Tuesday, March 16, 2010

NDP To Limit PM's Prorogue Power

The Canadian Press is reporting that the NDP will be presenting a motion on Wednesday to limit the Prime Ministerial power of prorogation.

After Stephen Harper suspended Parliament in a highly controversial move to quash investigation into the Afghan detainee abuse scandal, the opposition parties have developed various plans to limit the Prime Minister's power.

In the Toronto Star the NDP plan is described:

The NDP leader is to introduce a motion Wednesday spelling out that the prime minister shall not prorogue Parliament for longer than seven days without the consent of a majority of MPs in the Commons.
It is reported the first vote on the NDP move could be as early as Thursday, and it is unknown whether the other opposition parties will support it.

The Liberals have developed a more stringent limitation on prorogation but have yet to introduce any motion to the end. That perceived disregard for the urgency of preventing abuses of prorogation could further a current Conservative attack on Michael Ignatieff. Conservatives are claiming the the Liberal Leader, as he isn't in Parliament shortly after denouncing the Prime Minister's suspension of it, has gone and prorogued himself.

The Liberal inaction could be partly due to a focus on holding the government accountable on the Afghan detainee abuse scandal, but it is no excuse for it. Where both the Liberals and the NDP spoke out against Stephen Harper's undisputable abuse of prorogation, it is clear the NDP are the one party to have acted.


Eugene Forsey Liberal said...

It's to distract from NDP retreat over Parliamentary Supremacy, I think. Will they present their long-promised contempt motion Friday?

thescottross.blogspot.com said...

I'd hope they do have some genuine intent to limit the abuse of prorogation. As for their motion of contempt, I hadn't heard they had one. Do you have a link?

wilson said...

So Opps say
written in the Constitution, MPs have power, Parliament is Supreme;
and in the same breathe table motions that are contrary to what is written in that same Constitution, giving the PM the power to prorogue.

How do you get that to work?
Opps are ready to precipitate an election due to
the PM challenging MPs powers,
but are going to table motions challenging the PMs powers.....
Are you setting a precedent here if this motion passes (and the PM takes the supremacy thing all the way to the SCoC)?
Are you challenging the PMs powers or the Constitution?

thescottross.blogspot.com said...

Wilson, as something that is necessary to this discussion could you tell me what composes our Constitution?

Eugene Forsey Liberal said...

There are a lot out there, but here's one:


"The NDP said it would give the government until March 19 to comply with the parliamentary vote, before bringing its own contempt motion. "