If the Harper government falls in the next month, let’s keep in mind whose fault it is.
Jack Layton’s. That’s right. Mr. blown opportunity himself.
But first, let’s get something straight: when the opposition parties started moving toward a non-confidence motion back in November, they weren’t capitalizing on an opportunity to topple a democratically-elected government; they were doing their jobs. The majority of Canadians did not vote for the Conservatives, which is why they are a minority government that deserves to be toppled if it refuses to collaborate with the other parties.
Those characterizing the opposition as undemocratic ought to crack a book: the events leading up to the proroguing of parliament were completely democratic. Messy and annoying, yes. Also utterly democratic. That is not my opinion: that is a fact of constitutional law in this country.
What is not a fact, but only my opinion, is that it was Harper who used the law to thwart democracy. The opposition MPs, for whom the majority voted, were presumably carrying out the will of the people. And Harper sidestepped them, sidestepped the properly elected majority. Why is nobody angry about that?
Or asking when it’s proper to prorogue parliament. It is extraordinary to use this process in order to prevent the due process of democracy. One famous instance occurred when King Charles I of England shut down parliament in 1628. He did not call it again until he needed money. (Harper may wish to note that Charles was executed in 1649.)
It is, though, reasonable to prorogue parliament to prevent hotheaded instability within government. Two elections in the space of a few months was too much to put Canadians through and the Governor General was correct to provide us with a cooling off period, particularly during the Christmas season.
But that doesn’t excuse Jack Layton for starting all this in the first place. Let’s not forget that Layton was the idjit who in 2005 brought down Paul Martin’s perfectly functional minority Liberal government. Thanks to him, we now have an arrogant and high-handed Prime Minister running yet another minority government that may well fall to the cluster of hysterics who currently lead the opposition parties. If Harper goes, can he take Jack with him?