Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Will Harper's Move to Become Supreme Ruler Backfire? Lawrence Martin Thinks it Might

Did Stephen Harper go too far this time? Will Canadians finally wake up and see how damaging his tyrannical actions are to our democracy?

We honour our veterans and fallen soldiers on Remembrance Day, but the fight for democracy does not end on the battlefields.

It's something we have to continue fighting for every day.

We've allowed Harper's divisive style of governing, to sour Canadian politics, meaning that 'Lest we forget' is now 'Clearly, we have forgotten'.

One of my favourite columnists, Lawrence Martin, wrote an excellent piece on the subject. He mentions that the Facebook group has 15,000 members, but in fact it is now 43,849 and counting, and it's been in existence less than a week.

Be sure to join, if you haven't already, and express your displeasure by writing to your Member of Parliament, the Governor General or to the editor of your local newspaper. We have to start fighting back or we're going to be eaten alive.

Going prorogue: Harper's latest move may backfire
January 05, 2010

Having shown the effrontery to prorogue Parliament once again, the speculation now is that Prime Minister Stephen Harper, our supreme ruler, will take things a step further and force an election this spring.

Don’t bet on that one. We won’t know for sure until some polls come in, but there are indications the prorogue gambit is backfiring on him. The reaction has been demonstrably negative. Media comment boards have lit up in protest. The Globe and Mail went to the unusual extent of running a front page editorial. Conservative newspapers, normally in the prime minister’s stable, have condemned the move. The Facebook group, Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament, already has 15,000 signed up.
(as mentioned actually now 43,849)

It’s become a question of how many times the people will let a leader bend a democratic system to his will before they fight back. If the prime minister doesn’t take a hit in the polls on this, he will feel the sting in other ways. The opposition to his methods is hardening. People are angry. When they get angry, they mobilize.

This prorogation story, which comes on top of his defying the will of Parliament by refusing to turn over documents on the Afghan detainees affair, is different from some of the other abuse-of-power stories. This one has legs. Every day the Parliament’s doors remain closed will serve as a reminder of what the supreme ruler did.

In such circumstances it’s hard to see his support numbers going up enough in the next couple months for him to risk an election. Despite facing weak opposition leaders, Harper has been unable to move his support level above the 40 per cent mark. Pollsters will tell you one of the reasons for the failure is his manipulative ruling style — the cold dictatorial edge. Progrogation has only served to reinforce that negative.

Harper didn’t even bother to visit the Governor General to ask for prorogation this time. He simply phoned over, then had his press secretary announce it the day before New Year’s Eve when the Olympic hockey team was being named and the PM’s team felt that few would be paying attention.

The arrogance, the chutzpah is remarkable. Having dismissed Parliament in a hugely controversial move last year and having gotten away with it, Harper clearly feels he will get away with it again this time. Arrogant, autocratic leaders tend to be like that. They think they can get away with anything.

Eventually they get caught.

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