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Alberta Politics: Was there just a coup in Portugal? Why did Canada’s media ignore the story?

PHOTOS: The São Bento Palace, home of the Assembly of the Republic, in Lisbon. Was it just the site of a constitutional coup with implications for Canada? You’d never know from the local media. Below: Portuguese President Aníbal Cavaco Silva; Portugal’s national flag. Did you know a coalition of the left has been denied the . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Was there just a coup in Portugal? Why did Canada’s media ignore the story?

LeDaro: Stephen Harper is working hard and needs rest?

That is why he is proroguing the Parliament. Or is he sleeping on the job? Is he simply a pro-rogue or a rogue.

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

– Jenny Carson asks what governments are doing to lift poor workers out of poverty. (Spoiler alert: the Cons’ answer is “why would we want to do that?”).

– Meanwhile, Kemal Dervis and Uri Dadush discuss the desperate need to rein in inequality in the U.S.: As it . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Impolitical: Prorogation, obviously

The big news on an August Monday:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has confirmed he will ask the Governor General to prorogue Parliament until October, when his Conservative government will introduce the next speech from the throne.

“There will be a new throne speech in the fall, obviously the House will be prorogued in anticipation of that. We will come back — in October is our tentative timing,” Harper told reporters in Whitehorse Monday. Harper is in the Yukon on the second day of his annual summer tour of the North.

A few thoughts to add to the online maelstrom.

I am quite meh over this one. It’s mid-August and the House of Commons will be back in just over a month and a half? That’s not tooo bad in terms of an extension beyond a return that was expected on September 16th.

The news coverage on the Senate scandals, for example, is likely to continue through this period. They won’t be escaping damage from it.

Also, whenever Harper interferes with his own government’s ability to legislate, that’s not so bad. Less is definitely more for some of us when it comes to their legislative output record.

Harper, though, just can’t prorogue and avoid critical comment. He has baggage, to say the least.

He is the lone Prime Minister, of any Westminster democracy, to have faced a confidence vote and deployed prorogation to avoid his minority government’s fate. Totally unprecedented in Canadian history and so he just can’t shake that shadow. He would have been defeated in late 2008-early 2009 by the opposition parties but for his proroguing of Parliament. The Harper majority era might totally have been avoided had he not done so. All of today’s present Conservative party edifice is built on that shaky foundation. Which is partly why the power to prorogue is still in need of reform. There is less malevolent political calculation at play in today’s prorogation. But nevertheless, it doesn’t take away the need to fix, at some point, the unrestrained ability of a PM to prorogue without limitation.

A law that would restrain the power of the Prime Minister to prorogue could be passed and a PM would ignore it at their political peril. Whatever that judgment by voters might be. Could be nil, could be more, depending on how prorogation occurred. (Similar laws could be passed provincially as well.)

Today’s prorogation is also another reminder that it is just plain old anachronistic that a Prime Minister retains such power to unilaterally dictate the government’s sitting. In this modern era of a 24 hour news cycle, ever enhanced technologies and where Canadians’ work is increasingly stretched beyond 9-5, it is a strange holdover that a Prime Minister can still set their own government’s clock and work agenda, largely for political convenience. It just doesn’t fit in this era. It’s a reminder that there is a larger democratic deficit that needs to be cured in Canada. It’s not all about the Senate sideshow. Harper has educated us well about a PM having too much power and our way of governing being in need of an update.

Beyond all that, politically, today’s prorogation seems to continue the end of summer roll-out of the newish Harper majority looking toward 2015. New websites here and there with partisan purpose (Consumers First, the new Harper blog), election style speech and talk, etc. Now prorogation. The reboot is on and he’s looking to win again in 2015. Obviously. . . . → Read More: Impolitical: Prorogation, obviously

Impolitical: Prorogation, obviously

The big news on an August Monday: Prime Minister Stephen Harper has confirmed he will ask the Governor General to prorogue Parliament until October, when his Conservative government will introduce the next speech from the throne.

“There will be a new throne speech in the fall, obviously the House will be prorogued in anticipation of . . . → Read More: Impolitical: Prorogation, obviously

LeDaro: Stephen Harper is asking for prorogation of Parliament again

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has confirmed he will ask the Governor General to prorogue Parliament until October, when his Conservative government will introduce the next speech from the throne…. “There will be a new throne speech in the fall, obviously the House will be prorogued in anticipation of that. We will come back . . . → Read More: LeDaro: Stephen Harper is asking for prorogation of Parliament again

Trashy's World: Yeah, the weather is WAY too nice to work…

… I think I’ll prorogue work! Thanks Prime Minister Harper! Way to show leadership and initiative! I am taking your lead and proroguing until October. And like you Parliamentarians, I’ll continue to be paid, right? (7) Trashy, Ottawa, Ontario

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on the increasing attempts of executive government at all levels to declare democracy irrelevant – and how strong grassroots party structures may be the key to reversing the tide.

For further reading…– Again, Andrew Coyne’s column remains the definitive discussion of the issue at the federal and provincial levels.– But I’ll give credit to . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

– Tim Harper slams the Cons for yet another omnibus abuse of parliamentary democracy: Stephen Harper didn’t invent prorogation and omnibus legislation, but he has made two arcane polysyllabic political terms part of our everyday lexicon, improving our vocabulary but diminishing our democracy.

His shut-it-down and take-it-or-leave-it approach . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

– Erika Shaker describes the effect of the “right-to-work” laws so popular among our more regressive politicians: “Right-to-Work” still remains a dubious—even Orwellian—term, probably because we have a sweatshop-sized vat of research documenting examples of what this scheme has meant for those American jurisdictions that have implemented it. Higher . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

But I Bet She Woulda Fired Michaelle Jean If She Hadn’t Have Allowed Stevie To Prorogue in 2008/09

A Montreal woman, Chantal Dupuis took it upon herself to write the Queen, asking her to fire ol’ Stevie Spiteful and his government. Hell, why not? If as all these monarchist cheerleaders so love to shove down our throats, she’s the “Queen of Canada”, why shouldn’t she earn her keep? Besides, if one . . . . . → Read More: But I Bet She Woulda Fired Michaelle Jean If She Hadn’t Have Allowed Stevie To Prorogue in 2008/09

Right of Center Ice: 10 headlines capturing the "work" of the Harper Regime

The Globe and Mail has released a photo slide show titled “A look back at the biggest headlines from Canada’s 40th parliament” with 8 of the 10 headlines either critiquing or outright slamming the Harper Regime’s path of governance.

The two exceptions? The first was the state of Jack Layton’s health. The other was . . . → Read More: Right of Center Ice: 10 headlines capturing the "work" of the Harper Regime

Right of Center Ice: Would Harper prorogue parliament again?

A thought for progressives to discuss:

Layton has two votes this week with one potentially mattering significantly more than the other. If Layton supports the budget on Thursday can he really vote alongside the expected Liberal non-confidence motion on Friday? He could certainly vote against an Opposition Day non-confidence motion, that’s for sure, but what . . . → Read More: Right of Center Ice: Would Harper prorogue parliament again?

A. Picazo: Citizens say Yes to democracy, No to Harper’s Prorogation

By proroguing Parliament, and thereby subverting Democracy, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has succeeded where others have failed. He has galvanized Canadians from across the political spectrum, including many who were formerly apathetic citizens, in a common political cause: To stand up for democracy, and demand political accountability. More than 150,000 Canadians have joined the “Canadians . . . → Read More: A. Picazo: Citizens say Yes to democracy, No to Harper’s Prorogation