Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Dear media,

Can Harper prorogue the Parliament or not?

Please answer yes or no.

I have heard both answers, in multiple iterations, several times today. On the one hand, you hear a number of experts say that the GG can't refuse the PM on this kind of matter.

On the other, you've got people saying that the GG can do what she feels if it means Canada has a functioning government. Mike Duffy raised the issue of the government running out of money unless the Parliament votes on new money bills soon.

So, either Harper can or cannot run out the clock. It would be nice to have this clarified soon. Thanks.


cls said...

According to an interview I heard on the CBC it's a grey area. Part of the greyness comes from the non confidence of the vote coming after the Throne Speech and also because the election was only 6 weeks ago. The usual convention is that the GG always says yes to the PM when he asks for prorogation; however, prorogation is what happens after the business of Parliament is finished. Because Harper wants to prorogue as a way of avoiding a nonconfidence vote it should mean that the GG should say no, especially because there's an alternative government in the wings. It appears that the Tories will try to put public pressure on the GG so she'll say yes to Harper. Sort of a modern day version of the King-Byng affair.

Anonymous said...

The brief story in the NYT this morning said that Harper would try to call for new elections if the economic measure failed. Is that likely to do him any good? I'd think asking for a new election within two months of having an election would be a good way for the country to shove a vote of "no confidence" at the PM. And if NDP and Liberals are running as a coalition, wouldn't the most likely outcome be that Conservatives lose a couple of seats (due to the shenanigans of calling an election so soon) but the makeup of Parliament stays roughly the same - with the Liberal/NDP coalition holding a majority? And so nothing would really be resolved by it, would it?