Wednesday, October 02, 2019

Harper Defends Prorogation. He Would, Wouldn't He.

Stephen Harper believes Boris Johnson received a raw deal from a unanimous, 11-Justice panel of Britain's Supreme Court who ruled his prorogation of Parliament unlawful, void and of no effect.

It could be said that the British court's powerful judgment cast Harper's prorogation measures in an unflattering light. At least that's how Sideshow Steve sees it, bristling with indignation and revealing his deeply embedded authoritarian instincts.
Mr. Harper said prorogation was an important tool for prime ministers and cited his own experience using it. 
In 2008, Mr. Harper suspended Parliament for roughly six weeks to avoid a vote of no-confidence in his minority government and to prevent the opposition parties forming a caretaker government. In 2009, he prorogued Parliament for a shorter period, which stopped a House of Commons committee from investigating allegations Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan had allowed detainees to be tortured.

Mr. Harper said the 2008 prorogation in particular had saved the country from “long-term damage to the Canadian federation.” Prorogation was “unquestionably a prerogative of the prime minister” and judges should not get involved, he said. 
Mr. Harper was also asked about the future of the United Kingdom after Brexit and whether Scotland would separate, or if Northern Ireland would unify with Ireland in order to remain in the EU. 
He dismissed the reunificiation of Ireland, suggesting a majority of people in Northern Ireland still favour staying in the U.K.
On Scotland, he said the British government should not follow Canada’s example of having “multiple referendums” on independence. Scotland voted 55 per cent to remain in the U.K. in a referendum in 2014, but the Scottish Nationalist government has indicated that it wants to hold another vote. 
Mr. Harper said the British government should be uncompromising toward separatists. 
“People voted. They made a decision and you’re going to live with it. You are not going to have another referendum until you get your way,” he said.
There you have it. It is not unusual that, with the passage of time, memories of politicians past can mellow. The former fiend can be remembered as not a complete shit. But, Harper is the exception. He's still a complete shit and that's not going to change.


John B. said...

Do the people want a Prime Minister who doesn't have the competence to govern in a minority? Harper admitted long ago in plain English (and probably in French too) that he doesn't have the stuff. Eventually we gave in to him. Is it any wonder that he continues to treat us like the fools we are?

My local CPC candidate came door-knocking yesterday. He doesn't know Andrew very well and has never heard of Harper-Who, but he's absolutely sure that Trudeau is a clown.

the salamander said...

.. I believe your last sentence, about sums Stephen Harper up
But the thug aint done.. still plugging .. still thugging
Maybe he thinks he & Ray Novak
= some sort of heroic Canadian Che Guevara
motorcycle diarrhea..
or more likely the phony Dudley Do Right of our era

.. delusions of grandeur are his problem .. a la Trump
smartest guy in the room..
milquetoast suburban pimp more like it

Laureen got her RCMP girl out there on the farm ?
Gotta be better than life with Ray, living above the garage and Stevie

Anonymous said...

Prorogation unquestionably is a prerogative of the prime minister, the UKSC said as much. But Harper is dead wrong when he says judges shouldn't get involved.

As the UKSC explained in its 11-judge, en banc decision, the PM's power to prorogue Parliament must have some limit or the PM could prevent Parliament from exercising its legislative authority for as long as he pleased. The principle of parliamentary sovereignty dictates that there must be a limit to the PM's power to prorogue, and that limit is subject to judicial review. Logically, it couldn't be otherwise because a prorogued Parliament is unable to do anything, including its duty to review the acts of the executive.

Harper's logic leads straight to a dictatorship where neither a prorogued Parliament nor the courts can constrain the PM's power. We were damn lucky that weak leadership from Iggy didn't lead to far worse consequences for Canadian democracy.


rumleyfips said...

The idea that one referendum sets the result in stone for the remainder of time is as silly as Cleese's walk. If one vote is it, why the hell do we have elections every few years.

Anonymous said...

Not having another referendum is right wing UK Tory policy - that of Boris' and Rees-Mogg (the UK's Polievre clone). So harper will agree regardless just because that's what Cons do. Boris has been assing about again like the amateur he is this week, and the new useless document he sent off to the EU's Junckers is really not very clever.

harper helps out Boris by saying prorogation's great, assuming Boris has even heard of him because Canada is obscure to Brits, by also saying no more Scottish referendums. Who cares if the playing field has completely changed due to Brexit? The UK Tories don't, basically saying you've had your chance, and the Queen has Balmoral Castle and a gaggle of Corgis free to roam the Scottish heather at the moment, so she'll be glum if the Scots start playing bagpipes inappropriately, but who the hell would want to stay in a UK run by right wing ex-public Tory school dunces in these days of a probable no-deal Brexit? Johnson seems willing to break the law about a no-deal Brexit. We'll see if and when he does, whether Mr Plod moves in.

Cons are willing to go to the wall to remain in power so they can order everyone about like serfs.


Ben Burd said...

Mound, to change the subject, only because I cannot disagree with or add to this column - Brilliant - but I noticed the RE piccie in the sidebar.

Being in India for the last two weeks every time I hear that exhaust 'thump' past me at the rhythm of every other hydro pole I wince at the memory of owning, and giving up, a 250 crusader?

Loved that bike and can almost cry when I hear one now!