Thursday, September 06, 2007

Parliamentary Collapse

As predicted last spring Harper is proroguing parliament. Harper delays Parliament's return until Oct. 16

Folks are speculating that Harper recalled Parliament late because he is planning to force a confidence vote.
Canada PM set for confidence vote

I think it was because they were waiting for the Parliament buildings to get repaired, or collapse.
Parliament Buildings 'in danger of collapse'

Since they won't be repaired by then their imminent collapse is expected, much like the Harper government.

And in the process of all this politicking, maybe we'll learn what this word "prorogue" means, anyway.

In fact, however, the word is derived from the Old French "proroguer," the Middle English "prorogen" (and Latin before that). To prorogue can mean "to defer" as well as "to adjourn." In Canada, a prorogation has come to indicate the period between two sessions of a legislative body. In effect, the parliament is in recess until the Governor General opens a new session on behalf of the reigning monarch and reads the Speech from the Throne.

The word has been prominent in history, although not always in stories whose endings our prime minister would particularly like.

in the early years of his reign, King Charles I of England issued prorogation orders in his battle with a Parliament reluctant to grant his demands for new revenue. At one point, he advised them to "Remember that parliaments are altogether in my power for their calling, sitting, and dissolution; therefore as I find the fruits of them good or evil, they are to continue or not to be."

Sounds like King Stephen.

Of course if he does prorogue parliament he can blame the opposition for not passing his law and order bills which he has delayed implementing.

Proroguing would kill most bills currently before Parliament - including key government legislation on the environment and crime-unless opposition parties agreed to bring them back at the stage they were at.

And it will kill the green albatross around his neck, the controversial Environmental legislation that was redrafted by the opposition.
Perhaps the most important bill at stake is C-30, government environmental legislation that was substantially reworked by the opposition parties.

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