Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Advice to the GG: if asked to Prorogue, Make him Sweat!

I see that to top it off, Harper has embarrassingly inconvenienced the office of the Governor-General of Canada. With Michaëlle Jean forced to cancel her trip and fly home early, I suspect Harper will pull out all the stops and ask her to prorogue Parliament before the Opposition benches have a chance to vote in line with their oft and clearly stated position that his government has lost the confidence of a majority of the MPs.

If he does request a prorogation, one suspects that he will hold out as long as possible first while he shores up support for this action among his caucus and grassroots, in order to minimize the negative reaction to "pulling the fire alarm" in this way.

Now, I am no constitutional scholar, and I don't suppose Jean would be very comfortable in not granting a prorogation should Harper request it; but here is an interesting idea to let the G-G off the hook (at least partially):

What is to stop her from deciding to consult with her advisors and take say, a few days' deliberations before making her decision on whether to grant the request? That could even take her as much as a week, perhaps. And if the Opposition acts on the floor of the House to formally declare non-confidence in the meantime, then would not the prorogation request itself be prorogued (or negated?)

Call it the "Let me get back to you when I get back to you" option.

You're quite welcome, your Excellency

- 30 -


Patrick Ross said...

Harper would be irresponsible not to ask for a prorogation rather than submit to a coalition government being propped up by separatists.

The Governor General would be irresponsible not to grant it.

Scott in Montreal said...

Oh please, Patrick! How many times have these same separatists propped up the Conservative government on votes since Harper came to power? And as we all know, Harper attempted the same thing as the Liberals (with the same two opposition leaders) to unseat Paul Martin in 2004. So spare me; try another tack okay?