Sunday, November 30, 2008

It gets more complicated...

Harper may prorogue the Parliament, according to Stephen Taylor. Except that he gets something, er, not quite right:
The opposition will cry foul, but it’s within the Prime Minister’s power.
Except that of course it's not the Prime Minister's power, but the Crown's exercised on the advice of the Prime Minister. Normally, this distinction doesn't matter. Today, it absolutely does.

Could the Governor General refuse to prorogue? It would pretty much give up the game is she did -- Harper would be done. At the very least, it seems like the GG could demand Harper show some proof that the prorogation would do any good, and not just add days to his government.

That said, I'm intrigued to see how quickly this has gotten away from the Tories. Harper wouldn't be thinking along these lines (and there's no guarantee he is now, obviously) unless the next week was looking bleak. Is there a parliamentary way for the opposition to force their motion on to the agenda, in opposition to the Prime Minister?

More intriguingly is that the knives seem to be coming out for Harper within his own party:
One senior Conservative said Harper had shot himself in the foot for ideological reasons — much as he did when he announced $45 million in arts funding cuts last summer, which cost his party seats in Quebec in the Oct. 14 federal election.

"These guys think it's campus politics, so they get too cute by half and then f--- everything up," he said.
"We're in the middle of an economic crisis and they pull a stunt like this?"
I assume everyone else believes, as I do, that if Harper loses this week that he's out as Conservative leader, right?


North of 49 said...

I assume everyone else believes, as I do, that if Harper loses this week that he's out as Conservative leader, right?

I can't imagine any other outcome. He seems to have painted himself into a corner (or as Dawg said, put himself in zugzwang).

Heck, I figured that only getting a second minority, as he just did, would be enough to bring the knives out, or at the very least have the party cutthroats slipping them out of the scabbard "just to check the edge, don't y'know".

He must know it, don't you think? That's why he's backpedalling so desperately right now.

Someone on another comment thread somewhere speculated that the Cons must have foreseen the Opposition's reaction to the economic statement, but I wonder. Some of them did, like that fellow you quoted in this post, but I'm betting Harper didn't. Part of his pattern seems to be that he's so convinced of his own brilliance he sometimes misses the obvious; it's a character flaw, a kind of rigidity, an assumption that one's ability is so stellar, one's Plan is so perfect, that Reality will in all cases unfold exactly as one has forecast.

Finagle laughs at such hubris.

Beijing York said...

They're probably desperately looking for someone who actually knows the Canadian constitution and what Harper can or cannot do because they are evading the question.

Pierre Poilievre just made a total ass of himself on CBC Newsworld. The desperate conservatives have released "news" regarding an NDP caucus meeting that they were invited to listen in on. Oh the scandal? That the Bloc (or should I say SEPARATISTS) and NDP have been conducting "secret shady meetings"to reverse the election results in their quest for a MASSIVE power grab.

I sure hope it was caught on YouTube because it is so over the top you can't help but laugh. What a weasel.

Also go vote for coalition: