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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