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A democratic reforms package platform makes so much sense...

Briefly and to the point, I fully agree with Steve’s blogpost that if the Liberals were smart, they’d be putting out a democratic reforms package and into their platform to deal with curtailing unilateral action by the Prime Minister as it deals with prorogation and other powers to do with the executive vs Parliament.

The Liberals don’t need to wait until their conference of thinkers in March for this – they need to already be working on it.

UPDATE 2 on Jan 12 @ 12:50 pm: Dr Dawg has a more general thought on reforms.

Today's edition of silly Conservative messaging on prorogue.

The first comes from Jim Flaherty, who completely contradicts Prime Minister Harper’s claims on prorogue being necessary to “recalibrate” the government’s economic priorities:

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says shutting down Parliament doesn’t affect his budget consultations – they would be happening whether Parliament was in session or not. But that’s not what his boss, the Prime Minister, is saying about the need to lock up the House of Commons until March. Stephen Harper has said he needed to prorogue to concentrate on building the plan for the second phase of the economic stimulus. But meeting with reporters today in Winnipeg , Mr. Flaherty said “prorogation does not affect the consultations” […]

I get letters: Interesting idea that probably won't happen edition...

..but still interesting nonetheless. A reader of the Progressive Bloggers site writes an email to me about the proroguing of Parliament and comes up with this idea/concept:

…what I really want to see is a grass roots swell of support for strong principled independent representatives running in the next election. Party politics needs a good overhaul and the only way it will happen is to give parliament a healthy dose of citizen presence in the House. How about flying that idea about and seeing if a list of people could be generated who have the profile and experience that would make them a viable candidate.

Here are some I have […]

Liberals put out ads attacking prorogue; Conservatives respond with demagoguery

The Liberals released a print and radio campaign today going after the Conservatives for proroguing Parliament (actually, they’ve been released on the internet today, and will be played on the radio and in print media tomorrow – also on the TV, unless the CBC news story is in error).

The Conservatives response? Over-the-top, as you’d expect from this disgraceful bunch. Apparently, the PMO believes that by claiming Michael Ignatieff and the Liberals are directly attacking the Canadian Armed Forces, it is going to resonate with folks other then just their hard-core right-wing base of voters.

Not sure WHY they think that, but regardless, it’s beneath contempt.

The rebuttal to Conservatives who protest that proroguing of Parliament is ‘routine’

I posted this yesterday as one of the contributors at the No Prorogue website in its blog section as an opinion piece; I reproduce it for everyone who reads my blog here .

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The best rebuttal I’ve seen to that attempted argument comes from Michael Den Tandt, in his op-ed in the Owen Sound Sun Times decrying Harper’s 2nd prorogue in 2 years:

…there’s another issue, overriding all the others: That is, very simply, cowardice. Prime Minister Harper prorogued Parliament last winter to get himself out of a serious political jam of his own making. Now he’s done the same thing again, and for the same reason. It’s actually […]

The Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament surpasses 127 000 members today.

I, and no doubt the entire nation (or maybe just the nation of those who blog and read blogs) breathlessly await .. no.. YEARN.. for Mr. Stephen Taylor, Blogging Tory head and organizer of anti-coalition marches and FB protest groups last year, to now admit that yes, CAPP has met his threshold that he arbitrarily set as his marker to make the group legit (in his eyes anyhow) as a legit expression of grasroots outrage/protest.

I somehow think I’m going to be disappointed waiting – I suspect the goalposts are going to be moved by him.

UPDATE a moment later: Ah.. I see it wasn’t long in that last prediction […]

Opposed to Harper's Prorogue? You can now have your say

I made brief mention yesterday about the No Prorogue! site, so I thought I’d give it a bit more air time today, along with their neat graphic they’re using. Check out the website. You’ll find there are links there on rallies in different cities protesting Harper’s unnecessary use of prorogue and his contempt for Parliamentary over-site, as well as a blog, and the opportunity to contribute to the site.

I’ve noted more then a few Progressive Blogger affiliated blogsite owners have done some blogging contributions, which makes sense, since many of them oppose prorogation, oppose this PM and his Conservative government in general, and writing their thoughts […]

Hmm, Harper claims he needs almost 3 months to figure out how to govern.

I almost hate to use this comparison, but Harper seems to be borrowing in so many words Stephane Dion’s line of “You think it’s easy to make priorities?” in using this excuse/justification for proroguing Parliament. As Aaron Wherry states, combine the Christmas/New Years break and the prorogue, and Parliament will be off for 83 days, and Harper is claiming he needs every single one of those days without Parliament sitting to plan something.

Apparently Harper and his Conservative government can’t chew gum and walk at the same time, or more accurately, can’t plan any economic priorities while being grilled in Question Period, or having pesky committees hold hearings that are […]

Another Conservative MP claims the Olympics are a reason for proroguing

It’s Colin Mayes turn now to try and use the Olympics as justification for the Conservatives proroguing Parliament, with a slightly different argument in using it as a reason:

Mayes says there is also a practical reason for suspending Parliament given that the Conservatives don’t have a majority of the seats. “The Olympics are a great celebration and it would be a real conflict for MPs to be there in a minority situation,” he said, adding that could lead to the opposition having more MPs present in Ottawa.

You’re ALREADY outnumbered in Ottawa. Colin; you’re in a minority government, remember? Of course, the basic solution is maybe if MP’s stayed […]

An apparent disadvantage of proroguing has emerged for Harper - his MPs are loose cannons

Let’s face it, before Harper got to be PM, the Canadian Alliance Party’s MP’s were sure to say something unscripted and rather extremist sounding. Harper has managed to impose authoritarian discipline on that habit, and his MP’s are pretty well trained seals, able to parrot back Conservative talking points almost mechanically. However, its becoming clear that when those same Conservative MP’s aren’t all in one briefing room every day in Ottawa, and they’re getting challenged on controversial issues where they have to think for themselves, they’re going off-script, and the PMO and Harper aren’t able to tell them to shut up and/or to just parrot what the PMO folks tell […]

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