Monday, December 08, 2008

More intellectualizing.

See here for a piece from U of T law profs Lorne Sossin and Lorraine Weinrib. They make the sensible point that we have no frigging clue why the GG made her decision nor, indeed, exactly what decision she made. Which doesn't say anything good about open and responsible government in this country.


Beijing York said...

An excellent concluding paragraph:

It may be that one day we will look back on the Gov. Gen’s decision to prorogue Parliament as a decision that avoided an unnecessary constitutional showdown. Or, we might come to regret the creation of a precedent that further concentrated power in the hands of the Prime Minister at the expense of parliamentary governance. Whatever history has to say about the decision, it is clear that it cannot be said to be consistent with Canada’s constitutional principles – until and unless we can be confident in the process as well as the rationale and substance of the decision itself.

Bottom line, I feel like I got screwed by her decision.

ADHR said...

Likewise. To the point where I think we should do like India and transition over to an elected President. At least then we could vent our displeasure in the next Presidential election.

Len Pryor said...

The GG made the best decision she could under the circumstances. It gave time for the ill conceived coalition to die a natural death, shut the NDP leader up for a while, get the BQ out of the way, and gave the Liberals time to regroup and come up with a semi credible leader whether intrim or permanent. It gave the Conservatives time to preare a budget and every one else a chance to approve of it or not. If the budget fails to be passed then there will be another election as there should be. Maybe that will clear the air, and the elected politicians can get on with governing the country to the best of their ability. Her decision has almost renewed my faith in the process.

ADHR said...

Blah, blah, blah.

The BQ are duly elected parliamentarians. Getting them "out of the way" is pretty undemocratic, which you claim to be interested in.

There is no need for another $300 million election about two months after the last one. Coalition governments are entirely legitimate and occur quite regularly in other parliamentary systems. The fact is that Harper didn't get a majority of the seats, the Libs plus NDP plus BQ constitute a majority of the seats, and the coalition (with BQ support) was thus a way for "elected politicians" to "get on with governing the country".

You really should read more than Con talking points, Len. If you have a coherent objection to the coalition, feel free to reply. Otherwise, feel free to leave.

Len Pryor said...


I will attempt to make a statement as clear and coherent as "Blah, blah blah..."

Might have to reach a bit though, that's pretty deep stuff.

Granted, the BQ are duly elected parliamentarians. They are avowed separatists, duly elected by separatists who want to tear our country asunder. Legally they have every right to be part of the "coalition", morally it's an abomination if you care about Canada. I have no objection to a coalition of parties that are trying to make Canada better, misled though they may be, trying to form a government. They should be invited to do that if the elected government is defeated by a vote of confidence in Parliament.
That vote has not yet taken place, but will be in late January. Then the PM should go to the GG and request permission to call an election, which, in fairness to all Canadians she should do. If the coalition cannot form a majority without the aid of "country wreckers" it's the only morally correct thing to do.

That's what I mean by "getting the BQ out of the way".

I see that Mr. Ignateiff has been annointed as Liberal leader. Another reason to have another election. I know the Liberals can't afford another election,but Canada cannot afford not to. He has the opportunity to restore some credibility to the Liberal party by facing an election on the basis of Liberal policies and principles, and accepting the result. Otherwise our country is in deep trouble.

My name is Len Pryor, what's yours?

Now I will probably accept your kind invitation to leave.

ADHR said...

Unfortunately, you failed. Tragic.

I still don't follow your logic; I suspect this is because there isn't any.

The BQ weren't part of the coalition. They agreed not to vote against the coalition government until the end of June, 2010, on confidence motions. I'll italicize this for clarity: they aren't in the coalition. So, everything you say to that point is not relevant. (Although, as a strategic point, there's something to be said for bringing the BQ into a coalition formally, and then using their support for such a government as a wedge against them in an election. If Canada's such a bad idea, why did they work to help Canada out?)

Your next five sentences are disjointed nonsense. In late January, we will be about two months from the election. Two months is hardly long enough to give Parliament a chance to work. You're clearly trying to have it both ways, whereby a coalition is legitimate, but after two months (~six weeks of which is prorogue) an election is necessary. It's sheer nonsense. There's no sense in which it is "fair" to blow another $300 million because King Stevie can't play nice with others in Parliament.

Your invocation of "morality" is simply absurd. The only moral issue is whether the government represents the interests of the majority of voters, by their free choices; the Harper government does not, and the proposed coalition will. There's no sense to a moral obligation to ignore duly-elected "country wreckers". In fact, it's pretty easy to argue that it's immoral to ignore the BQ, as doing so disenfranchises thousands of Quebec voters.

Your reasons for having another election are not sensible. And by that I mean that they simply don't make sense. There is no good reason to have an election just because it might be good for the Liberal party. Frankly, it'd probably gut the party; as a NDPer I should, I suppose, be in favour of this outcome. But the fact remains that the Liberals and NDP have a signed accord to govern together, with the support of the BQ on confidence motions. Given that there's this agreement which would get Parliament working, what is the "moral" reason to go to an election? You don't really have one.

And my name is freely available under my profile. (Your ability to navigate the interwebs appears as impoverished as your sense of logic.)