Thursday, December 4, 2008

Take some advice from Eddie, Steve

I see View from the Left had the same idea as me, but here goes:

One little quirk in our constitution says that there only has to be one -- one -- pro forma sitting of the House of Commons every twelve months. With a fixed term law (already violated by PMS), theoretically that means that Harper could ask for four straight prorogations with throne speeches then go to the polls in 2012 without the House ever having done any business. In the meantime, any appropriations would be done by Governor Generals' Warrants -- normally only used during a general election.

In other words, Harper could effectively rule as a dictator for four years. And he could use those "special" appropriations to ram through the hidden agenda we know he has.

Or he can actually take heed some open advice from a former Governor General -- and the second youngest in our history to serve in the role -- Manitoba NDer Eddie Schreyer who said a prorogation is just a stalling tactic. A cooling off period may be fine, but to stall for up to a year would be unacceptable. Schreyer noted that in 1979 he accepted Joe Clark's resignation but asked for a few hours to see if a coalition could be formed among the remaining parties. Of course we know that the Social Credit / Crédetistes (an antecedent of the Reform Party) were not going to do any sort of deal with the Liberals and NDP even they had united to vote down Clark's budget, so when "time expired" only then did Schreyer on the following day give the go-ahead for an election.

In other words, said Schreyer: Face the music, buddy.

To delay the inevitable would be setting a bad precedent. This is clear.

Bob Fife said last night on the Con TV Network that if Michaëlle Jean refuses to prorogue -- and precedent actually does dictates she should not -- Harper might immediately resign. Good. Her Excellency should call his bluff.

Vote for this post at Progressive Bloggers.


wilson said...

''Good. Her Excellency should call his bluff.''

Is the GG working for your side?
You seem to think so.

BTW, I agree with still having the vote on Monday.
You coalitioners with the Bloc need to stand up and be counted.

BlastFurnace said...

Wilson, I honestly don't know what the GG will do. I have written what I think she should do, but I'm not a psychic.

As for the vote on Monday, yes it should go ahead. Some Liberals have indicated they might vote against it so the whole thing may fall apart -- but that shouldn't mean Harper should run away from it. Let the chips fall where they may.

crf said...

When the next session of parliament opens, a throne speech has to be read and be voted upon. So Harper will absolutely have to face the music, prior even to presenting a budget, in just a few weeks.