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DrGreenthumb

Harper to prorogue parliament AGAIN?

Government accountability and transparency check   

40 members have voted

  1. 1. Will Harper try to prorogue parliament again to avoid questioning of his government on Afghan detainees

    • yes
      31
    • no
      9
  2. 2. Should Harper be allowed to prorogue parliament every time his government gets itself in hot water?

    • yes, Harper is our king and we must do whatever he asks of us, his lowly servants.
      12
    • No, he should be forced to be accountable and face the music.
      28


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A noble act but barring special one time circumstances as futule as trying to turn the clock back. Against you will be not one but both behemoth parties with their functionaries, advertising, volunteers, etc and only one would have to get one vote more than you to send you back to political backwaters. With enormous luck you could make it there but it'll be just another freak occasion like any number before and will result in zero positive change as our behemotial duo will continue uncontested dominance over our political landscape.

For a guy who wants to change the political process, you have remarkably little desire to actually do anything about it.

No, this is not some evil conspiracy or unfortunate turn of events, but pure and simple logic, as 1-2-3. In the majoritary system there's only one winner and therefore only one way to vote: for or against, government or opposition, Tories or Wigs. Nobody else is admitted and no other interest can be represented. And once the duopoly system has been established, do ask yourself what choice would an MP who wouldn't toe the party line have? Correct, end his/her political career or go over to the only other party with meaningful claim to the power, and toe its party line.

Any number of people are free to run, as independents or aligning themselves with a party or creating a new party. Sounds like freedom to me. As with so many things, your arguments are in fact against human nature rather than the system. The actual constitution itself barely if at all recognizes political parties. Conceivably you could have 150 independents form a Parliamentary bloc and thus form a government. To some extent that's how the US Congress worked the first few election cycles before the party machinery began to impose itself.

This is because proportional representation is not some funny invention by people who like political experementation, but willing or not recognition of well known fact of our lives that choice comes with diversity and change but not necessarily stability. We here are so terrified of even minuscule political change that we're prepared to sacrifice all meaningful political choice for the appearance of stability and zero change.

If it is indeed true that Canadians are afraid of change, then all the complaints in the world will do little good. Since it is ultimately the people who drive the change, if the people don't want the change, well, that too is an expression of democratic will, no?

It is only appearance btw because without efficient and working way of keeping political leadership to account we'll never be able to know what is really going on. Take sponsorship scandal, take detainees and any number of other events when truth took years and decades to come out.

It hardly took that long. The sponsorship scandal took less then eight years, the detainee scandal (if there is much of one) in only four or five.

We addressed that argument at length. Rejecting change because it may not lead to perfect problem free solution is a sure way to fall back and stagnate.

But simply changing things with the hope that maybe they'll make a difference isn't necessarily a wise route. Change should not be simply for the sake of change.

It's not like I didn't say it already and probably a dozen times. Real independence,

That would only happen if we found a way to demolish the bonds of party politics. You don't honestly think proportional representation will do that, do you?

real accountability,

This is a catchphrase. Please expand.

real checks.

This is also a catchphrase. Please expand.

I'll give it just one more generations till our federal politicians will be the only ones interested in a dream world they are living in.

If that happens, the electorate is solely to blame.

An apt observation, parties have much better control over their political agenda and therefore much higher chance to see it through. As already mentioned, the problem arises than party system is combined with adversary representation mechanism that limits choice and stiffles competition ultimately to the extent that any meaningful choice may disappear entirely.

So the solution to party autocracy is more political parties?

Let's see: between themselves, NDP (~20%) and Greens (up to 10%) have levels of popular support approaching those of the main parties. But where is their representation? Right. That is the prime intent of this system: eliminate diversity and choice to the maximum extent possible.

The system is based on the notion that each riding shall have one representative in the House of Commons, and that representative shall be the one who receives the plurality of votes. It isn't designed to do anything like what you say.

Now I'm not against some form of proportional representation. I voted for a new electoral system in my home province last year (Single Transferable Vote). It's a good voting system that's already in use. It did have some downside in that it made for much larger ridings, which might sacrifice some of the local representation, but balanced with somewhat weakening the party system, I thought it a reasonable compromise. Unfortunately, most of my fellow British Columbians didn't agree. The most important aspect of democracy, to my mind, beyond constitutions, beyond accountability or checks, is the simple act of accepting defeat.

Regarding the "nuts": would the fact of no representation mean that there's no popular support for these groups? Who do we have to fool (but ourselves)? Or is another sign of infantility and low confidence?

Look at PR systems the world over. Fringe parties who can achieve even very modest political success can wage influence far beyond what pure poll counts would suggest. For instance, look at Israel, where none of the major parties can hope to govern without bringing in coalition partners, often from the smaller orthodox religious parties, and it is from this that, among other things, issues with new settlements in the so-called occupied areas (like East Jerusalem) causes so many issues. If one of the mainline political parties in Israel could gain a majority, they'd have much more latitude to make hard decisions. As it is, they are essentially held captive by what would otherwise be very small Parliamentary blocs.

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bambino, I'm interested in seeing this debate about the legality of proroguing parliament fleshed out.

When can PM request that Parliament be prorogued? In what situations would a PM not have his/her request honoured?

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I find it interesting that there is quite a bit of overlap between the people that believed Harper would not prorogue Parliament and those that believe he should be able to whenever he wants.

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I find it interesting that there is quite a bit of overlap between the people that believed Harper would not prorogue Parliament and those that believe he should be able to whenever he wants.

The first 10 pages were a bunch of bickering about what Chretien did ..couldn't stomach the rest ... I doubt anyone commented on the reasons a PM should pro rouge parliament

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When can PM request that Parliament be prorogued? In what situations would a PM not have his/her request honoured?

Legally, a prime minister can request prorogation at any time parliament is in session. However, by convention, a request would likely be denied if it came before the Throne Speech had been read and responded to, if it came after the prime minister had lost a confidence vote, or if it were for a very long period of time (the Charter requires that parliament meet at least once a year, but the government would likely run out of money before that time, putting us into crisis).

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