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Thursday, December 04, 2008

Playing it safe 

I wrote this post last night but didn't post it, fearing it would be bad luck or something.
If Michaëlle Jean grants Harper's request tomorrow to prorogue, it will be the "safe" thing to do.
The Blogging Tories will be high-fiving, most of the media will stroke their beards and hrumph about how she is only following the long-standing traditions of her office and she really didn't have any choice -- and us progressives will only sigh about what might have been.
As the winter of our discontent progresses, the Canadian economy will melt down and the Conservatives won't know what to do or how to stop it. The premiers will blame the prime minister and the prime minister will blame the provinces. The separatist movement in Quebec will pick up steam again. And Harper will abolish public financing of political parties in March, just before the Liberal convention.
No one will be blaming Jean for this -- except for Ed Schreyer:
Ed Schreyer said in an interview yesterday that granting a wish for the prorogation of Parliament at this point would constitute an evasion of the process of Parliament and should not be done.
“I'll put it this way and I will make this a plain-spoken sentence. Nothing should be done to aid and abet the evasion of submitting to the will of Parliament. I think one can stop there. It's about as basic as that.”
With a new Parliament having just opened, the only circumstances to justify prorogation, Mr. Schreyer said, would be a genuine emergency. “The only emergency seems to be a desire [of the Harper government] to avoid facing Parliament. That is not an emergency.”
Didn't matter, did it?
Sigh.

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