Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Just Another Day in the Sandbox for Canada’s Parliament

Managing a country isn’t easy, which is why we hope those we elect into our governments are more than capable of doing the job.

Though if you’ve been watching Canada’s federal government the past few years, you might be shaking your head in disgust.

For the past few years, federal politicians in Canada have tried to resolve their differences by shutting down Parliament and calling snap elections. When elections weren’t called, the threats of them were held over our heads, as one political party claimed they just couldn’t work with the other.

The latest childish-acting out by Canada’s ruling party hasn’t forced an election, but might as well have, because it has a similar effect.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party has prorogued Parliament. This is what usually happens after an election, essentially wiping clean all un-passed bills or motions, allowing the politicians to start with a clean slate. Any bills or motions which weren’t voted on prior to the proroguing must be re-presented and voted on.

As proroguing usually happens after an election, we think nothing of it, because it allows the newly elected or re-elected government a chance to start the business of governing.

But when it is called in the middle of a government’s rule, there is reason to be concerned.

In this case, Prime Minister Harper’s government called the prorogue of Parliament because an economic statement they made alienated the opposition.
So, rather than trying to explain themselves, their actions and taking the enormous responsibility of governing seriously, they threw their hands up in the air, and decided to erase their controversial economic statement, so that they could start from scratch.

Just when you think the federal Canadian government has done the most childish thing unbecoming a group of professional politicians, there they go doing something completely different, but even more childish than before.

Makes you wonder just how far will these adults go, in their childish ways?

Far worse than embarrassing Canada on the world stage – which has already happened as we have seen by the reaction of many world leaders to Prime Minister Harper’s lateness for a photo opportunity during the last meeting of the G-20 – the other world leaders just laughed it off, in a “oh that’s just the bumbling Prime Minister Harper for you,” way – far worse than that, the business of governing constantly falls by the wayside. Things just don’t get done, because our federal politicians are too wrapped-up in their own childish antics, constantly trying to one-up the other, rather than doing the right thing.

And the right thing for any politician, municipal, provincial, state or federal, is to ensure the business of the government gets done.

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