Let's consider the prorogue from Stephen Harper's side - Macleans.ca

Let’s consider the prorogue from Stephen Harper’s side

You expect the PM to act human, watch the luge and also go to question period? Get real.


Charisma recalibrations take time

Canadians have been hard on the PM since he made the decision to “prorogue,” and not just because doing so forced some of us to learn a new word. We don’t like that he’s treating parliamentarians with contempt and disdain. After all, that’s our job.

But let’s try to see things from Stephen Harper’s perspective. Yes, he abruptly shut down the institutions of our democracy over the holidays for a second straight year. (Once more and it will become a Christmas tradition on par with watching It’s a Wonderful Life and trimming Mike Duffy.) And yes, he didn’t even bother to cross the street to visit the Governor General—he just picked up the phone and ordered the No. 2 from Rideau Hall: prorogation with a side of crazy bread.

But you have to remember the holidays are a tough time for the Prime Minister. He gets very emotional and cries when he watches How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I mean, seeing the Grinch wuss out like that in the end . . . it gets to a guy. So let’s give the PM the benefit of the doubt and explore his reasons for shutting down Parliament. Surely his decision will then make sense.

Claim: the government needs to “recalibrate” its agenda.

This makes perfect sense. It’s New Year’s. We all feel the urge to “recalibrate” our lives. And we all use the powers entrusted in us by centuries of parliamentary convention to take two full months off to do it. (I, for one, am currently vacationing in St. Barts. This column was “written” by an iPhone app.)

And remember: it takes a formidable amount of time and manpower to embark on an elaborate process to gauge the viewpoints of parliamentarians, stakeholders and experts and synthesize this into an executive analysis that can be ignored when March comes and Harper goes and does what he was going to do all along.

But government recalibration is about more than fostering the illusion of consultation. The Prime Minister needs time for:

Personal recalibration: Harper’s charisma simulator has been offline since 1983. Plus, the charm of his little singsong at the National Arts Centre is starting to wear off. Happily, it’s nothing a travelling one-man musical can’t solve: Stephen Harper is Stephen Harper in So Lifelike I’m Almost Human! (You try and tell MC Hammer you’re not available for breakdance practice because Parliament is in session.)

Ministerial recalibration: Harper took so many trips overseas last fall that several of his ministers need to be emasculated all over again. That takes time. And yelling. And, for reasons better left unexplained, puppets.

Global recalibration: the PM needs time to capitalize on the momentum he’s generated overseas. A lot of naysayers said it would be impossible to take staid, amiable Canada and make it a villain in the eyes of the civilized world. But one trip to Copenhagen and—boom!—we’re a global menace. That’s not the kind of momentum a leader wants to squander. After all, being hated by the entire world has worked out pretty well for the United States and Valentine’s Day.

Claim: the Prime Minister needs time to name at least five more senators.

This is just common sense. If you don’t take the time to get these appointments right, you’re liable to wind up with too few backroom cronies and too many partisan hacks.

Claim: the government needs to design the next phase of its economic agenda.

Tweaking the government’s fiscal plan is a complex undertaking. There are a number of critical steps that must be followed.

First, Harper needs to completely misread the economic signs. This isn’t as easy as it sounds. In the fall of 2008, pretty much everyone knew the economy was in bad, bad shape. Only Stephen Harper failed to notice. It takes time and focus to be that wrong.

Second, the government needs to devise a complex, multi-point response to changing economic conditions. For instance, in 2009 Harper and his team spent months developing the following action plan:

1. Spend. Spend everything.

2. Is there anything left? Spend it!

3. The couch! Check the cushions in the couch!

Now the Prime Minister needs to come up with an equally complex system to ensure that his government stops spending everything. Top economists predict such a strategy could, after months of round-the-clock work, look something like this:

1. Maybe stop spending everything?

And you expect Stephen Harper to work on this, go to question period and watch the luge. Get serious.

Claim: the Prime Minister needs time to train so he’s in peak physical condition by Feb. 12, when he will attend the opening ceremonies of the Vancouver Games, prorogue the torch relay and light the Olympic cauldron himself.

Okay, less a “claim” than a “prediction.”


Let’s consider the prorogue from Stephen Harper’s side

  1. Arizona, Dallas and SanDiego… is this really the insightful analysis of the PM that it seems or simply a clever ruse to detract the public's attention from the real story?

    • Well he doesn't watch football it seems, and definitely not Raptors basketball :P…………must be an informercial junkie, or he really is in St.Barts with an iPhone.

    • I'd put a handful of change on the former.

  2. You know, it might have actually been an intersting excersise to REALLY defend prorogue from Harper's point of view, but you copped out. Lesson learned; better to demonize than understand!

    • With due respect, it would be more than an excercise. In fact, even Harper is struggling to defend his actions with rather half-baked theories of re-calibration, and how parliament is obstructing the ways of government.

      Good on you, if you can buy that.

      Lesson learned: better to prorogue than confront hard truths that might spoil yr chance for a majority.

      • It might be true Mr. Harper had wished he had recalibrated before proroguing parliament: One of those hind-sight things…
        From the reaction of the public it would seem it has pushed a majority out of reach. Pity Haiti wrecked it all. It appears the government has not been asleep at the switch at all…. The opposition however… wait a second where IS Jack Layton? Haiti? There might be a job for him down there…

    • I agree Lola….just more bashing instead of looking at things from all perspectives.

    • You're right, it would have been an interesting exercise to REALLY REALLY defend Harper's actions from his point of view. But that's why Mike Duffy is in the Senate and why so many people work in the PMO. Why does he need journalists, when he's got so many paid apologists to try to explain the unexplainable.

    • Totally agree see my post later in this thread.

    • Lola, there is no valid justification for clamping down on our democracy in such a dictatorial fashion. That's the point. 99% of the media coverage of Prorogation has been very negative, even from usually right wing media sources. There's no way to spin this (hence the ever changing explanations from the PM).

      • Right wing media sources ? The hell you say .

    • I thought that was Harper's job?

    • Do take the lead.

    • Have you ever read Scott Feschuk's column before!?! This is what he does (and might I add well, because it always makes me laugh). Expecting a serious column from Scott is like expecting a serious take on the world issues from the Daily Show. Both are designed to enterain with the author/hosts perspective of current events. Do you also walk out of action movies wondering why there was no indepth storyline?

  3. Okay, so I expected this to be news, not more commentary. Even after the first paragraph, I still thought this would go somewhere. Alas, it did not. Seems even Maclean's has just become another tabloid magazine. Sad, sad day.

    • It's worse than that. We're smaller than a tabloid.

      • And a lot harder ro read when folded.

    • I agree about Macleans…they`re not what they used to be…have lost credibility.

      • Once you get past Steyn, the mag isn't that bad.

    • it is your loss if you cannot read between the lines and see the truth…

    • There are countless articles about this story (98% + negative about Prorogation, even by Andrew Coyne). This is a breath of fresh air on an otherwise tragic story. Thanks for the laughs Scott!

    • I expected this to be a flyer for IGA. Even after the first paragraph, I still thought there would be a sale on potatoes. Alas, there is not. Seems even Maclean's won't sell me tubers. Sad, sad day.

    • oh get over it. this is a humor column! why would you expect real news? its like watching die hard and being disappointed because you didn't walk away with some deeper truth.

  4. You forgot – something trite about the Senate! or was it the only one that you actually agree with however as they say in journalism 101 .. if it bleeds it leads

  5. Many parts of this had me giggling, the "puppets" line made me laugh out loud. I have to say Harper set himself up for this kind of ridicule when he not only showed contempt for our democracy, but also showed so little respect for the Canadian people he didn't even bother coming up with a believable excuse for his abuse of prorogation. "Recalibration" has become a running joke across the nation.

    • "I have to say Harper set himself up for this kind of ridicule when he not only showed contempt for our democracy…" you really think there was a democracy in place? he is just being very blunt with his political chess match…

  6. why is it that Harper can turn the House into a satirical display that provides us no new information (and that's *also* not going anywhere btw), but when Macleans does it – it`s wrong? People, I Don't pay taxes to Macleans.

  7. This was not a very good piece of journalism. I actually selected this piece thinking it would give me some insight. Juvenile attempts at humour and not even a good laugh to show for reading it. One more reason to skip over Maclean's. I keep tryin', it's jess no use.

    • I agree – anyone could write this drivel

      • Which is why you are being paid to do it by some better publication I assume? Lets see your stuff and let us decide if its better.

  8. What's all this talk about perogies?

    • Perogies! Finally an issue we can all dig into…

      with sour cream and a side of recalibrated onions!

  9. Ok so you are an also ran, enjoy your time in St. Barts, maybe you might be inclined to stay there. While we in Canada are working hard trying to navigate the country through perilous times.

    So you take 2 months off for the Caribean? Wouldn't have Haiti on your holiday list perchance? I note that despite the innuendo about MPs taking holidays for 2 months, some of Canada's best response to crisis has occurred in like, let me see, Forever! Maybe you are out of touch over there in those blue blue waters and sandy beaches, what is it that you are really looking at? Ah yes, well perhaps it hurts your eyes and your pounding head from all the rum you have been drinking. Perhaps the sunlight is too bright. Hundreds of thousands of people and bloated bodies are under the same sun, with nothing, not even water to drink.

    That must be hard to appreciate, is it an "All-Inclusive" "Drink as much as you can" sort of holiday you are on?

    You sure you aren't Jack Layton? Hvent seen hide nor hair of him for the past week.

    • This article is about our prorogued parliament, NOT about the tragedy in Haiti. Its sad to see Harpers supporters using the devastation in Haiti to argue in his favor. Yes, he did respond quickly – im fairly sure even someone as incompetent as Mr. Harper realized with the majority of the country extremely pissed at him he better damn well do something right.
      This article doesn't show Harper any respect because he is showing no respect to democracy.

      • I am not allowed the space to go down the list. So my comment was based on the statements that alluded to the "holiday" the Primeminister put into effect in the proroguing of parliament. It is simply false that the government is AWOL. This was clearly demonstrated by the Canadian response, which was far and away above any situation that Canada has arisen to in my generation.

        I am resisting the temptation to contninue down the list: Like the hypocrisy of the idea this was undemocratic. I agree with this author's thrust found in this statement: "We don't like that he's treating parliamentarians with contempt and disdain. After all, that's our job." Deep down Canadians are fed up with the circus in the House:
        How MPs will vote one way to pass legislation on camera, but take the knives out in committee off camera. That is the real travesty and assault on democracy.

        I see an elected senate coming out of this. Now that would be Canada's democracy's greatest hour.

        • So the government has responded excellently re the Haiti stituation, but you're saying they COULD NOT respond if Parliament was in session? So you're saying they can't do two things at once. That's weak.

          • Of course I would say no such thing. Where did you get that from? What I am saying that allegations the government is taking 2 months holiday are absolutly off base. Clearly, when we needed them to step up they did, and Canadians are proud of our nation's response.

            And despite your prognostications of Conservative stereo types, all I did was take off on the authors admission he was in St. Barts, and did his article on his iphone… Since he seemed so totally off base; so completely "Yesterday"; so completely out of touch with how the world changed this past week, my ascerbic reparte was in keeping with the tenor the author established himself.

    • I don't get it. Are you serious? Did you not get that he's not really in St. Barts?
      It's called a joke. Also called a joke: Stephen Harper.

      • Do you have information a normal reader doesn't have? I reread it after this article, I see no indicator this is a joke.
        They style of the article is a stilted attempt at mockery, but apart from that it seems to me this author fully intended for the reader to take that information at face value. Of course the irony was too much for me to resist.

        But then, since I wrote my piece, I have read below, and read Albert's thoughts, or were they really his thoughts, it seems rather cut and paste to me…

        Is that you Jack Layton?

        • Oh for god's sake, you're not familiar with Feschuk's work at all are you? And here I thought it was a stereotype that Conservatives were dour/humourless/in need of an ice cream float.

        • Your lack of familiarity with Feschuk's style of writing or satire and humour in general is stunningly hilarious.

          It never fails to astonish me how tone def people can be to satire. But well done again to Feschuk for exposing the likes of Alethia.

  10. I think this is an absolutely stupid article. Nothing ever goes away so how could any normally bright person think that was the motive? It is absurd to be propagating this kind of Liberal/NDP/Bloc drivel. If anything, the topic will be more heated when Parliament resumes. The ONLY thing that makes sense is that Mr. Harper is wanting to start with a Conservative majority senate. The reason? So that the senate can be reformed. Every person he has appointed has agreed prior to not be a “senate lifer”. The only reason he was forced to do this was because the Liberal senators do not want to lose their jobs. They were balking it and continue to do so. Oh yes, all the Liberal/NDP/Bloc claim that by appointing senators it proves Harper wants to control and doesn’t want to follow an elected senate. So how come it is still not a reality? The only way he can do it is to prorogue, wait till the senate is no longer Liberal dominated and push it through.

    Any media person who is pushing the abuse of Afghani prisoners as the reason is a Liberal/NDP/Bloc hack. No other explanation.

    And while I am on the Afghani thing. Why do ANY of us care what happens to people who are caught trying to kill Canadian soldiers??? Shame on all of you! Our soldiers deserve better than the thin skinned whiners who pass their drivel for journalism. But I know few have the honesty to even consider this as legitimate. Partisan journalism at its best.

    • HAH. I love any political supporter who truely believes their extreme right OR left views are the word of god but anyone who sees things from the other side is a 'hack'. The reason the government doesnt have a majority is because the Liberal/NDP/Bloc (who mostly all oppose this action) represent the MAJORITY of Canadians.

      And on to Afghani prisoners… we are in their country attacking them. How can you justify torturing someone we capture while attacking them in their homeland, especially with our reasons for being there. Do you think torturing someone in a country we are trying to bring democracy to is going to promote understanding of our intentions?? I would very much like to see how you would react if an outside military force came into Canada to push their political agenda.

      • Well I guess you are one of the many who want women to be subservient and uneducated. You also want terrorists to continue to be trained so that some day you might suffer from one of their suicide bombers. You did not even challenge the most important part of my argument. I don't believe this is going to be put away so what is the point of proroguing if that is your only goal?

        Sorry the argument is very short sited.

    • Ken,

      Excuse me but aren't we supposed to be in Afghanistan to support human rights and democratic reform? Since you neocons obviously don't believe in democracy, freedom of the press, human rights, etc., maybe you should consider moving there? Or, any other fascist country for that matter. Why settle for democracy if it's so flawed?

      • What freedom of the press?????? When all the press represent the liberal left there is no freedom of the press. I would enjoy a well thought out argument on this subject but I have not seen one yet. It is way too obviously bias.

    • Ken, you need to get a life. Open your eyes and think for yourself instead of repeating those nausiating "talking points". Not everyone who disagrees with you is a Liberal/NDP/Bloc hack, or as rabidly partisan as you.
      Oh, and this article IS funny.

      • Well you are right I spoke out of some anger and I apologize to all but the other side is name calling too including you. So answer my main argument? So far no one has. THAT is my main point.

    • Just to respond to your last point… Who says that all the detainees are "people who are caught trying to kill Canadian soldiers"? MOST of them are farmers and other ordinary Afghanis who were swept up in security raids. THAT seems to be the big issue – how we could allow people who may very well have been innocent of action against us to be abused or tortured, while claiming we were 'winning' the battle for their hearts and minds. For this I do NOT fault the Canadian soldiers, but the political masters who told them to do as they were told and look the other way.

  11. Love the article, quite entertaining.. As much as i dislike Harper i must say, you should cut down on the reefer while on vacation and attempting to write about politics.. I’d write more but Thinking of perogies made me a tad hungry..

  12. Typical view of the liberal loving mcLeans magazine. I knew how liberal loving they were when they had PM Harper iluminated in green (nuclear isotope issues). I cancelled my subscription based on that picture and reinforces that I was right about the socialist magazine of crap.

    • Then why are you here? It was a great article.

      I can't imagine only reading publications I completely agreed with. What would be the point. Ideology before reason and logic, I suppose. Oh well, there's always the National Post (snicker).

  13. Good article, brings credibility to the the lame, not justified excuses for prorogation

  14. Oh please Alethia get a grip. This journalist didn't cause the earthquake. Is this great journalism? No. Not even a real chuckle. Is Harper ducking political bullets and fliping a finger at Canadians? Of course he is. He knows the opposition is disorganized and he thinks he has nothing to worry about. For what its worth, I think he is wrong. It takes a lot for poor old average Canadian to get really angary, but its getting there.

    • FYI , I do think Mr. Harper miscalculated the reaction to this. I think he took Canadian cynicism about the antics on the hill at face value, and thought we wouldn't object to his stepping out of that farce. That was clearly a mistake. Clearly, the spin on the curve was low and outside. The point I am trying to make, it was a swing and miss. However, if a baseball athlete connected with the ball as much, he would be a superstar.

      • Bwahahahahah! Funniest Conbot reply EVER…….baseball athlete.

        • At least its not cut and paste like 1/2 the comments on this page.

          • Maybe you should leave the sports analogies to others. Stick to the boat/ship ones, they seem to be foolproof for most Con bots .

  15. After the 23rd and all the haters of Harper march in the streets,face book fizzles and most Canadians have seen the Conservative governments reaction to the Haiti crisis compared to Martin and the tidal wave they will be glad that they have a leader to be proud.Yes the left will holler.Trudeau hollering for a favorable immigration and a rush to bring people into this country with out sponsors and to live on welfare shows the inexperience of this socialist.Do we use such a stupid policy every time their is a world disaster.Let the EU and the countries of the eastern block and middle east show some compassion instead of the USA and their allies.

    • I also hate the theocratic Liberal atheists!

  16. Personally, I am outraged that the Prime Minister is even able to shut down our democracy simply to avoid the Afghan detainee torture issue. The rest of us ordinary Canadians aren't allowed to take a taxpayer paid vacation whenever we do something wrong – why should Conservative MP's be allowed to? It just seems dead wrong.

    Anyway, I thought this article was really hilarious and it gave me quite a few good chuckles on a subject I otherwise find very disturbing. Bravo – I will be passing this article around. Great job and thanks!

  17. go fuck your selfs you would not know the truth if it bit you in the ass

  18. Perhaps we should look carefully at Haiti's history of dictatorships and
    military coups before we accept that Mr. Harper's actions in proroguing Parliament are a pretty
    petty concern.

    Haiti has a history of people governing the country in their own self interest, much like Mr. Harper is trying to do in Canada (and could very well do if he ever gets a majority in Parliament).

  19. I voted for my Conservative MP to work and represent us taxpayers. I did NOT vote for them to take 2-3 months off work and go to watch all the Olympic games (with free tickets I'm sure) and do it ALL ON TAXPAYER MONEY!!!! What kind of craziness is going on here? Thanks for the laughs with this story, but SERIOUSLY. These guys should be dragged back to Ottawa and EARN their overpaid salaries. If they don't want to work they should be FIRED. Period!

    • Actually, the tickets to the Olympics are NOT free… The Government of Canada paid good money to get them, they are premium seats (and could fetch a hefty price on the resale market I'm sure!

      I believe that MP's get them at a nominal cost (something like $10.00 per ticket) and can then either use them or dispose of them as they see fit. They also get free air fare to take in the Games, and Government ministers likely also get paid expenses while attending the Games (Can't expect them to eat at McDonalds, or pay for their own accommodations and meals, can we?)

      All in all, it is a pretty good deal for them. Hope they get some pretty pictures to share with us taxpayers…

  20. canadians are really a bunch of whinners. CANADA MADE IT THRU THE RECESSION WITH A FEW BRUIES ONLY. We could be in the middle of a green shift.

    As for foreign policy- its a much bigger world now and illusions of 31 million folks leading 7 billion is well….

    • I this the new Conservative talking point? Leadership is futile? Give me a break! What next?

      An you think a $60 billion dollar deficit (the largest in our history) is only a bruise?

  21. Great humour, Scott. I laughed out loud. It was nice to discover that I CAN laugh about this sad subject.

  22. The decision to prorogue Parliament may be a cover up designed to avoid scrutiny over the Afghan issue. One would think that the decision was of the utmost importance as doing so killed 32 of the 63 bills the conservatives introduced in the last session. Too bad there are so many people in Canada who don't see what a farce the Canadian Government have become. Thanks Captain Harper. Give your overpaid members another ridiculous holiday.

    • agreed… sigh

  23. Wow! A light-hearted piece to bring a smile to the face and just look at the comments. Fully half of them are from some kind of programmed automaton spewing Conservative talking points. There's even some defending torturing innocent Afghans because a few of their countrymen had their belief system warped by the lack of education they were forced to endure after the neo-cons abandoned them once the Russians had been kicked out. Cause and effect and the ability to analyze and adapt to individual problems was long lost to the conservative brain, hope they at least enjoy the dictatorship they get. In Case You Missed It

    • agreed.. and ty for the link :D

      • Thanks and no problem!

    • Well, I for one, am not one of those. Guess I could just throw out accusations of you being some kind of Liberal/NDP automation too. Doesn't show alot of class or brains.

  24. This was the funniest thing I've read all day.

  25. What's just as amusing as the article is the bitter disappointment, and consequent pouting vitriol, of the Harper fans who clicked on the headline eagerly seeking an article that supplies some non-existent justification for the parliamentary shutdown. Feschuk and friends must be rolling on the floor.

    • Well sounds like another bitter liberal government wannabe. You are right the media driven left has so much of their own vomit pouring out I was looking forward to something on the other side. Yeah I was disappointed.

  26. They are taking 4-5 weeks extra off, parliament was not scheduled to restart until Jan 25th. As for the CPC being bad Trudeau did this 11 times, Chretian did it a number of times also, once to avoid AG report on adscam. Libs are upset because they are losing their senate majority and can no longer rely on the upper chamber to stop/delay government legislation.

    • The Liberals took their lumps and so will the Conservatives over this. If there's one thing Canadians can't stand it's arrogance.

    • In almost ALL cases Parliament is prorogued because the Government has finished its business. In this case case the Conservatives are trying to hide from Parliamentary committees. This is extremely rare.

      After Chretien the Liberals took their lumps. Now the Conservatives will. Canadians are not stupid.

    • What is upper chamber capable of delaying when the Commons never gets to the point where bills are passed on up anyhow?

      • Exactly. Of all the legislation that the government just killed with prorogation, a grand total of THREE bills were actually before the Senate; SEVENTEEN were still in Harper's pocket waiting to be introduced.

    • Check your facts before you spout, son… Rick Anderson acknowledged that in the past 25 years, Parliament was prorogued a total of 11 times over 8 Parliaments. The shortest session of Parliament in that period? Harper, 2008 – 2 weeks. The longest? Mulroney – 28 months 1988-1991. Mulroney did it the most times, including when he handed over government to Kim Campbell. Chretien's last prorogation facilitated the handover to Martin.

      Mulroney also dealt with the Senate by appointing Senators to 8 NEW seats, a measure that Harper hasn't yet used. I guess that you don't mind paying more and more in wages and benefits for Parliamentarians to sit for fewer and fewer days? Why bother with them at all then? Just have the PMO appoint designated 'government representatives' for each riding, to operate the constituency offices and do away with this 'debate' and 'oversight' thing… Who needs democracy?

  27. The misleading headline + the humour piece = a masterful bait and switch, Feschuk! (and yes, I meant that to sound kind of dirty…)

    • Thanks for that link. I have been hoping to find a piece like that. I'm so sick of the Con demagoguery, baseless, anti-intellectual and ill informed talking points.

    • You make it sound like all liberals are the most intelligent people in the world. Well I would guess that the ultimate liberals were communists and well you know that they failed too. Don't be such an elitist thinking that liberals have all the answers. History is riddled with examples of their failure and I am not so naive to thing conservatives haven't failed as well. Please put it all into perspective and stop with the name calling it makes you sound conservative (pun intended).

  28. Thanks to Kevin R. Drew for the biggest laugh of the day! Calling Maclean's the "liberal loving mcLeans magazine… the socialist magazine of crap" is hilarious and just shows what blinders can do. After a subscription spanning many several years, the right-wing lurch it took in 2005 with the change of Publisher/Editor, in the name of Whyte's goal of becoming more controversial, moved it from the domain of even-handed journalism to mostly right-wing opinion reporting. Scott Feschuk is a breathe of humor who I enjoyed until I cancelled my subscription (coincident with the arrival of Mark Steyn as a too-regular "contributor").

    • I think both Liberals and Conservatives can be blinded and so resort to meaningless babble.

  29. harper is vacationing in thte ukraine where he tried the pro rogies.

    he'll go down for this.

    someone commented that they were going to be out of house anyway so this only adds 5 weeks!


    doesn't that prove that this was not a necessity but a manouvre

  30. Re prorogation of parliament – – no one said a word when the Liberals did it. only the Liberals should be allowed to use this?

    did anyone enjoy the antics of the opposition during the last sitting when all they did was try to embarrass the government by repeatedly asking the same stupid questions that were already being dealt with instead of trying to accomplish something ?

    Of course why would the opposition bother to try to accomplish anything when they know it would be all up to the unelected senate to decide if anything would actually change – and we know most ofl those unelected senators don't want to change anything

    If it were not for Harpers tenacity in rebuilding our armed forces we would not be in a postion to do anything for Haiti.

    When parliament goes back hopefully we will have a senate that will deal with the wishes of our elected members so something will be accomplished. – and hopefully the opposition does not continue to take up time "politicking" instead.

    • Prorogation is not intended to be used to avoid the scrutiny of Parliamentary committees such as the one investigating war crimes in Afghanistan. There have been numerous articles written about why, in this case, it was an anti-democratic act (even in the right wing media), versus other occasions.

      We don't elect a PM, we elect MP's. It is the duty of our elected representatives and our Senate to hold the Government accountable. That is their job – is that what you mean by politicking? If the Government can't take the heat it should be replaced.

      • Well it has been done for years by liberals as well. Chretian did it to end the sponsorship scandal….or at least give him the opportunity to get out so Martin could take the fall. I might add did Chretians proroguing stop the sponsorship scandal……NO……so there is CLEAR proof that was not the reason for proroguing.

    • Prorogation is not intended to be used to avoid the scrutiny of Parliamentary committees such as the one investigating war crimes in Afghanistan. There have been numerous articles written about why, in this case, it was an anti-democratic act (even in the right wing media), versus other occasions.

      We don't elect a PM (i.e. President), we elect MP's. It is the duty of our elected representatives to hold the Government accountable and our Senate to provide sober second thought. That is their job – is that what you mean by politicking? If the Government can't take the heat it should step aside.

    • Liberals did it at the end of session, or because of leadership conventions which would have put Parliament in the awkward place of no defined PM. Both are well accepted.

      Doing it while half your bills are still in process, with nothing in particular going on other than normal Parliamentary business, is something different. Doing it to avoid normal Parliamentary business, such as requests for documents to a committee where all the participants have Top Secret clearance.. is unprecedented.. and reeks of attempting to hide something. Canadians don't like it when their government treats them like fools.

      As for what you know of the senate.. got proof? Or is this just your gut talking — ie, no brain involved?

      • Once again a liberal assuming that those on the right are ignorant while liberals are the wisest in the world. If that were so they would have never lost power.

  31. I found it amusing that Conservative MP Ms. Glover could claim not to know 'who Tom Flanagan is" after he stated the real reasons behind the prorogation… As a former CPC inside staffer and Harper right-hand man, he should know better than anyone.

    Ms Glover's assertion that "Mr. Flanagan… presumably is a Canadian… and Canadians are allowed to hold opinions…" casts aspersions on a strong member of the CPC, demonstrates an appalling ignorance of her own party's history, raises the specter that Flanagan, too, is "just visiting" and trivializes the opinions of Canadians – only the Conservative 'masters' opinions count.

  32. First of all they are arresting people who are in gun battles with them. Where do you get your facts? Let us not forget that it was the Liberal government that set up the turning over of prisoners to the Afghan authorities. Seldom does the left even refer to that important point. All I ask for is some balance in the reporting. Do you think proroguing will prevent the discussion. None of us do, so it has to be more than that but all we hear is this line of thinking which is very flawed.

  33. Still, it's always nice to see a member of this government acknowledging publicly that "Canadians are allowed to hold opinions".

  34. Despite the left's frantic frenetic attempts to get this back on the table, its yesterday's news. There are more important things on the mind of Canadians. It would seem that I have struck a nerve to point this out, considering the personal attacks.

    My comments were based on the "jouranlist's" piece. I merely reference that the repitition of certain perspectives doesn't make it more right, and suddenly I am attacked for rising to the occasion. Then instead of debating the arguments certain people take to alluding to me being illogical, unintelligent, they label me a "neo-con", and heap derision on me.

    So I point out, who is it that offers fresh ideas and opinions that are not cookie cutter, repetitions of three or four talking points espoused by Jack Layton. Who is it that honestly agrees with some of the points raised by the critics? I went on record to admit, I think Mr. Harper misjudged the cynacism of the Canadian public. This is not the response of a blinded neo-con robot.

    So who is illogical, who can think for themselves, stand up as a contrarian and counter the popular myth? (cont)

  35. Lets face it, clearly my thoughts are not in the mainstream of the popular press. I think I was drawn to the article originally, because the title suggested considering Mr. Harper's viewpoint. Not because I am a neo-con robot, but because that idea was somewhat novel. I mean who in all of the press has actually written an article from that perspective?

    So I am drawn to contrary positions and arguments. So I am inherantly a contrarian: Perhaps even an iconoclaust. So I like to consider broad ranging opinion. So I like to expose myself to outside the box kind of thinking. So I have a degree of cynacism, or skepticism particularly about what I perceive to be the popular myth.

    Think about it. What is unintelligent about that? cont…

  36. One essay that has profoundly influenced my world view was written by a little known individual thought to be intelligent by the name of…Mr. Albert Einestein.
    He wrote: " The really valuable thing in the pageant of human life seems to me not the political state, but the creative, sentient individual, the personality; it alone creates the noble and the sublime, while the herd as such remains dull in thought and dull in feeling. "

    So I ask myself, am I a creative, sentient individual? Or am I part of the herd? And then I reread the responses here. Strangely, I don't feel part of the herd…

  37. Anything else you feel the need to tell us about yourself?

  38. Good comment Alethia. All liberals do is name call and think they are the wisest. If liberals were wise and intellegent than they would never ever lose power.

  39. LOL good reply. But lets not do the same thing as those in the pack are doing. People who hold a conservative perspective are also intelligent beings. Are they infallible? Of course not. But wouldn't it be nice if we could simply debate, have even handed journalism and stop with the name calling? I am guilty too. In fact I failed by resorting to name calling in an earlier post on this article but at least I can recognize my failure and not repeat it.

  40. There you go another intelligent reply. No debate just insults.

  41. I erred I should not have painted all liberals with the same criticism. I should have said, "All some Liberals…"

  42. The comments here are almost as funny as the column.

  43. Does any one actually care about prorogation, or is this news media trying to "sell" their stories. How about journalists report on events that transpire during this time, and not just fluff stories. I thought Macleans would be more professional in this matter, but again this is an editorial, not news. Um, I read news to hear about the news. I do not care about the journalists opinions….nor should anyone else….I have my own opinion, and will not get rid of mine, in place of some college grad.

    I think the more real news magazines report, and less "feelings", that news conglomerates can gain more credibility, as it's been waning for some time now.

  44. Most hated country in the world???OMG
    FACT! Canada represents 2% of the worlds carbon emissions. 2%, thats it!
    If we are hated by people who truly believe that Canada is not doing is part to save the environment because we couldn't reduce our emissions from 2% to 1.67843% then GOOD! When chicken little screamed, Canada ignored him.

    Harper did what was best for Canadians by not buying into this Carbon crap. Save an ocean, find a toxic spill or something, spend my tax dollars saving my environment. Stop wasting it on a gas I breathe out every day!

    Harper prorogued parliament probably to silence these left wing nuts who actually were gaining a voice in this country. Good for him!

  45. Well at least you are willing to debate the issue I am not sure your assertions are true and it is difficult to know if anything we know is true, from either side. My main purpose for the post is to debate the issue instead of name calling which is not a debate at all. The other problem here is that our soldiers have a set procedure as to what they are to do with detainees. They have to follow it whether they like it or not. The are trying to respect the culture with which they are working with. While it is possible that there is torture they are trying to give the Afghani responsibility and freedom to deal with their problems as well as they can. But if they are being tortured then deal with the Afghani authorities not our soldiers. What other recourse do we have?

    But thank you for reasonable debate but you still didn't answer my main question. Nothing has ever gone away because of proroguing it didn't take away debate when the Liberals were in the middle of the sponsorship scandal and it will not here either. So why does the media keep harping on that point. Because they have another axe to grind and that is that they are pro liberal. I believe Harpers reasons for proroguing and I believe it has to do with the senate and new strategy for the upcoming budget.

  46. Great article. One thing's for sure, if they don't do something about it, then negative effects will sure to follow.