Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Stephen Harper insists that proroguing Parliament is a "completely normal" procedure. But not even The Globe and Mail is buying that line. It editorializes today that:

Yes, this will be a more routine use by Mr. Harper of the royal prerogative to prorogue than in the past but it is not justified by the circumstances, and it has the odour of political convenience. We repeat what we said before: Parliament should not sit silent at the whim of the prime minister.

Tom Mulcair has a blunter assessment:

"He doesn't have the courage to face Parliament and that's the problem with Stephen Harper," Mulcair said. "He's a bully, he always centralizes power but when the time comes for him to answer for what he's been doing, he runs and hides. That's his repeat behaviour."

The Globe also notes that prorogation is standard operating procedure for Harper whenever he is under substantive attack:

Under normal circumstances, this would not be of much concern; it could even have been expected. But the prime minister’s reputation precedes him, and a potentially damaging issue is once more dogging his government: the Senate expenses scandal and the mysterious payment of $90,000 by the former chief of staff of the Prime Minister’s Office to disgraced senator Mike Duffy.

Mr. Harper could have let the current session continue to December and then prorogued, allowing him to return with a fresh start in January. But he has chosen not to wait. The result will be the delay of the return of Parliament after the summer recess by as many as six weeks – six weeks during which Parliament could have been addressing questions about the Senate scandals, as well dealing with ongoing issues of vital concern to Canada and Canadians: the Keystone XL pipeline; the possible entry of Verizon into the Canadian cellphone market; the economic recovery; free trade with Europe; and the crisis in Egypt.

Mr. Harper is full of bluster and down right nastiness. But he is also gutless. When the going gets tough, Stephen Harper goes away -- and hopes that the messes he creates will go away with him.


CK said...

It's a red letter day when even the Globe's editorial dept speak out against this upcoming prorogation. Most commenters, the usual cheerleaders for Harper are claiming it's a"good and necessary prorogation". Now there's an oxy-moron.

Of course, David Johnston is going to give it to him-- he likes his perks living at Rideau Hall too much.

And yes, if you've read Lawrence Martin's "Harperland", it seems that Steve can get rid of a sitting GG if he/she doesn't rule in his favour. Long story short, that 2008/9 prorogation when he was trying to avoid the big bad coalition, where he spent over 2 hours in Michaelle Jean's office, discussing his prorogation, John Baird saying that had Jean refused the prorogation, they were going to go to the Queen to have her replaced with someone more compliant. Given how Steve sucks up to the queen, how could she ever say no?? No wonder the 2nd prorogation of 2009/10 was granted so quickly over the telephone.

Ol' Dave at Rideau Hall no doubt is familiar with that whole thing with his predecessor.

CK said...

Oh and another thing that was not mentioned. The Lac-Megantic crisis. While our premier was front and center since Day 1, Harper has been cagey at best, I mean, a disgraced MP from the riding and a unilingual new transport minister, Lisa, to read badly in French over there? That was Steve's best?

From Day 1, we've heard Pauline Marois blast Burkhardt of MMA and planning to sue. Not once have we heard Steve or his puppets denounce Burkhardt's bad behaviour throughout this whole crisis.

Yes, Stevie is largely responsible, along with his flunkies at Transport Canada, who allowed the one man / unmanned train filled with fracked oil park at the top of a steep incline at the edge of town.

Railroads are federal jurisdiction, not provincial. So Stevie is closing the joint down during another, probaably one of the worst catastrophes to hit Canada in recent years?

Owen Gray said...

Mr. Harper will get his prorogation, CK, no questions asked. The only way to put an end to this authoritarian rule is to prorogue Steve -- permanently.

thwap said...

The only consolation is that harper's problems aren't going away.

When he returns, it will all be fresh as a daisy.

Most Canadians hate the Senate, and harper's appointment of the obnoxious imbecile Brazeau, the oily Mike Duffy, and the arrogant Wallin (the latter two to campaign for him on the taxpayers' dime) will be just as infuriating in October or November as it is now.

The harpercons used to shout "AdScam!" "AdScam!" incessantly. They don't have a monopoly on outrage about corruption.

Owen Gray said...

He thinks it will all go away, CK -- like a child hiding under the covers after seeing a scary movie.

Owen Gray said...

The difference this time, thwap, is that the outrage will be directed at them instead of by them.

CK said...

Thwap, he may just get away with it if his luck with timing continues. Remember, that prorogation in 2009/10, where folks across Canada demonstrated against it, Harper got lucky-- The Haitian earthquake, for one. There was Stevie playing super hero of sorts, Captain Canada, posing for pictures alongside the Haitian president. Then came the Olympics--even better, Canadian men's hockey team wins gold -- naturally, Harper took credit for that and his apologists in the punditry all agreed and pushed that propoganda. Being the serious hockey fans most Canadians are, coupled with his Captain Canada in Haiti photo-ops, all bought it hook, line and sinker. His poll numbers went up following that Olympic hockey final.

All that has to happen is another flood or some other crisis in Alberta, or an earth quake somewhere in the Caribbean or a manufactured "terrorist" plot and/or act, and Senate gate goes bye-bye for him. WAtch him manufacture a crisis during his prorogation, if nothing happens in Alberta or around the world, perhaps that is why he gave mid-October as a date. He knows something or is plotting something and it ain't no throne speach.

Owen Gray said...

Harper has been remarkably lucky, CK. In fact, he's been more lucky than smart.

The trouble with luck, though, is that it can change and change quickly.

And it always runs out.

Anonymous said...

Harper was Policy Chief for his, Northern Foundation of 1989. Harper was linked with Christian Fundamentalists, among other very dubious links.

Harper is a Dictator and a control freak. I don't know how anyone with, self respect, morals or ethics, could support such as Harper?

Once a Dictator gains control, it is really tough to get rid of them. Just remember back, to the Dictators of the 30's and 40's.

Owen Gray said...

Mr. Harper apparently has no plans to retire, Anon. The longer he stays, the more damage he'll do.