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.