Monday, 25 January 2010

Canadians not distracted from Prorogation

You would think that a confusing word like prorogation or the phrase "proroguing of Parliament" would not be of any interest to everyday people in Canada but it is. Just before New Year's our Prime Minister went to the Governor General who immediately agreed to shut down Canada's Parliament until March. This action was noticed and a Facebook group was formed by a Calgary student which now has over 216,000 members. The shutting down of Parliament took place during a time when Parliament was investigating Government complicity in torture of Afghan prisoners and attempts to discredit a decent man who blew the whistle on them. It also occurred during a continuing economic crisis. This shutting of Parliament came with signals that the new budget in March would contain deficit reducing cutbacks in services and an end to stimulus action to fight the economic crisis which the Harper Government considers over. It is not over and unemployment itself is at crisis proportions.
Then came the terrible earthquake in Haiti, a country very close to Canada and Harper's hope for a distraction came true. Here was an opportunity for Canadians to forget the anti-democratic actions of the ruling party and for Mr. Harper to appear to be a statesman on the world stage. On the day Parliament was to reopen Canada would be hosting a major world leaders meeting about Haiti and the issue being above politics could make people forget about prorogation of Parliament.
The original plan related to the Olympics and Canadian pride making people forget and on the sports theme Superbowl excitement is there too.
But Canadians are not one issue people. Despite the extreme and deserved focus on Haiti there were large turnouts for protests on January 23 followed by strong media coverage of them as exemplified by the Globe and Mail newspaper. In its editorial of January 25 the Globe calls Harper's actions "an abrogation of principles". Stephen Harper and his minority Government came to power promising to fight corruption after the Liberal sponsorship scandal. They said they would run an open Government but they have done everything but that. The arrogance of the Government is now clear to most Canadians who will not forget.
Once Parliament resumes in March I predict a firestorm which will lead to an election and the end to Stephen Harper's arrogant anti-democratic rule.


Anonymous said...

No one cares about prorogation except the left. Enjoy. It's a non-issue for everyone else.

Murray H. Miskin said...

I am happy to publish your comment even though it is "anonymous". If you would provide your name you might be taken more seriously. I think this is a fundamental issue of democratic process and has nothing to do with left or right. If a Liberal Government did it I believe Harper would be joining the opponents of it. I understand that Bob Rae used it in Ontario for political purposes and Jean Chretien did it federally. No matter who uses prorogation it is anti-democratic and we all should be concerned about it.

Anonymous said...

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Jessica said...

I think this is a fundamental issue of democratic process and has nothing to do with left or right.

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