Harper’s Historic Moments

Posted: April 27, 2011 in Election, politics

Harper’s Conservative government was the first governing party in the history of Canadian politics to have received a formal motion of contempt from a parliamentary committee.  Harper dismisses this as a conspiracy from a committee stacked with opposition party members, but forgets that the representation on such a committee is determined by the number of seats in parliament.  Once again, Harper is ranting against the annoying inconveniences of our parliamentary democracy.  Also, Harper has forgotten that his is not the first minority government.  Every minority government in the past has been in the position of vulnerability when it comes to a contempt motion.  His is the first to actually receive it.  Harper would like us all to think that this says more about his opposition than it does about his own government’s conduct.

Harper’s Conservative government is the first in modern times to resort to the tactic of proroguing government.  An excellent analysis of this strategy and its political integrity can be found in Andrew Heard’s article, The Governor General’s Decision to Prorogue Parliament: A Dangerous Precedent. The act of proroguing government has not been used by any parliamentary government since Sri Lanka in 2001, when the country was in the midst of national riots.  Using it to avoid a confidence vote for a minority government is a dangerous abuse of government and an unfortunate precedence for future governments sidestepping their responsibilities.

I am confident that these two historical landmarks will likely be Harper’s enduring legacy in the Canadian history books.  He certainly hasn’t provided any other worthy accomplishments, unless you want to count civil rights abuses during the G8 conference or our failure to get a Security Council seat in the UN.


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