Tuesday, December 22, 2009

How Many Times Can Harper Abuse Power to Prevent Criminal Investigations?

How many times can Stephen Harper shut down committees, sue our Canadian institutions or suspend Parliament to avoid facing charges of wrongdoing?

There is a real pattern here, and one that won't stop unless we force his hand. Every time he gets away with it, the next time he just ups his game.

From illegal campaign financing, bribing an elected official for his vote and refusing to hand over documents related to war crimes, he just does as he pleases. There are also rumblings of a scandal brewing over the stimulus money and no one seems to know where in the heck our money went.

Harper claimed that it was all out the door. The Liberals ran an independent analysis and found it to be 12.8% accounted for; the Chronicle Herald found a mere 7% and the Parliamentary budget officer, Kevin Page, only 12.4%

And how is the ruthless PM going to answer to all this? He's going to prorogue Parliament until the end of March, when he will unveil his new budget.

To think it only took him four years to turn Canada from a democracy to a dictatorship. The video above was from a year ago, and Winston Churchill's words are pretty chilling, when he states the two worst words in the English language are "too late".

Because my friends we are too late. This monster now runs this country and answers to no one.

Today's Globe says that another prorogation would be a bad precedent. Do they honesty believe they can stop him now?

Prorogation A rumour and a bad precedent
Globe and Mail
December 22, 2009

The rumoured prorogation of Parliament in early 2010 may well be only a rumour. But the speculation is an occasion to reassert the principle that Parliament should not be prorogued to avoid this or that passing inconvenience for the government. The controversial prorogation of 2008 is a weak precedent, not to be relied on for making such events routine.

The regular procedures that give opportunities for questions and criticism are part of the essence of parliamentary government, but current gossip suggests that the federal Conservatives may wish to prevent opposition senators from doing their committee work, until after their party's new senators have been able to join committees.

Adjournment, prorogation and dissolution are quite distinct. For example, the House of Commons is now adjourned until Jan. 25, for a customary seasonal pause. Prorogation, in itself, is perfectly proper, being the normal end of a session, when the government has enacted most of its current program of legislation, or has at least tried to do so. Dissolution precedes an election that results in a new Parliament.

The peculiarity of Stephen Harper's advice in December, 2008, to Michaƫlle Jean, the Governor-General, that she should prorogue Parliament, was that, as a result, a session ended after only 13 days, and less than two months after an election. Considering the scarcity of recent precedent, Ms. Jean was right to give Mr. Harper the benefit of the doubt and accept that advice, which was at any rate defensible. There was a severe economic crisis to be responded to, and the suddenly improvised alliance of the three opposition parties seemed an unlikely prospect for a stable new government.

No such circumstances are present now, or expected in January.

Moreover, it would be odd for the government to force itself to reintroduce its own bills, by ending the session with a prorogation. Though the government might be happy enough to suspend committee work, thus, for example, defusing the Afghan detainees controversy, committees' requests for documents - one such request is central to the detainees issue - survive to resurface in the next session.

If there is any basis for the prorogation rumours, the Conservatives may be conducting a thought experiment with themselves. If so, they should conclude from it that a prorogation in early 2010 would not be in their own interests, and would be contrary to the spirit of the Constitution.

No comments:

Post a Comment