You'll have to cut me some slack. I've never lived under a dictatorship before so I'm still feeling my way around.
Many Harper supporters are now trying to twist things by saying that Chretien also prorogued Parliament 4 times, but that was in ten years. They are also saying he had an iron grip, but he also had an excellent team. He was not a one man show. And he had a majority for most of his term. Harper has never had a clear mandate. He just took it.
There's a great op-ed piece in the Globe from a Bloc insider. I hope Gilles Duceppe goes back to work on the 25th as well. I really like him. In fact, I think he would make a great prime minster, except for that whole wanting to leave Canada thing. But then Harper wanted Alberta to step out on their own too, and he got the job.
Introducing Canada's minority dictatorship
January 08, 2010
By making a habit of closing Parliament, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has once again freed himself from the inconvenience of having any elected counterweight. Having dispatched what Jeffrey Simpson called the Friendly Dictatorship, please welcome the Minority Dictatorship. Who would have said, four years ago, that despite winning only a minority government Mr. Harper would be able to concentrate more power in his own hands than Jean Chrétien ever did with a majority?
Mr. Chrétien had strong ministers – Paul Martin, Allan Rock, John Manley, Ralph Goodale – able to counterbalance him in cabinet. From a Quebec perspective, one cannot see in this Tory government even one minister who could stand up to the Prime Minister on any issue ....
(Stéphane Gobeil was an adviser to Gilles Duceppe, writing speeches and the Bloc Québécois electoral platform. He now runs his own political consulting business.)