While much of the attention is now focuses on the federal Liberal party and its attempts to replace a leader, we must not lose sight of the leader across the floor who initiated all this. In the words of outspoken broadcaster Rex Murphy, Prime Minister Stephen Harper “launched a hand grenade into the opposition’s underwear.” This foofaraw is a result of Harper’s partisan politicking. While the country may soon be asked again asked to examine leadership, we should not forget the actions of our current prime minister, who is now waving the banner of patriotism and democracy at every chance.
Harper and the Conservatives have blasted the actions of the Liberals as being undemocratic.
However, what has been truly undemocratic in all this mess is the fact that our prime minister prorogued Parliament for no other reason than the government would be defeated. There is a difference between governing and democracy. Governing is what elected officials do outside the house, democracy only happens inside the House of Commons.
It is not parliament that has been suspended, it’s democracy that has been suspended. Many have called the Liberal/NDP/Bloc actions an attempted coup d’etat. However, a real coup d’etat involves quashing the democratic processes of a country to keep oneself in power. We’ve seen how far Harper will go to stay in power now. What will he do in January if his government is still poised to fall? Use the economic crisis to suspend parliament and/or elections indefinitely? Invoke the War Measures Act, a la the Conservatives’ historical foil Pierre Trudeau? It appears the sky is the limit.