Monday, January 4, 2010


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The GG should have told Harper to come see her face-to-face

January 4th, 2010
by Harris MacLeod
The Hill Times

It’s my first day back on the job after a long holiday nap and I’m feeling a little blue that Parliament won’t return until March, which still matters to me, although apparently it doesn’t to 46 per cent of Canadians. Due to my resilient innocence I am surprised that the Prime Minister prorogued Parliament, and the Tory government’s stated reasons for doing so (that it needs to consult Canadians on the second phase of its “Economic Action Plan,” and to put the focus on the Olympics) are frankly insultingly lazy excuses. But the fact is in our system the PM can reset the House whenever he wants and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.

Technically it’s the Governor General, infamous seal heart-eater extraordinaire MichaĆ«lle Jean, who makes the final call, but unlike when Prime Minister Stephen Harper did this last year she really couldn’t have said no. BUT she could have made him come ask in person.

I didn’t come up with this on my own, an expert on the monarchy and a keen observer of Canadian politics made the point to me over the break. Last year, amidst the humbling coalition revolt that almost cost Mr. Harper his government, he had to trudge over to Rideau Hall in the snow, spend two hours making his case to Ms. Jean, and then after he got what he wanted he had to go out and face the cameras and explain himself. This time all he had to do was pick up the phone.

While I won’t defend the Canadian public’s sad indifference to what happens in Ottawa, the fact is if he had to deliver the aforementioned justifications for shutting down Parliament himself instead of sending Dimitri Soudas to do it, people would be more aware of what was happening. And they might even have taken a few moments to think about whether it sounded right that their elected representatives would be getting a paid vacation until the spring.

1 comment:

Dr Mike said...

I am sure if Mr Harper had his way , he would just prorogue on his own & bypass the GG.

Once he gets his majority , he just might.

Once he does that , might as well cancel all future elections --who needs em when you have a "trained economist" on the job.

The fact that he missed the oncoming recession & deficit , should have nothing to do with it.

Dr Mike