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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Prorogation: a Conservative sin, a Liberal virtue

It is inevitable that prorogation of parliament—especially since it comes about a year after an earlier one—will hurt the Conservatives’ standing in nationwide polls. Regardless of the motive prompting the act, the Liberals and NDP will condemn it, and there are far more Liberals and NDP supporters writing for the mainstream media than there are Conservatives.

Add the left of centre bias regularly seen on the two major TV networks, and we have a formidable propaganda machine castigating the prime minister for exercising his lawful prerogative.

Search as I have through the media bru ha ha stirred up by the Liberals, however, I have not seen or heard serious suggestions that the convention surrounding prorogation be changed in a meaningful way. Consequently, any future Liberal government will be able to continue to use the practice, as is, just as their predecessors have on dozens of occasions.

How serious then should anyone take the outrage we hear from the opposition? In my view, not very. The Liberals need to keep the spotlight on the Conservatives lest Canadians take too hard a look at what the Liberals actually offer as an alternative. That’s what the fuss is all about.

The sad fact is that the Liberal Party of Canada is lacking in one vital ingredient to make it a viable alternative to the Conservative government: a credible candidate for prime minister.

In December 2006 at Montreal, Liberal Party delegates were convinced by prominent leaders within that party to support their contention that Michael Ignatieff, as an outsider who until very recently had not even lived in Canada, did not have the moral authority to demand the trust and loyalty of his party. As a result 70 per cent of them chose someone else on the first ballot. And not a single one of the six other leadership contenders supported Ignatieff when they were eliminated from the ballot or dropped out of the race.

Five of the six losing contenders are now senior members of the Liberals in opposition. They each turned down every opportunity they had to support Ignatieff’s bid. But now they tell us what a wonderful prime minister he would be—how two-faced can one be?

Less than two years later, however, the Grits allowed themselves to be buffaloed into appointing the untested former professor without even a vote by delegates never mind a one-member-one-vote leadership race.

Now the Grits want to foist him on Canadians? God help us.

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© 2009 Russell G. Campbell
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4 comments — This is a moderated blog and comments will appear when approved. Please don’t resubmit if your comment doesn’t appear immediately, and please do not post material that is obscene, harassing, defamatory, or otherwise objectionable.

  1. You see the reason the liberals think the conservatives are using prorogation to hide things is because that is what they did. Wasn't it 2003 that parliament was prorogued for 82 days? Thanks JC how's that Adscam thingy working out for you?

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  2. Rick Anderson was on Power Play the other day, and said the only way this prorogue would do damage, is if the Libs offered up changes to the rules now in effect. Which won't happen.

    So we just have to ride out this storm. Same as Copenhagen, detainees, H1N1, bodybags, wafergate, etc etc. It looks highly unlikely that the Opps will defeat the budget. Remember, there are 60 some MPs (from all Parties), that need to survive until June 2010, so that they have six years in office, and their pensions become fully vested.

    Which means Harper keeps governing. He's got a solid narrative going re focusing on the economy. He's going to be able to speed up the passage of Bills, so more of what he campaigned on will be checked off, come the next election.

    I think we just have to be philosophical, that our many Opponents are going to keep hammering away at Harper, trying to demonize him. Basically bring his trust and competence numbers down. What else have they got as a strategy ? Nothing I can think of, other than uniting the Left, but that won't happen.

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  3. HArper is a dictatorial control freak. His explanations for proroging have been laughable. "Political debate leads to instability in the markets" says Harper. That is so laughably silly on so many levels.

    Canadians are tired of being treated like idiots.

    Cya HArper

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  4. Great post! Evidently the polls have shifted with the Tories down 10 but the Liberals only up 2. I didn't realize the NDP was a threat to the Tory base. Oh well, let's sit back with our beer and popcorn and enjoy the Olympic Games! Let's check back with Nanos in March.

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