News from British and Canadian Conservatives

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Prorogation: Lee Richardson’s view

Lee_Richardson At today’s AGM of the Calgary Centre Conservative Electoral District Association, Lee Richardson defended the decision to prorogue Parliament.  The decision has proven controversial, and has been blamed for the drop in Conservative support in recent opinion polls.  I have to admit that I was none to keen on the decision, it being an alien concept to me given that it never happens back in the UK.  However, I certainly thought that Lee made a good case.

In summary, he said that it was quite normal for Parliament to return from the Christmas break towards the end of January, and that it normally rises for the Olympics, when attention is elsewhere.  That would have left only two weeks between restarting Parliament, before then closing it again and it would have been impossible to do anything in that time.  Instead, the Government has been able to spend time talking to Canadians across the country.  Normally, MPs are able to spend a considerable amount of time in their constituencies, talking to the general public, but that has been difficult in a hung parliament, which has required MPs to spend more time in Ottawa in case a tight vote arises at short notice.

Meanwhile, prorogation is not an unusual situation in Canadian democracy.  Parliament has been prorogued 105 times since Confederation, with the average duration of a session standing at 122 days.  The last Parliamentary session was actually longer than average, at 138 days.

Finally, there was the difference between adjourning and proroguing.  The former involves suspending a Parliamentary sessions, whereas the latter ends the session.  The advantages of the latter are twofold.   Firstly, it saves taxpayers’ money.  When Parliament is adjourned, the committee chairmen continue to receive their allowances.  In a prorogued parliament, there are no committees, so no chairmen to pay.  Secondly, prorogation resets the committees.  That means that the new committees in the Senate will reflect the new balance of power, meaning that the Liberals will lose their inbuilt majorities and the associated opportunity to filibuster.

It’s worth noting that the legislation that was not passed before the prorogation will not be lost.  A simple vote of the House of Commons can restore the Bills to their pre-prorogation status and pass them onto the Senate to debate.

That all being said, the CPC really needs to improve its PR operation.  The Opposition got a real jump on the government in the propaganda war on this one.  It’s time to learn from those mistakes, or we’ll never see a Conservative majority government in Canada.

1 comment:

bertie said...

Anyone with any knowledge at all of Canadian politics would know why PM Harper prorogued.First of all it was to gain control of the Senate.And secondly it was to formulate the new budget.We seem to have a lot of people who know nothing about politics in Canada or just don't give a crap.And besides we really don't need parliament sitting with these anti-Canadian opposition members and their scandal a day crap.PM Harper has been so far ahead of the MSM and opposition parties that he has made them look like children.They are nothing but mouths spewing venom every day of their lives,because they have such a hate for a good honest man who will not put up with their BS and baby tactics.Newspapers are going bankrupt daily because Canadians no longer believe anything their columnists write.CBC the 24 hour a day shill-propaganda station for the Liberals is viewed as nothing more than a joke by Canadians and will soon be history.And the opposition are no more than a pesky bother to PM Harper, because they contribute nothing in helping Canada become a stronger better.But they try their hardest to run it down every day in Parliament nation.What a sickening display they put on in question period. GO PM HARPER GO