Sunday, January 03, 2010

The Personal Prorogation of Stephen Harper

Much has been said about Stephen Harper's decision to prorogue parliament for two months. There were expressed concerns that such an action threatens the integrity of our democracy, that Canadian citizens are paying MPs wages for an extended vacation, and that now in the midst of an economic recovery our government is literally doing nothing. And though all important, these issues neglect for me a critical and yet previously unexhibited characteristic of our Prime Minister, and that is, he doesn't want to govern.

Now it has been admitted by our Conservative Prime Minister that he asked our Governor General for Parliament to be prorogued in order to begin a new agenda for his government and gain a plurality of seats in the senate; and then there is also the unstated reason that proroguement would postpone or even derail any investigation into the Afghan detainee issue. However even with these reasons, when one considers the importance and rarity of opportunity in holding the most important position in our country, no reason seems to justify unnecessarily stopping the very government upon which one was meant to lead.

It is quite common for children to wish to become Prime Minister, it isn't common for them to dream that after winning that office they stop government for two months. How is it then that our Stephen Harper takes his opportunity, his once in a lifetime chance at being Prime Minister and decides it best not to cherish every second, to not utilize every moment to be the best leader Canada has ever had and instead decides to prorogue government?

How can anyone be proud to have held the reins of power, the responsibility to govern one of the greatest countries on this Earth when they have squandered their time in office by not being in it?

There certainly are other more important issues regarding the Conservative Prime Minister's decision to prorogue government, the most pressing being the affront to democracy; but to me the most revealing of all the issues is the most telling of the man. That in proroguing Parliament, in abandoning his office, Stephen Harper has shown his disregard for the opportunity he has and the absence of any will to govern.

Perhaps in the future Canadians will elect a person who will want to spend more time governing than he does trying to avoid it.


MississaugaPeter said...

Scott, you are right that "It is quite common for children to wish to become Prime Minister".

It is MORE common for children to want to want to become king.

For better or worse, the Canadian parliamentary system always allowed the prime minister to almost have the power associated with a king when the prime minister's party held a majority of seats in the House of Commons.

A prime minister with a majority in Canada wields significantly more power (over the government apparatus) than a president in the United States. This is why we in Canada must be more sure of the person we give a majority of seats.

Harper being able to act like king while in a minority government shows some weakness in the leaders and parties who represent the majority of seats in the House of Commons.

Tallie said...

Good posting. However, all this would actually have some meaning if we actually had an opposition party in Canada. But since the Liberal Party is DOA and the other opposition parties do not have the clout to do anything, Harper is essentially free to do almost anything he wants. Harper deserves all the scorn you can heap upon him. However, I think these Liblogs should start to focus on why the Liberal Party seems to have folded.

Bruce said...

Tallie has it right. Liberals have spent the Harper years playing only for tactical opportunities. They have offered no serious reason to be considered for office, and are in Opposition as a result, where they shall remain until they stop the "outrage of the day" sequence and get on with offering positive reasons to support Liberals for election. said...

Bruce I disagree, I do not think the Conservatives offered anything of substance in the last two elections to verify your argument. It is not that the Liberals need ideas, they have ideas. What they need are leaders, at every level, to campaign on them.