I will be the first to say that the Governor General’s decision to prorogue Parliament is the worst of the possible outcomes we could have seen today. It is not a solution to the crisis. Rather, it is a stall tactic that delays a confidence vote—a vote Harper’s Conservatives will likely lose. Moreover, how is this helping our economic situation, which is supposedly so dire that it needs immediate action? If Harper really thought the economy mattered more than his ego and desire for power, he’d seek a better solution—not necessarily yielding to a coalition, sure, but definitely not suspending our legislative assembly!
That said, I‘m glad that we now have a concrete decision, even if it’s an ambiguous concrete decision!
I respect that in our parliamentary democracy, the Governor General’s role is to make a decision like this, and I do not envy her this responsibility. No matter what she decided today, she would have upset some Canadians and set a precedent for future governments. I disagree with her decision, but respect it as a democratic one.
This is why I prefer parliamentary democracy to any other system, such as the American one. We have this check on the power of the Prime Minister’s office. Notice that the politicians are not blaming the Governor General; they blame Harper. Not only is this a smart move (since Harper is publicly elected; the Governor General is not), but it is symbolic of our democracy: it’s Harper’s fault that the situation has degenerated to such a degree as to require prorogation. The Governor General weighed the options and decided that this would be the best for Canadians.
In answering reporters‘ questions outside of Government House, Harper implied that the opposition parties are required to work with him to produce a budget that will help Canada’s economy. Well, the opposition parties are already working with each other, and they outnumber the Conservatives—Harper should work with them. Perhaps a coalition isn’t a good idea right now; maybe it would be unstable. But that does not mean that the Conservatives can rule like a majority government.
Don’t blame the Governor General if you’re upset with her decision. It isn’t her fault that our politicians are self-serving and shortsighted. We have a dearth of great leadership in our country right now. I am not disappointed in Canada as a democracy. I am disappointed in Canada’s political leaders for squabbling like children instead of running our country.