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Saturday, January 2, 2010

So prorogue it is

The prime minister has shown, once again, that he’s prepared to do what it takes to keep the Liberals at bay. There’ll be be lots of pontification on the part of opposition parties and pundits, but there is not one of them who would not have done the same in similar circumstances.

I have read comments by Tory supporters who seek to justify PM Stephen Harper’s action by emphasizing the limited number of days the House would have actually sat had the session not been prorogued. It’s a good point, of course, but I think that tack does discredit to the important work of House committees and other elements of parliament that continue even when MPs are not actually sitting.

Frankly, I don’t think the prime minister needs any further justification than the mean-spiritedness of opposition members and the barely democratic obstruction tactics of the Senate. I for one have grown weary of opposition tactics of throwing mud at the government in the hope some might eventually stick.

Not too long ago the opposition was virtually accusing the government of causing the deaths of some Canadians due to its action/in-action regarding the rollout of the H1N1 flu vaccine. Then more recently we were told that our military in Afghanistan turned over detainees knowing they would probably be tortured. The opposition accused Canada of being a party to war crimes.

Remember the nonsense about the way the stimulus “cheques” were being handed out? And, before that, the fuss about the cheques not going out the door fast enough? Opposition members even gave the government a verbal flogging over they way organizers had planned the Olympic torch relay route.

Then we had Canada being spuriously accused of obstructionist tactics at the Copenhagen climate change meetings. We had Canadian politicians traveling to Europe to bad-mouth our country to the international community.

This was never opposition in the normal course of democracy, this was a deliberate campaign to demonize Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservative government.

Yet, whenever it looked as if they might actually force a general election, some member of the erstwhile coalition of opposition parties took turns breaking ranks and supporting the government, while the others postured and puffed as they fed us half-truths and twisted facts.

But Stephen Harper is no fool, neither is he a pushover. With a significant portion of the population, unmoved by transparent opposition tactics, resolutely supporting him, PM Harper has led us through the recent recession and even more recent pandemic with deft maneuvering and skillful management.

Now PM Harper will be able to reorganize the committees of the Upper House with his soon to be acquired working majority there and reset his legislative agenda for the Lower House. And while we enjoy the upcoming Olympics, he can rejig his cabinet and prepare a post-recession budget. And all because he had the good sense to prorogue.

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© 2009 Russell G. Campbell
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7 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. It would be interesting to compile a list of all the so called "scandals" that the opposition have tried to pin on the Tory gov't since they took power....and to see just how many actually turned out to be a 'scandal'.

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  2. Excellent post.

    Frankly, I don’t think the prime minister needs any further justification than the mean-spiritedness of opposition members and the barely democratic obstruction tactics of the Senate. I for one have grown weary of opposition tactics of throwing mud at the government in the hope some might eventually stick.

    That's an excellent point. They can't have it both ways.

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  3. A good point, Alberta Girl.

    The so-called scandals aren't and, fortunately, the mud isn't sticking—if recent polls are to be believed.

    Dec. 30 Nanos survey showed the Conservatives had the support of 39.5 percent of voters, compared with 30.2 percent for the opposition Liberals.

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  4. Lamestream Media types continue their jaundiced propaganda against the Harper government by making it appear that the PM is the only one to ever prorogue Parliament. As usual, they illuminate fictitious and concocted superfluous arguments as to why Mr. Harper is giving the House an extended holiday, when in actual fact there are several concrete reasons to extend down-time, even if just for the sake of giving full attention to our Winter Olympics, and allowing more time for proper budget preparation and attention to local constituencies. The inept parties of the Opposition would do well to take the opportunity to retool their own strategies into something resembling responsible representation as well as mature and logical alternatives for decent debate when the House resumes.

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  5. Norman Spector wrote a good piece,
    here, giving his reasons why he thinks Harper will visit the GG after the budget. In my younger days, when I was a much bigger fan of hardball moves, I would have agreed with Spector. Or at least suggested that Harper put in numerous poison pills, so as to intimidate the Opps.

    My sense is still that Harper should adopt a steady-as-she-goes approach, but put in a few unsavory (not poison) pills in the budget, just to make the Coalition stooges squirm.

    But obviously, I am only aware of about 1 % of the considerations that PM Harper is weighing. So if he decides to visit the GG around March 5th, or put enough poison in the budget to kill a dozen Rasputins, then I'll be behind him 100 %.

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  6. "But Stephen Harper is no fool, neither is he a pushover. With a significant portion of the population, unmoved by transparent opposition tactics, resolutely supporting him,"

    The resolve of Harper supporters was wavering a bit,among my acquaintances, but the tactics of the Opposition have brought many back to the fold. Most are incensed about our troops being accused of war crimes,and though they may twist their accusations and try to claim they blame only the Harper government, the public doesn't buy it.

    Ignatieff and Layton are calling our guys overseas criminals, and we are NOT going to forget that next election.

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