GG can prevent another election?

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neil_smith neil_smith's picture
GG can prevent another election?

Is it a stretch to imagine that when the Governor General allowed Stephen Harper to prorogue parliament she also said that he better not visit within the next year or she will ask someone else to form a government.

Just as to prorogue is an unusual step to take, asking the leader of another party to form government would be unusual but still possible. I may be wrong about this and when it comes down to it, if asked I wonder if Ignatieff would be able to work something out. However, I would like to see the GG do it. It would be a good way of saying "Shape up! None of you have a majority of seats or votes, get used to it and learn to work something out."



I believe parliamentary experts said in newspapers at the time that Harper had six months, or until last spring, to stave off a coalition of the 62% majority. After that, they said, GG would be more likely to give him permission for another unnecessary and expensive taxpayer-funded election. We have the Liberals to thank for handing the Tories this new breathing room.

West Coast Lefty

It's totally inconceivable that the GG would not dissolve Parliament if the government is defeated on a confidence vote - Harper would then visit the GG and ask for dissolution and it would be granted immediately.  The Dec 2008 prorogation decision will be debated for hundreds of years by constitutional scholars, but one fact that most folks forget is that Harper's Throne Speech did pass the House of Commons prior to prorogation (letting the Speech from the Throne pass was one of many huge strategic areas the coalition partners made during that fateful ten days or so).  This allowed Harper to argue to Jean that he had gained the confidence of the House, and was not requesting prorogation to avoid facing Parliament in a minority government context. 


[url=]Andrew Heard, SFU, said:[/url]


 The governor general has prevented a newly elected parliament from expressing its judgment on the prime minister.


Secondly, the prime minister's request to prorogue parliament to avoid defeat on a vote of confidence is of highly questionable constitutionality. Scholars around the Commonwealth have decried such a possible tactic. Such an event had not happened in modern, stable parliamentary democracies, because prime ministers have understood their duty to face parliament. It is completely unprecedented in Canada in modern times. It does happen in moments of turmoil in unstable political systems, such as occurred in Sri Lanka in 2001.


Other doctrines guiding the work of governors general arise from their duty to ensure that the basic principles of parliamentary democracy are allowed to function. The first and most important principle of parliamentary democracy is that the government of the day must win and maintain the confidence of the House of Commons. Thus a governor general has a central duty to ensure there is a government in office who commands the confidence of Parliament. This duty is particularly important in the early months following elections that return a House of Commons divided among minority parties. By suspending Parliament, the governor general has prevented it from fulfilling that duty.


Isnt the Sri Lankan government a militant and dictatorial regime and guilty of basic human rights violations in their 25 year-long dirty war?