Politics not only makes strange bedfellows it oftentimes has unintended consequences. Take, for example, the current controversy over Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s proroguing of parliament.
On one hand we have the Liberals and their rivals, the New Democrats, in bed together as they condemn the PM and coordinate their proposals to change the rules of parliament to limit the use of prorogation.
On the other hand, the PM’s use of prorogation and the storm of protest the mainstream media and the Liberal-NDP opposition has whipped up over it has now hamstrung Premier Dalton McGuinty, whose Ontario Legislature’s agenda has pretty well run its course and is in serious need of prorogation, throne speech and new agenda.
As a consequence of McGuinty’s inaction, we Tories are also affected as Bill Murdoch, MPP Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound and Randy Hillier, MPP Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox & Addington can only return to the Legislature with a new session. Those two plucky lads are sorely missed.
Perhaps McGuinty fears he’ll weaken the argument of his federal Liberal cousins if he prorogues and thereby underscores the legitimacy of the tool used in the normal course by virtually all parliaments of the Westminster tradition. Or perhaps he fears he’ll be treated as roughly by the media for using a perfectly legitimate tool of democratic government as the Conservatives have.
Regardless, it is time for our premier to find some gumption and do what’s best, rather than do as his backroom boys dictate to stay on the politically correct side of the prorogation issue. He should prorogue to recalibrate, switch channels so to speak. He can then lay out his new agenda in the run-up to a general election in 2011.
One thing we can count on: if McGuinty does prorogue, I bet it’ll be the shortest in history.
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© 2009 Russell G. Campbell
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