To the Editor,
For the second time in just over a year, Stephen Harper has prorogued Parliament. Last time it was to avoid a vote of no confidence. This time it is to shut down the committee looking into the Afghanistan detainee question, and to re-set Senate committees with a majority of Conservative members.
These, of course, are not the reasons cited by the Conservatives, who keep insisting that this is all completely routine.
Let's be clear: prorogation is intended as a way to end a session of Parliament when the business of the government as laid out in the previous Throne Speech is largely completed. It is most certainly NOT routine to prorogue when more than half of the government's bills remain unpassed and committees are in the middle of important investigations.
To claim that this is just business as usual is a profoundly cynical attempt to once again play on Canadians' ignorance of their own political system. But judging by the level of outrage this latest move has provoked - even with most people off on holiday - it would seem that Canadians aren't quite as stupid as Stephen Harper thought.
Our Prime Minister claims that this extended break is to allow the government to "consult with Canadians over the economy". If that is the case, I will expect Lisa Raitt to be in her office every day between now and March 3rd and to start scheduling 'consultation' meetings with her constituents immediately.
I'll be checking, and I encourage others to do the same.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Waiting to be Consulted by Lisa Raitt
(the following letter was sent to the Milton Canadian Champion today)