Thursday, December 4, 2008

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Governor General Michaelle Jean Suspend Parliament

Prime Minister Stephen Harper meets the Gov. Gen. at 9:30am - G.G. Announces Parliament to be suspended for sixty days two hours later -

Check the video from Youtube Canada of Harper's address AND Liberal Opposition Leader Dion's heartfelt response - just so many words now that parliament has been suspended. The legal stall tactic used by the Prime Minister is called proroguing parliament - legally the government has to meet only once to meet the electoral requirements of the mandate. So he has advised the Governor General (he can't unilaterally suspend parliament, The G.G. is the Head of State for the government - however the G.G. acts only on the "advice" of the Prime Minister) to avoid the turmoil of a non-confidence vote and the possibility of the NDP - Bloc -Liberal Coalition forming a majority. All business will be suspended - even Finance Minister Flaherty's economic update mini-budget will not be passed. Everything must now wait until the end of January when parliament resumes and the PM has promised to introduce a complete budget. Too little too late?

Just this morning, former Governor General Ed Schreyer, who was in office when P.M. Joe Clark lost a non-confidence vote, publically urged G.G. Michaelle Jean, not to bow to Prime Minister Harper's advice to prorogue the house. He said that no government should "duck a confidence vote". Well Ed, Harper's minority Conservatives just did!

View Prime Minister's address to the nation yourself right here. His strongest criticism was against the Bloc who he referred to repeatedly as Separatists, vowing he would never make a deal with such separatist factions. The political fallout of these statements regarding the Bloc Quebecois remain to be seen. Check back to the Canada News Commentary blog here for updates from NDP Leader Jack Layton and Bloc Leader Gilles Duceppe.

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