Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Power Grab

'In politics, a an organized minority is a political majority' - Rev. J. Jackson

The Governor General didn't do democracy any favors when she ruled to prorogue parliament a few weeks ago. Not that we should've expected anything different from the PM-appointed Queen's representative; we don't exactly have a ideal democratic process for picking our absolute head of state. I'm no expert at Parliamentary procedure, but it just strikes me a problematic that a minority-elected PM can suspend Parliament at his own discretion, and yet continue to govern unchecked during the suspension - in this case probably 7 or 8 weeks. Things are happening quickly in these 'uncertain times', but now we've lost one of the few tools we have to put politicians under the micro-scope during them, the parliamentary Question period. Since the GG granted Harper his request (to essentially avoid an imminent opposition-coordinated non-confidence vote) he has continued to make critical decisions to the welfare of the country - offering a multi-billion dollar bailout to Detroit automakers, and then appointing several new Senators - that are now outside the scope of formal questioning. Does anyone else see this as an issue? Isn't this what more despotic regimes tend to do - quash public questioning of government? Actually - I seem to recall that there have been more than a few English monarchs that have similiar issues in the past, so maybe we shouldn't be surprised at what has now transpired here in the colonies. Historically however, such acts by monarchs would be met with riots in the street and peasants with pitchforks, but here and now we're happy to be left alone by the politicians while we rush around finishing our gift and liquor buying for the holidays.

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