Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Why I will NOT vote for Harper:Part 6 (Abuse of Prorogation)

Harper's Abuse of Prorogation 

Sixth in a series of mini-blogs on Canada's federal election to be held 19 Oct. 2015. 
DaBa, pen name of a Guest Blogger, wrote the blogs. 
My comments follow the  blog
Although prorogation normally allows governments to bring in fresh bills, usually mid-way through a prime minister's mandate, Harper has used prorogation four times, shutting down parliament for a total of 181 days.

In December 2008, Harper enraged constitutional experts by proroguing Parliament. Many accused him of simply trying to avoid a confidence vote over a fiscal update, which his minority government appeared certain to lose. 

Apart from the doomed attempts of Charles I to prorogue the British parliament in the 17th century, there has not been precedent in any parliamentary democracy anywhere in the world where a democratic parliament was shut down to hide from a vote of confidence
In 2010, Harper prorogued parliament again in the midst of a controversy over Canada's treatment of prisoners in Afghanistan.

In August 2013, Harper prorogued during a scandal involving the expenses of Conservative senators.

Opposition Leader Tom Mulcair accused Harper of shutting down Parliament to evade accountability and to avoid questions on the Senate. 


What is prorogation of Parliament
The main effect of ending a session by prorogation is to end all government business. All government bills that have not received Royal Assent prior to prorogation cease to exist; committee activity also ceases. Thus, no committee can sit after a prorogation.
Note who wrote 'Harper in contempt of Parliament' above:
  • Errol B. Mendes
  • The person calling our PM in contempt isn't a political shill for opposition parties, or a leftie media hack, he is a constitutional lawyer of the highest regard internationally.
Even The Economist, not a left-wing rag by anyone's standards, chastises Harper on his abuse of proroguing:
To date these blogs have featured Harper's contempt for and attacks on democracy whether it be
  • Control of the media
  • Censuring of scientists
  • Abuse of Question Period
  • Obstruction of 'access to information' requests
  • Abuse of omnibus bills
Today, Harper's anti-democratic mentality is evident by forcing Canadians who want to attend his campaign events to be vetted by the party and receive a bar-coded ticket bearing their name.

Honest, you couldn't make this stuff up.

As an aside, Conservatives has been embarrassed into relenting on the 'no photos' rule, naturally putting a spin on it, but stick to the vetting. To claim it's about security is nonsense since Harper's party has done it since at least 2008.

With Harper it's all about 
  • Controlling the message, as practiced by authoritarian regimes worldwide;
  • Even if it means abusing democracy.
Harper does not deserve our vote. It's fair to say he is a SCARY outlier among all prior Canadian Prime Ministers. 

As always, comments are most welcome. 

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