Prime Minister Harper’s decision to shut down Parliament is an attack on Canadian democracy. While Harper broke no rules when he decided to prorogue (suspend) Parliament, he did exhibit a profound lack of respect for one of Canada’s most fundamental democratic principles i.e. that Canadians hold the federal government accountable through their elected representatives in the House of Commons in Ottawa.
Suspending Parliament takes away their ability to do so. It is a terrible thing to do at the best of times, but is made even worse since it was done for crass political purposes, no matter what Harper’s protestations are. His decision tells us unmistakeably that he is willing to go to any lengths to remain in power by avoiding criticism, that he is willing to manipulate, subvert and override Canada’s democratic institutions and that he cannot be trusted to preserve and protect Canadian democracy as head of government. If he is willing to do this while leading a minority government what would he be willing to do if he had a majority….place restrictions on the press or curtail freedom of speech or other draconian measures? It’s entirely possible you know. Given his track record speculation like this is anything but idle.
The old aphorism “by their deeds they shall be known” holds very true in this case. Harper’s action shows us that he is unfit to govern because Canada’s democracy is not safe in his hands.
The sooner he goes the better.