31 December 2009

To prorogue or not to prorogue

I admit to ambivalence about Prime Minister Harper's extended prorogation of Parliament. As a democrat, I'm offended but not surprised at this contempt for the peoples' business. It is yet another example of the dictatorial powers of prime ministers in our "democratic" system.

On the other hand, I'm in no rush to have more Conservative legislation brought forward. Better it be delayed, hopefully forever. And seeing as our government now simply follows the American lead in key areas such as foreign policy and the environment, there is a limit to what we can expect from them in any case.

The common explanation for the exceptional recess is the government's keen desire to stifle discussion of the torture of Afghan detainees. One can appreciate their desire to suppress that issue because if anyone in the system knowingly handed prisoners over to torturers, they are criminals, and no one wants to rush into adding that to their résumé.

But then the Liberals can use the extra time as well. God knows they have a lot of work to do before they're ready for an election.

Anyway, prorogue it is. A glass half full and half empty.

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