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Monday, January 26, 2009 

Harper's Padlock Comes Off Canada's Parliament Today

I am not sure that Canadians truly understand what happened in this nation six weeks ago.

The Conservative Party leader, Stephen Harper, attempted to unilaterally break a deal that he previously had agreed to with regard to financing for Canada's federal political parties. Harper's crafty power play to try and cripple his political opponents, blew up in his face and his government teetered on the brink. To save his political ass, he suspended Canada's Parliament, locked its doors and used the best political spin doctors that public money could buy to try and redefine his motives.

The loser in all of this was the people of Canada. We pay the taxes, we pay the bills for the entire operation of democracy in Canada. Yet we have a Prime Minister who is so convinced of the correctness of his position, that democracy became secondary to him. He placed a padlock on the House of Commons and representative democracy flickered out for a moment in this nation.

Even during the excesses of Pierre Trudeau (when he invoked the 'War Measures Act' in 1970 and suspended civil liberties in Canada), the House of Commons continued to sit and the elected representatives of the people still had the ability to question him and to express their concerns for what was happening in the nation. What Steven Harper did by padlocking Parliament, was to completely suppress the elected representatives of the Canadian people from having a voice and from questioning the government.

The padlock comes off today. Our elected representatives once again are able to practice parliamentary democracy in Canada. Members of Parliament can ask questions of the government.

But remember .... for six weeks democracy was denied in Canada. Stephen Harper padlocked the House of Commons. His actions should be held in contempt for the remainder of his political career.

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