Saturday, January 09, 2010

The Pantomine of Prorogation

Prime Minister Stephen Harper's move to darken the Parliamentary chamber until March has not gone without a fair amount of fall out.

From the opposition, to media and maybe even the public at large, all seem to have found some form of cynicism with the latest machinations of the parliamentary rulebook more as form of convenience rather than as process.
In the past week Harper's plan has been sauteed and roasted near and far. With editorials, columns and articles galore, from both national papers and esteemed international journals. In particular, the Prime Minsters move towards the abandonment, all be it temporarily of debate and Parliamentary process, was mocked in no less than the Economist magazine, Harper goes prorogue and Halted in mid-debate.

Back here on the home front. Most of the commentators seem to be of the opinion that the Prime Minister is bordering on the dictatorial, while a few others it seem hold their noses and suggest that the Liberals should not throw any stones themselves, due to past practice on their own watch, more or less suggesting that those who have sinned should not cast the first stone.

Regardless of the point of view, everyone is weighing in with some prorogation punditry.

Few countries can claim such a pathetic Parliament
Prorogation will not loosen the PM's grip
Harper's obsession with tactics might backfire
Proroguing is for children (and Stephen Harper)
Shhhh! Stephen Harper is ‘recalibrating'
Prorogation: Jean Chrétien did it too
Proroguing Parliament? Canadians just don't care
Harper outsmarts himself
Shutting down Parliament may come back to bite Harper
The Economist vents spleen on PM's decision to prorogue
Vent outrage at your local MP
Liberal MPs 'coming back to work'
Harper has 'crazy way' of running democracy: Ignatieff
Polarization, ad hoc alliances, fear of election
Harper has one thing going for him: Ignatieff
Crocodile tears for the "dignity" of Parliament

While the Prime Minister may suggest that he needs time to prepare a proper financial blue print for troubled economic times and recalibrate the tone of Parliament, by abandoning the Parliamentary calendar for three months he surely has no one but himself to blame for the bad political karma he has acquired.

His three month retrenchment is seemingly going to provide him with more problems than just muddling through Parliament would have offered, plus he's now taken the under performing Mr. Ignatieff off the hot plate and given him some time and some high ground to work from.

It all leaves you wondering if perhaps Mr. Harper may wish to ask his advisers if they actually know what they are doing.

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