Thursday, December 04, 2008

Parliament on ice

Canadians, usually thought of here in the US as staid, flannel shirt wearing yahoos, are striking out boldly in the realm of parliamentary government by allowing the Prime Minister to shut down parliament when it is to his political advantage to do so.

Since the PM rules at the will of parliament, this raises some interesting questions as to the new source of PM Harper's mandate. He seems to be depending on an appeal to Canadian's sense of fairness, he did win a plurality in the last election, and he proposes that his plurality should triumph over a coalition majority. Fair's fair, even if it doesn't make sense.

The head of state, Governor General Michaëlle Jean, is Queen Elizabeth II’s representative in the ex-colony. Evidently she was able to follow Harper's strange logic, and since she was probably too busy to speak herself, Harper said for her that she agreed and that was that.

Harper supposedly will allow Parliament to reconvene on January 27 of the new year, a gracious gesture, when he will have a super great budget to submit. It will be so super great, I guess, that the majority will forget their willful ways, and submit themselves to the plurality.

In the meantime, I have just one piece of snarky advice for Canadians, just chill.

2 Comments:

Blogger ng2000 said...

Valuable resource of canadian parliament news summaries: http://www.ng2000.com/blog/2008/12/05/canadian-parliament/

12/04/2008 9:51 PM  
Anonymous Vancouver realtor said...

It's pretty crazy situation up here...But Governor General has almost nothing to do with it. She has to be strictly unpolitical - refusing to sign Harper's proposal would be serious precedent. This is parliament's game and she knew that. Now, Harper has two months to prepare defense (or new election) and the coalition has to remain united - and that will not be easy...
Take care
Jay

12/06/2008 6:42 AM  

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