Missed edit window: By the way, I was responding to you saying that prorogations have been too frequent in the past decade. Are you now changing your objection to the motive instead?
A decade misses the prorogations of 2008 and 2009 under Harper. I should have used a longer time period.
It is true there was a historical time when prorogations lasted 150 days or more - as MPs lacked communication tools or air travel to look after business in their home riding. And it is true “prorogation” is not a dirty word and refers to ending Parliament. The problem is with “rogue prorogations” meant to avoid discussion of scandals.
Few would argue that Parliament can be dysfunctional as in practice decisions are made by the PM and tight inner circle, not by MPs. I am for political reform because practices like omnibus bills or cutting off debate by prorogue are ultimately anti-democratic. I favour an elected Senate too FWIW.
@NorthernPiper has learned opinions which are always welcome and is not the source of the hypocrisy. This comes from Liberals (such as Ignatieff) who were critical of these anti-democratic practices under Harper and vowed to stop them or require approval from other bodies. “Good politics” has trumped good practices and sober second thoughts. The first thought of future governments facing difficulties should not, in theory, be shutting down debate by straining mechanisms.
I’m afraid I’m not understanding your position. Are you saying that Parliament should be in perpetual session, with no adjournments or close of session?
Of course not. I don’t think I said that.
I’m sorry then, we’re obviously speaking at cross-purposes. I honestly don’t understand what your object is to prorogation.
Well, what would you say about this article?
(I don’t fully agree with this article, and the opposition will quibble. But the timing suggests extending Covid funding was only one of the government’s concerns.)
I would say three things:
The Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance both testified before the committees, and the Minister of Finance resigned both from Cabinet and from the Commons. That is how parliamentary accountability works: the members of the Government can be called to account by the Commons committees.
Every government needs time when Parliament is not in session, for planning for the upcoming year. The summer is a traditional time for summer recesses, since Parliament does not need to be in continual session. The prorogation was for approximately a month, which is not an unusual amount of time for Parliament not to be sitting.
Now that the new session has started, the Opposition is continuing to raise the issue in the Commons, in their efforts to call the government to account, which is exactly how the system is supposed to work. The prorogation did not prevent the Opposition from continuing to do their job.
All those things are true. And I would vote Liberal were an election held today. However, the cynic in me suggests the sudden timing was chosen strategically, because both the voters and media have postmodern attention spans. If you claim to have sunny ways you should have to let some light in.
And the beat goes on:
Opposition want to establish anti-corruption committee to investigate WE and other allegations; Government suggest that if Commons passes that motion, they would treat it as a confidence motion, triggering an election.
Prorogation is in the rear-view mirror. Real debate in Parliament is the merits of what the Government did, not a procedural step in the life of Parliament.
The government is saying this is not the time to deal with things because Covid, so threaten an election no one wants. They were hoping people would forget or consider this contretemps lower priority, which they probably do. “WE’ve moved on”. Their throne speech would have been more ambitious if they truly wanted a reset due to policy.
The opposition is saying because of prorogation they have to do this now. They are trying to keep it in the news and voters minds. O’Toole is trying to show his party is relevant.
I think that should there be an election in the near future, the party/parties that are seen as responsible for triggering it will be punished pretty severely at the polls. I further think that the Liberals treating a motion to establish an anti-corruption investigation as a confidence motion will be seen as making the Liberals that party, particularly because I would expect the other parties to say loudly that there’s no reason it should have to be a confidence motion.
I don’t have a whole lot of use for Trudeau as a leader, but I thought he was smarter than that. If he wants to go to the polls he needs to manipulate the opposition parties into making a direct motion of non-confidence.
No, the finance minister survived the scandals just fine. What did him in was that he actually knew somethjng about finance, and could not go along with Trudeau’s crazy economic plans. He resigned rather than preside over the lunatic financial ideas of Trudeau’s cabinet - none of whom know a damned thing about finances.