Typical….thinking that threatening people is a way to win elections. LOL

    • Poor poor Guest.

      How hard it must be to go through life believing everyone is picking on your party leader. I am not sure why so many conservatives like being angry, but whatever floats your boat…

      • This comment was deleted.

        • I’m expecting a minority government next time around. All that remains to be seen is which of the three main parties gets to govern.

          • Not going to happen. Canadians will know there are only three choices next time out. The socialist who would tax and spend the country to death and the kid with no experience at doing anything meaningful. Then there is the guy who has been doing the job. That’s the problem for the opposition parties. None of the opposition leaders can hold a candle to Harper’s experience.

          • The “Harper experience” of lies, deceit, corruption and increasing debt? After all these years they are still trying to get their act together; time to start with a new slate.

          • Yep lets put the tax and spend socialists into power or the kid with no experience into power. Get real.

          • Hmmm… when Harper came to power he had less experience than either of them. I would argue it shows… and that he has learned little in the interim about actual governance (though his propaganda machine has gotten more polished).

          • You can rehash that old argument if you want. We are talking about today not 2006. Harper has more experience that both Mulcair and Trudeau put together. Less experience than Trudeau. Give your head a shake. That’s the fact.

          • hollinm=Rick omen

          • Fact check, please explain how Trudeau has more relevant political experience than Stephen Harper did when he took power. Harper didn’t have very much either but I believe he had more than Trudeau does now.

            Hint: Inherited experience doesn’t count.

          • As opposed to the spend and spend Cons hey?
            Tell me when you go down to the bank do you expect money to appear so you can spend it?

            Someone always has to pay for the spending either at the time or in the future.

            Harper has spent with no mind as to who is going to pick up the tab; he just knows it won’t be during his government’s time. That is not responsible government, at least tax and spend “socialists” don’t hide from the real truth behind spending.

          • “Not going to happen. Canadians will know there are only three choices next time out.

            Speak for yourself, Mervin. You haven’t a clue what “Canadians will know” in 2015.

        • Mulcair doesn’t have to win 150. Harper has to lose 11.

          • Well, a bit more than that once the gerrymandering… er, electoral redistribution… is complete. But I otherwise agree ;-)

          • I said the Liberals had to win 150 seats to attain government. Pay attention. Mulcair will never form a national government in Canada. He is a one trick pony. It is all about the environment. Might as well put Dizzy Lizzy in charge of the country.

          • Now THERE’S the first sensible thing you’ve said! She seems to be about the only politician who actually knows her job description and tries to fulfill her mandate. I don’t agree with all her politics, but there isn’t a politician in the HoC I admire more.

        • @hollinm: Conservatives are quite happy. Look at the comments on this board.

          Yeah. All those happy Conservatives seem to be named hollinm.

        • Oh yeah? Well MY dad can beat YOUR dad.

          I assume we all get to do some chest thumping here???

  7. To answer your question Aaron, there’s no particular reason why we can’t have a prorogation on a Monday and have the House resume the same day. That being said, it’s not particularly offensive to wait a few weeks, nor is it particularly unique. Both Chretien and Mulroney had similar breaks before resuming Parliament. In fact, if the House does resume right after Thanksgiving it would essentially mirror did what Chretien did in 1999. All that being said, I do agree wholeheartedly that any blowback and questions the government gets on this is entirely of their (and McGuinty’s) own making because of their past abuse of the privilege.

  8. And the majority of Canadians are going to take to the streets over this,much like they did during the last one, led by that FB campaign. Hope they do, since the PM got a majority after that little adventure. LOL! rave on Aaron and Co.

    • Party above country forever and always, CPC supporters!

      • This comment was deleted.

        • Lies, and half-truths, “Rick Omen”? Thanks for the laugh!

        • You do realise that every time you and the other dimbulbs on the right use the term “socialist” in a sneering, derisive tone; it kind of elevates it in the eyes of folk who don’t lie and don’t just regurgitate talking points.

          I didn’t think anyone could have taken us from surplus to such a debt in such a small amount of time, but Harper proved me wrong.
          I thought it would be impossible for a “trained” economist to promise there would be no deficit at the beginning of a worldwide financial crisis, but the spineless doughboy again proved me wrong.

          I thought it would be impossible to lose track of $3.1B; but Harper proved me wrong.
          If that’s fantastic in your mind, you are one odd puppy.

  9. That prorogation is now a rather fraught exercise is almost entirely the result of the actions of Mr. Harper (with an assist from Dalton McGuinty)

    You “forgot” (and by that I mean conveniently avoided for obviously partisan reasons) Chretien proroguing Parliament 2 days before Sheila Fraser’s report on Adscam was to be tabled. But do go on pretending otherwise.

    I applaud his efforts to raise public awareness for the workings of Parliament—and selflessly expending his own political capital to do so. From here on, every use of prorogation will be subjected to a new level of scrutiny and perhaps never again will a Prime Minister, or Premier, be able to think about proroguing the House without considering how they will explain the move to a public that has seen the measure exploited for purely partisan reasons.

    “Every” use of proroguation?

    Oh come on. Drop the charade. You had that opportunity when McGuinty prorogued for obviously partisan reasons in the wake of the gas plant fiasco. Has McGuinty explained that one given what we now know about the gas plants? Of course not. No one is asking. You’ve already pretty much forgotten that one. This post is proof positive that you’ve forgotten Chretien doing the same thing.

    The scrutiny will end as soon as a Liberal returns to power. It always does. How’s that Mac Harb post coming along?

    • You do know you are comparing proroguing to delay a report, that was eventually tabled as soon as Parliament resumed, saving the liberals from, well, nothing, to proroguing to avoid a non-confidence vote.

      If Harper had not so obviously abused the power to prorogue no one would be questioning him this time around. As I said above, you reap what you sow.

      But you go and console yourself with the paranoid conspiracy theory that this is about the media picking on poor poor little Harper. It obviously allows you to pretend the criticism is not valid.

      • You do know you are comparing proroguing to delay a report, that was
        eventually tabled as soon as Parliament resumed, saving the liberals
        from, well, nothing, to proroguing to avoid a non-confidence vote.

        The non-confidence vote also happened as soon as Parliament returned (Throne Speech is voted on and is automatically a confidence vote). If the coalition had survived for more than 2 months, it could have taken over the moment Parliament was un-prorogued. The fact that it couldn’t even last that long tells you everything you need to know.

        • The line of reasoning which suggests the coalition could not have held power had it been given it is by no means obvious.

          In fact it’s bordering on idiotic.

          • All they had to do was stay together for 2 months and power was theirs. So genius, why didn’t they? Maybe this had something to do with it?

          • incorrect. Harper’s goal was to move the date farther back so the coalition would have to risk an election rather than being named the government by the GG (a plan harper had once mused about using).

            You can say bad things about that plan, you can’t say they would have automatically been the government AFTER the prorogue in the same way they would have been BEFORE.

        • Actually, all I need to know is Harper prorogued to avoid a vote on non-confidence, which was an unprecedented abuse of his authority.

          • Yeah, I can see your problem with that. Better to go with your party’s preferred approach of bribing opposition members with Cabinet seats in order to secure their votes.

          • Um… see Harper’s first Cabinet. Wasn’t that a floor-crossing Lib in one of the Cabinet posts? Pot, meet kettle…

          • Um…show me how that saved his government from defeat at a confidence vote 3 days later?

            Bye…

          • Harper swore at the time that he would never allow such a thing if he came to power, and said people should resign and run under their new banner rather than cross. And then, what is his first act as PM?

            And Harper prorogued in 2008… why?

            A pot and a kettle are different things, but they get blackened by the same soot…

          • like harper did with emerson (a more apt comparison than 99% of the “clear media bias” you’ve ever put forth?)

          • As opposed to trying to bribe them with a Life Insurance policy?

          • Which has what, exactly to do with the fact that people question Harper’s motives when he prorogues?

            Oh yeah. Nothing. Nothing at all.

      • Harper saved the country whether you like it or not. Can you imagine the gang of Dippers, Liberals and Bloquistes trying to run the country.

        • Can you imagine the CPC actually trying to run the country, rather than playing CMA and hide-and-go-seek?

        • Saved us from what?

          We had a surplus for years…we were paying down the debt as well…we had jobs.

        • I missed the red cape and the big “S” on his chest…

        • Like Harper said with the other guys what you see is what you get And so far I like what I see.

    • I’m with you on the Chretien prorogation, but you thought the McGuinty prorogation went under-reported? Maybe by Wherry, but his ‘beat’ is federal politics. I thought the McGuinty prorogation got plenty of media attention here in Ontario. It sure wasn’t swept under the rug. And, I can’t remember too many (any) pundits defending him.

      • And yet…not even a year later somehow Wherry finds that all the blame for using prorogation as an accountability-avoidance tool rests “almost entirely” with Stephen Harper. Like the others never even happened.

        That’s my issue. Of course a proroguation gets reported…initially. The problem is that it then gets memory holed as quickly as possible.

        • That is because it DOES rest almost entirely with Harper.

          • And not with other PM’s and the idiot McGuinty. What world do you live in? Picking and choosing is not cool.

        • Wherry specifically references McGuinty’s prorogue as one of the reasons for distrust of its use. Take off your partisan glasses for a minute and actually read the article as written.

    • THEY DID IT FIRST, MOMMY!

  10. I wish I could give myself and my friends an extra 20 day vacation on the taxpayers dime, and then spend that time traveling and charging more to the taxpayer… Who needs to work when you represent the people.

    • I’d like to see a deduction from all MP’s for every day Parliament doesn’t sit outside of the days off that most of the rest of the country gets. A few weeks in the summer, a week over Christmas, a few days @ Easter (+ days off for non-Christian religious holidays for ONLY those MP’s entitled to them) & the usual holiday weekends. Might make the party in power consider whether proroguing Parliament is really worth it.

  11. No. All the NDP do is bicker and whine for other peoples money.

    • Whereas the CPC just spends your grandkids’ paycheque.

      • Oh, and who’s paycheck would Trudeau be buying votes with? His own? HAHAHAHA, that millionaire trust fund baby would rather take $20k from a charity than spend his own money trying to make the country a better place.

        No, Trudeau would be spending your grandkids paychecks, and their kids paychecks. Money is no object to a substitute teacher with a million dollar trust fund.

  12. Of course the lefties want to see Parliament return on Sept 16th. That way they get their bull horn to yell and scream about what is happening in the Senate. However, their questions are misplaced. Ask the Senators in question about their bad maybe illegal behaviour. Yes Harper appointed them but nobody and I mean nobody on this earth would know that any of the Senators would do what they are accused of doing. So it is just a partisan witch hunt. Where there is an accusation of criminality the RCMP are involved. Perhaps the opposition might want to focus on the real issues facing the country. They don’t because they have no better ideas.

    • ‘Of course the lefties want to see Parliament return on Sept 16th. That way they get their bull horn to yell and scream about what is happening in the Senate.’

      So… Harper IS proroguing to avoid accountability? Geez, you’ve indicted Harper re: prorogation better than Wherry ever could.

      • Nice try. I did no such thing, If you think asking the same question in fourteen different ways is adding to the credibility of our democracy then you really don’t know what you are talking about.

        • I’m sure it was completely unintentional, but that’s precisely what you did. You suggested that by proroguing, the opposition party wouldn’t get a chance to, well, do its job. You’re suggesting, too, that the opposition parties won’t make the most of that opportunity, but that’s really another question entirely.

          Here, I’ll re-write it. “Of course the righties want to see the Ontario Legislature return… that way they get their bullhorn to yell and scream about what is happening with those gas plants.”

          See?

          • Of course it’s the same thing holding Harper to account for something happening in ANOTHER branch of Government, namely the Senate, to holding McGuinty/Wynne to account over their OWN actions.

            See?

          • So Harper should not be accountable for his appointees? Or for the fact they were campaigning and fundraising for his party and charging the taxpayer for their time?

            That is an interesting approach.

          • A couple of things….

            First, while you might not agree with what the opposition plans to do with its time in the house/legislature, that doesn’t mean it’s right for the government to take away that opportunity when it becomes inconvenient to them. I’m sure lots of Liberals thought the PCs/NDP were wasting their time talking about all that gas plant hoo-hah. It’s not a question of which is worse. I thought I made that clear.

            Second, Conservative senators are part of the Conservative caucus. They’re fair game.

    • Re the “real issues facing the country” – apparently the PM himself is in no hurry to address them or he wouldn’t be putting off recalling Parliament – you know, that body we elected to discuss those issues?

    • Another Harper worshiper spewing utter ignorance and hatred
      of the so called ‘lefties’. Sometimes I feel sorry for these paranoid and delusional members of our society, but then I remember, they only have the mental capacity to regurgitate what their masters tell them to say. Thank god for talking points! What would someone like Hollinm do without them?

      I understand that they believe that their soul and salvation somehow depends on how well they can defend the party with the name conservative… no matter what… but silly me for assuming that a Harper worshiper would actually want our elected officials to be at work in the HoC, earning the money we pay them. Those same Harper worshipers sure gave Michael Ignatieff a hard time for how many days he was in the HoC. Oh well, no one actually expects a conservative to be anything other than a hypocrite anyway.

      The problem with people like hollinm is they expect the opposition to focus on ‘real issues’ (without giving an example of one), but somehow expect them to do this while parliament is prorogued. Go figure.

      • Oh the good old boogey man….prorogation. I am no worshipper of any party. However, I know the choices and when it comes to the two opposition parties there is no choice. The socialist who will spend us to death and the kid with no experience at anything. Get real. You can call Conservatives names but until your guys can come up with a credible leader Harper will remain in power.

      • oh please – the same old inanity – since when is anyone earning money in Ottawa – the MP’s vote as the whip decides – unless they are in a committee or board or commisson or soem such they should stay at home and work with the people that actually voted for them – we would have a far better democracy if we removed the TV cameras from Question Period and halved the time they have to sit in the House unless it’s a minority gov’t in which case that is a whole other story.

    • Yeah, cos Nigel Wright and the other boys in the PMO who were doing the mechanics on covering up Harper’s really poor judgement of character were all Senators weren’t they. Nothing to do with Harper even though the PM in PMO means prime minister.
      Even though the PM reviewed dear Pammies expenses, even though the CPoC’s mouth in the house declared Duffy an honourable man.. nothing to do with Harper and he clearly could not have known anything.
      Seriously? You actually believe what you wrote do you?

  13. The answer is antirogation, and quickly.

  14. According to a December 2012 survey of more than 2,000 Canadians by Harris/Decima, 84% of Canadian voters want clear, written, enforceable rules to restrict the powers of the Prime Minister and premiers to open and close parliament whenever they want for as long as they want, as well as to restrict their powers to decide what is a vote of confidence in their government, call snap elections for any reason whenever they want, and to do omnibus bills that include many unrelated measures.

    This is not surprising given that most democratic governments in the world have written rules restricting these powers of their leaders, include Britain, Australia and New Zealand.

    The question is, will Canada’s political leaders respond to this national consensus and work together to write down fair rules that will make legislatures across the country operate more democratically?

  15. According to a December 2012 survey of more than 2,000 Canadians, 84% of Canadian voters want clear, written, enforceable rules to restrict the powers of the Prime Minister and premiers to open and close parliament whenever they want for as long as they want, as well as to restrict their powers to decide what is a vote of confidence in their government, call snap elections for any reason whenever they want, and to do omnibus bills that include many unrelated measures.

    This is not surprising given that most democratic governments in the world have written rules restricting these powers of their leaders, include Britain, Australia and New Zealand.

    The question is, will Canada’s political leaders respond to this national consensus and work together to write down fair rules that will make legislatures across the country operate more democratically?

    NOTE: See the survey results at:
    http://ycyc-vcvc.ca/84-of-canadians-want-powers-of-prime-minister-and-premiers-restricted-with-clear-enforceable-written-rules-only-9-disagree/

    • “this national consensus”
      2000 people surveyed constitutes a “national consensus” !?!

    • That is all very interesting and compelling, but most conservatives are not persuaded by facts.

    • Get off it Duff you and your crowd are a joke on Main Street. No wonder you can’t get appointed to anything. Not even dogcatcher – try as you might. You and Wherry make everyone weary. LOL!

  16. the answer as to the date is quite simple – the longer the he MP’s are back with their contituents working their ridings the mor supprt they ca shore up – in a way harper is doing both the NDP and the Lib’s a favour if they so chse to acknowledge such. You see folks when you have a majority you don’t need a lot of time to pass your legislation it is a given. harper is clearly in the catbird seat and right now if anyone is noticing every month that goes by Mulcair is firing more and more ammunition at Justin – of the course the media doesn’t focus too much on this because it loves th ratings it gets when it comes to mentions of coalition and such which spike numbers. In th meantime persoanlly I think the less time our MP’s spend in Ottawa the bettter as they have to sit down and work with those that actually voted for them and do their real job – sitting in the House with a majority and acting like trained seals voting as the whip decides is all show for the plebians.

  17. First, the question is ridiculous…common sense and tax paying Canadians should be livid and outraged over this abuse of power. I’m sure they are not going to stop paying themselves while they STOP DOING THEIR #%*^ING JOB! Second, the media needs to also do their job and rake him and his party over the coals of democracy, justice, transparency, and morality. Stop letting him and his party of parasites deny the people they are supposed to represent the work we are entitled to get out of them. They work for US not the other way around. They answer to US not the other way around. MEDIA….LET LOOSE THE HOUNDS, WE ARE WITH YOU!!

  18. Fascinating example of the reptilian brain in action. I can just hear that snake in Harry Potter hissing

  19. The premises this op-ed is based on are inaccurate.
    • “to avoid a confidence vote in 2008”
    Incorrect. The confidence vote was delayed, not avoided.
    “After prorogation, the Liberals underwent a change in leadership and distanced themselves from the coalition agreement, while the NDP and Bloc remained committed to bring down the government. The Conservative government’s budget, unveiled on January 27, 2009, largely met the demands of the Liberals who agreed to support it with an amendment to the budget motion.” [Wiki article “2008–09 Canadian parliamentary dispute”] The Official Opposition could have voted non-confidence but chose not to.

    • “committee investigation of the treatment of Afghan detainees”
    The opposition had ammple opportunities to bring down the government, but did not. Why? Because the timing did not favour their election prospects. When the 2011 election finally did take place, the electorate decided to give the Conservatives a majority despite the sham of finding the government in contempt. Case closed.

    • “From here on, every use of prorogation will be subjected to a new level of scrutiny and perhaps never again will a Prime Minister, or Premier.”
    Judging from the comments of Ontario commenters elsewhere, Premier McGuinty’s long prorogation did not generate much outrage in the media, neither provincial nor national. How come? If it had been Premier Hudak …

    So, yes, prorogation has become an outrage-inducing event only because of who has dared to use it. In other PMs’ hands, it’s been all hunky-dory

    • nope. the 2008 thing is explained above, and the 2nd pro-rogue bit was to avoid having to provide documents to investigate wrongdoing. They eventually set up a sham committee which stonewalled the documents for months. if they’d beend ealing honestly the entire thing could have been taken care of in a matter of hours.

      then, when asked to tell canadians the cost of the fighter jets, they extended the middle finger to Canadians, were brought down, and on more than one occasion uttered the lie they had been defeated on the budget instead.

      you are simply lying or mistaken.

      • And you of course have a monopoly on TRUTH and ACCURACY.

        • No, just one of the many “vacuous” people that frequent this blog, that Harper spoke of!

    • It is pretty obvious Harper prorogued to avoid the vote of non-confidence, to buy time to try to prevent what, at that time, was an inevitable vote of non-confidence. Otherwise why would he have prorogued just days after his Throne Speech? There is only one reason.

      The fact the liberals imploded, in their typical fashion, was something he banked on. Fair enough. But to try to suggest that Harper did not prorogue, on the eve of a vote of non-confidence, to avoid that vote, is what most of us would call “stretching”.

      • You can stretch all you want but the fact remains PM Harper knew he would be facing a non-confidence motion with the presentation of a new budget in January 2009, so the Dec. 2008 prorogation was designed to fend off the infamous takeover by the “3 amigos”. Strictly speaking, then, the prorogation was not meant “to avoid” a non-confidence motion, i.e. to prevent it from happening, but rather to “delay” it, i.e. to put it off to a later time. (dictionary.com)

        • Whatever. I am learning not to try to reason with unreasonable people, so we can leave it at this. Good luck trying to convince people…

          • To you, being “reasonable” means acceptance of your point of view.
            To me, being “reasonable” means being logical.
            “One who has reason on his side has no need to shout loudly.” — Author unknown (dictionary.com)

          • Heh. And yet everything for you comes back to the conspiracy theory of media bias. That is patently unreasonable. And therefore there is no point in trying to reason with you.

            But your skills with a dictionary are remarkable!

          • Dictionary? Just giving credit where credit is due instead of passing off other people’s words as my own.

            Media bias? How can you recognize it if you buy every anti-Harper screed you read?

            By the way, what happened to your promise to take a long break from blogging, until the next election rolled around? I seem to recall you saying something to that effect on one of the conservative blogs you used to frequent.

          • I knew you missed me.

        • PS. Just to help you out:

          He prorogued to avoid the vote of non confidence in December. Not to avoid any vote of non confidence. Just the one he knew he would lose.

          I am sure the reasonable people understand.

  20. Yes, let’s try our very very hardest to try to find something to be outraged about. Who cares if it’s been done by every government in recent history. It’s OUTRAGEOUS when a Conservative does it!

    • What kind of weak argument is this? So because other parties have abused this power for their own agenda we should feel justified in letting this continue? In other words, “carry on, move along, nothing to see here” attitude is why our government does not get better but worse. It’s OUTRAGEOUS when any party does this, isn’t that the point. This is not elementary school……he/she did it so it’s ok for me to do it. Time we grew up and held ALL politician and parties responsible.

      • No it is a normal Parliamentary procedure signaling the end of one Throne Speech legislative session and the start of another Throne Speech session.

      • It’s a classic “but they did it too argument.” We’re back in the nursery with the babies in the PMO telling the “adults” of the base what they should say.

    • Are you outraged because people are outraged? Because I’m outraged about you being outraged about people being outraged and I can’t see the end to this loop of outrageousness.

  21. Hey! Why was my brief reply to Duff Conacher’s comment removed?
    ————
    OK, my mistake perhaps — after it was ‘disappeared’ the comment reappeared.

  22. Proroguing the Parliament is usually a non-issue, as you mentioned in the article, however proroguing during a huge scandal is severely frowned upon.

    The Senate expense scandal is still hot, Duffy and Wallin are still in the spotlight with frequency, and there are still tons of unanswered questions. Especially those in regards to the payoff of Duffy.

    It looks and feels like a major dodge of responsibility by Harper. Just like it was the other two times.

    • Will the prorogation discontinue the RCMP inquiries into the Nigel Wright cheque and the other inquiries they decided to undertake? Ummm, no.

      Will the media stop talking about the Senate, the senators who allegedly filed inappropriate claims, and any other Conservative they think deserves to have a light shine upon him/her? I doubt it.

      So, if there are still some unanswered questions, those I trust will be dealt with by the RCMP inquiries … and the media will do its usual selective “sunlight is the best disinfectant” routine.

      • Except Harper’s doing his damnedest to make sure he doesn’t have to answer the questions. That is not what proroguing is for. Proroguing is for stopping Parliament when there is no business to attend to.

  23. Keep calm and prorogue. (T-shirt anyone?)

  24. COWARD !!

  25. I suggest that many commenters here are missing a basic point.

    Is the proposed prorogation illegal? No. Is it so far beyond the pale that one might expect the GG to refuse it? No. However, I believe it’s questionable for a couple of reasons.

    But here’s the point – the remedy for premature prorogation is to throw the rascals out at the next election. Are there strong signs that the electorate is just itching to do this? No.

    I’m no fan of Harper, his government, or the CPC. However, given even odds, I’d bet on another Harper majority at the next election.

  26. You must listen to Vice President Harper. He is telling the truth. He is working on your behalf. He is truth and justice and Patriotism. He is loyal, a true leader, and only follows one leader. Not the “many” that the others follow. He follows his mentor; Obama. So should you!

  27. the prorogued parliament has shineola to do with facing the Opposition and all the scandals. Harper is running scared of his own caucus. What with the religious right (anti-abortionists included) to Reformers, Harris Recyclables and “progressive” Conservatives all being forced to dance to the tune from the PMO.. the fabric is ripping on that big blue tent.. And Harper needs every one of their votes. Just how close is ole Stevie coming to a non confidence vote?? Stewart votes with Furey outvoting Tkahuk and sends Wallin’s expenses to Deloitte, Pete McKay discusses the possible scenario of leaving the Con caucus, Rathgeber quits over being muzzled, refusal of a number of MPs to use the PMO summer handout denigrating JT, the number of people who have left the PMO, Harper’s reshuffling cabinet where some good MPs are overlooked in favor of the likes of Michelle Rempel and Pierre Polievere, an anti-abortion group targeting a number of Con MPs with a horrific pamphlet, a Senate who is heavily Conservative voting against a union disclosure bill passed by his majority in Parly.. .. Yeah, I don’t think he’s afraid of the Opposition.
    I would give anything to listen to the floor talk at the fall Convention. Once that is out of the way, that’s when Harper will recall Parliament. He won’t go back into the HoC until he knows who is with him and who’s against him. Classic Harper.. Photo ops and strategy!!

  28. Seriously, I do not really have a problem with this prorogation. I agree it is not particularly well supported and am not happy with the fact it just gives our elected officials a longer break, but it is nothing compared to the first two.

    However, I am happy to see that Harper is still being tainted by the first two, because he deserves it. The electorate trusts him less and less with each passing day. That he seems to want to perpetuate his untrustworthiness surprises me. Perhaps he is banking on the continuation of the split on the left, and so all he needs to do is coast. He may be right about that.

  29. Steven Who? Does anyoe really care about this waddling doofus anymore? Anyone at all? Bueller? Bueller?

  30. Wow, this article has garnered huge response from the Short Pantsers Brigade. Hit a nerve, here, Aaron, I’d guess.

  31. Hmm … a work year of 105 days a bit over 4 months … not bad for a minimum of 160 grand… perhaps with such a short work year they ALL should get a pay reduction ,,, we all know that the offices of the politicians do most of the work … based upon a 5 day week .. it works out to a paltry 8 thousand a week .. my oh my how hard done by they are .. 21 weeks a year job does seem like part time ,,,, being an MP has to be the best part time job in Canada … yes i know they have to attend party fundraisers and have photo-ops and on rare occasions actually meet with a citizen .

  32. Can someone explain why the government of Canada canceled a popular federal incentive program that helped Canadian
    households retrofit their homes and save on energy costs, and then the Harper
    government says on its climate change website that it spent $240,000 to
    “transfer” the program to Japan. I know the cost is extremely small ( less than half the cost of a stealth snowmobile ) but why do we have to pay to ” transfer ” the program to Japan . http://o.canada.com/2013/08/21/harper-government-pays-to-transfer-cancelled-climate-program-to-japan/

  33. As expected Mr. Wonderful doesn’t want to face scrutiny so Harper runs away

  34. Sounds like a dictatorship to me and millions of other Canadians, – – – – – – let’s have an election, – – – – – if it is allowed under our dictator Harper.

  35. I would suggest that all parliamentary salaries also be prorogued and that the differences be paid by the party in power (and not by taxes).

  36. I’ve never understood why harper gets away with half the stuff he pulls the guy breaks the law on a regular basis disbands parliment whenever someone questions him and yet he not only stays out of jail but somehow is still in office

  37. the only good thing that comes out of a prorogue is that members of parliament do less damage when they are not “on the job”.

  38. HI …Just parogg govt again Stephen because you are caught in the middle. THE
    Governor Gen. should say NO then have you resign, and leave by the back door,
    or impeach you, no PENSION .
    You have not been in the house too often, is that without pay I hope. It seems
    the tax payers should be getting refund cheques.

  39. Doug Currie told CBC News that Duffy’s health card request was brought to
    his attention and that those requests don’t usually go to him. He said
    the health card would be a new one, not a renewal.

    “I don’t get involved as minister with any individual request,
    whether you’re a senator or whether you’re Joe Public. There’s a process
    and I let the system take care of it,” Currie said.
    Who called the Health Minister of PEI on Christmas day (2012)? Why didn’t they call Santa Claus?

  40. We knew ( or should have known )what we were getting many moons ago. Because the Canadian public refused to trust him with a majority until the last election, we only saw glimpses. His principles have never strayed. He is, to simply put it, the only person who knows best. That will never change. He is a LEGEND in his own mind!

  41. 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.
    Chretien decided to have a Throne Speech just to test the will of the PAUL MARTIN 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.”
    – 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

    Chretien prorogued Parliament in November, 2003 TO AVOID having to face the AG’s report on what happened with the LIBERAL PARTY AND ADSCAM, and thus FORCING Paul Martin to answer for what occurred under Chretien’s term as PM.

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