March 18, 2010

Harper's ability to Prorogue hamstrung, or is it?

CANADA - Prime Minister Stephen Harper will no longer be able to prorogue parliament unless he first gets approval from the majority of MPs, thats the new motion that was made today by the NDP and passed as all three opposition parties voted in favour and the minority Conservative government voted against.

Harper has been previously criticized for using his ability to prorogue parliament in an effort to curtail democracy and stop an investigation into war crimes committed by his MPs in the Afghanistan torture scandal.

Unfortunately the motion is not binding and the Prime Minister can simply ignore the procedural issue. Ultimately its the governor general who has the power to prorogue parliament, upon request of the PM.

However we should point out if Stephen Harper asks the governor general to prorogue parliament a third time to avoid a political scandal it will harm his chances of being re-elected. Canadian voters can only take so many scandals and corruption.

Protests against Stephen Harper's proroguing of parliament boiled over in February in Saskatchewan when protestors nearly stormed a hotel where the prime minister was staying. Police officers barricaded the entrance and saved the PM from being pelted with rotten eggs and whatever else they hoped to throw at him (shoes maybe?).

"If you collect a six-figure salary and get to fly around the country on taxpayers' dime, you should be able to handle a little direct criticism," says Christopher White, founder of the Facebook group 'Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament', which attracted national attention and collected more than 223,000 members.

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