What do you think of the Governor General's decision?

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Left J.A.B.

I know it would be unprecedented, but I think that deciding to overturn 140 odd years of responsible government behooves an explanation by the GG for the Canadian people.


We can expect Harper to push the envelope as far as he possibly can. Until electoral reform enters in to this discourse, Harper will maintain the upper hand in the public relations war. To the extent that first past the post does not produce legitimate governments and representation for the majority, none of the options are truly legitimate. For one, the 6.5% who voted Green in the last election get no representation either way.

One of the biggest dangers I see is that by positioning coalitions as undemocratic, illegitimate and "un-Canadian", they are poisoning the well for proportional representation before the debate even begins.

Harry Shannon

I sent this short comment to a couple of newspapers' letters editors, but they didn't publish it - surprise!


The other day, the Tory caucus broke into a rendition of "O Canada". I
was reminded of Samuel Johnson's comment that patriotism is the last
refuge of a scoundrel.

I guess the headline now should be: "Governor-General Pro Rogues"


jrootham wrote:
I looked in Hansard and found the text of the prorogation.  There is a tiny sliver of good news there for precedent.  Normally I believe prorogation is sine die and the recall of Parliament is up to the Prime Minister.  In this case there is a specific date of recall built into the proclamation, in fact there are two proclamations, the recall proclamation is already issued.

Given the date we are looking at missing 2 weeks of sitting.  In the future the precedent will be that a Prime Minister can use prorogation to stall for a short period of time (at least in terms of how Parliament counts time) not indefinitely.

That is the limitation on Jean being "pro rogue", if she can be considered to be at all. She will be if she allows a repetition in similar circumstances in January, but the circumstances won't be similar and Harper would just ask for dissolution either before or after a VONC. Whether she is theoretically right or not, she may have saved the opposition parties from themselves, especially if she would have acceded to a request to dissolve parliament (we won't know that until at least January).

It may be seen in hindsight as the right decision practically if not theoretically. Certainly it is a popular decision amongst Canadians generally.


Hillarious.  Valpy, who yesterday wrote that a precedent is not a precedent, continues flacking the Jean PR offensive by claiming that not having the confidence of Parliament is having the confidence of Parliament:


"Ms. Jean made clear to the Prime Minister that she was not a rubber stamp for his request to shut down Parliament until late January; that it was within her constitutional discretionary power to turn him down.

Constitutional expert Peter Russell, who has met the Governor-General several times, said Friday she has a forceful personality and would not have been intimidated by the Prime Minister. “There is no doubt at all about that,” he said.

. . . .

Prof. Russell told the law school symposium: “She has to have ministers who can govern with the confidence of Parliament. It [prorogation] was a very tough judgment call and, God bless her, she has the best interests of Parliament and the country at heart.”"



Last night I cooked Perogies for dinner for us and the kids. I followed it by a Banana soufflé to celebrate our status as an official banana republic. 



Fair and Balanced

I too read the Valpy article yesterday. I was particularly struck by one phrase in the following opening sentence "In her historic meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper,
Governor-General Michaëlle Jean discussed Canada's economic situation,
the viability of an alternative coalition government and the mood of
Parliament.". They discussed "the viability of an alternative coalition government". Now, I'm not a rocket scientist, but isn't that like letting the fox guard the chicken coop? What do we think the PM's advice or opinion was on the viablity of an alternative coalition government? I'm also not a constitutional expert, although I've read the constitution, but should the GG not have asked the Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition for advice as well? Isn't he and his shadow cabinet there as a government in waiting? 


What do I think of the GG's decision? I'm against the decision but not simply because it allowed the PM and the conservatives to avoid their responsibility to the people of Canada through a vote of confidence in the House.  I'm against her decision because she did not take the advice of the Leader of the Opposition. I believe she should have at least met with the leader and then made her decision. When the Frank Miller government in Ontario lost a vote of confidence in 1985, shortly after the election, the Lieutenant-Governor allowed the Liberals through an accord with the NDP to governor. They governed for 2 years.

 So, I've sent a letter, by snail-mail, asking the GG to resign as I believe she failed to seek the opinions of others before accepting the PM's.


This is disappointing, the Governor General should have assesed the situation more meticuously before proroguing parliament. It was not in the country's best interest for such a move especially in times of economic woes, we need a functioning governement as we speak. We had a coalition, constituting 62% of the Canadian vote that seems stable and Harper did not hit base on the issue of the economy. Instead, GG decides to grant Harper's request which is simply outrageous, I mean if it wasn't for the stirred outrage of the opposition we're looking at a man who did not even have the economy at the top of his agenda. Sure come the end of January, he's going to prepare a minimal stimulus package proposal that will not be sufficient. He will claim he is trying to appease opposition and will continually mock Canadian governance with the silly antics of right-wing politics. I just can't stand Harper and his cronies, and I mean Jim Flaherty is just a complete joke.


Closing for length


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