Thursday, December 24, 2009

Not in my Canada

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has apparently 'not ruled out' the possibility of asking Governor General Michaelle Jean to prorogue Parliament, effectively axing every single legislation that the Conservatives and the Opposition worked on and passed - all 33 bills passed, in this session alone, as well as the ones still in committee which are numerous.

Now, whether or not Harper has actually said anything of the sort about prorogation is in the air, since CBC may have taken it out of context. But there is no denying the rumours flying around Parliament Hill.

So, why would Harper prorogue? Many reasons, I suppose; shutting down Parliament means shutting down the special committees the Opposition has been using to harass the government over the detainee issue, and ending the session prematurely means that Harper can gain control of the Senate committees faster than he would otherwise. What he would do with those committees, I don't know, but I guarantee it won't be Senate reform.

But what this would really amount to is essentially shutting down democracy, again. Harper would be dismantling Parliament's raison d'etre and kill off legislation that his party has worked for a year to get through. I don't know how reckless this could get, but I'd be afraid for our country if he managed to do it.

However, I'd be afraid if I was a Conservative pollster, as well. I don't imagine prorogation without a threat that Canadians are aware of (aka. Dion's coalition) would be very conducive to Canadian interests. Harper would expose himself as even more of a partisan - one that threatens democracy itself. Not a good image, I think: "Stephen Harper, Democracy Basher."

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