These are some of the common words being flung around Canada in the last few days. For those of you not following Canadian politics here is what’s been happening :
2) Stephen Harper elected leader and hence the Prime Minister of Canada, by the elected MPs of the Conservative party.
4) Weeks later, conciliatory tone of the Conservatives thrown out the window when Jim Flaherty (finance minister) presents an economic map. An utterly vague economic statement from the incumbent minister with no plan to tackle the current economic crisis. Buried in the statement is the proposal to “save” millions of dollars ($30 Million) by revoking the public financing to political parties (the ones that are not in the pocket of big business like the Conservatives) and to make it illegal for federal employees to go on a strike (for better working conditions, more pay, better contracts etc.)
5) Opposition in furor. More than likely, Jack Layton of NDP takes charge and somehow gets all the opposition together.
6) Opposition announces that it is prepared to bring down the government and works a deal within themselves (all three opposition parties) and presents a model to run the country thereby ensuring that there are no elections (with a cost of about $300 million for each election, 10 times the amount that the Conservatives would have “saved” with their proposal).
7) Harper backs down from the offending proposals. Too chicken to play chicken.
8) Opposition has probably had enough of the pushing around and says – no deal.
9) Now Harper’s true colours come out and he starts lashing out at everyone in the opposition especially the Bloc party with whom his party had tried to make deal in 2004 for doing EXCATLY the same thing Liberals/NDP is doing.
10) Harper presents the alternative – Proroguing to save his skin. Proroguing means, the session in the parliament is declared over, before it’s even begun and all parties will wait for a month or so before voting against the government can begin again. In other words, Harper wants a time out. Unfortunately, history is against him and very few people see how the Governor General will allow proroguing.
Harper, at this moment is with the GG and probably requesting proroguing the parliament. There is no idea how the Governor General, Michaëlle Jean, will proceed but I have a feeling that Harper is probably going to ask her to suspend the parliament and go for another election. In which case I agree with CC – bring it on!!
In all this I think most of the people fail to see a crucial element to the episode.
It is the democratic right of the opposition to band together and say “we the opposition, representing 63% of the Canadian citizens, oppose your policies”. It’s as simple as that!!!
I do not understand why in the world are people calling this a coup!! I mean, I can understand that you are upset about this but, damn it, it is the right of the opposition parties to bring down the government. These are your elected MPs acting in unison and saying no to the partisan politics being played by a power hungry Harper.
Yes, it’s true that the elections just happened, but boo-fucking-hoo. The Conservatives, instead of governing Canada through a difficult economic period, are playing politics and trying to kill the opposition. If the Conservatives had succeeded in pushing this proposal through, it would have put a big dent on the grassroot politics that we Canadians have come to depend on heavily. Would you really like to live in a country where there is weak opposition?
It was, simply put, the audicious nature of power grab by the conservatives that really banded the opposition and I say, kudos to them. It’s about time the opposition stood up to a bully.
And look at how the bully is reacting – like a cry baby.
Updated : Oh and I almost forgot. Here is a post that you need to read regarding how desperate Stevie has become.
Updated 2 : And this one too.
Updated 3 : Prorouging it is. In other words, Canada and the rest of the world are in midst of a economic crisis and what does his majesty Stephen Harper do? Take a vacation of a month and half. Of course, he and the Conservatives will not be resting. Now begins the PR campaign to demonize democracy in Canada. E.g. this :
The Tories maintained their vigorous attack on the coalition’s decision to seek formal backing from the Bloc Québécois for its survival in the House. One MP went so far as to accuse the Liberals of treason.
“They’ve actually written a deal giving the separatists a veto over every decision of the Canadian government,” Bob Dechert said. “That is as close to treason and sedition as I can imagine.”