Canada's constitution lies in the written constitution as well as in parliamentary traditions or conventions. One of these is that prorogation of the House of Commons occurs after the agenda set forth in the Throne Speech is accomplished, or before elections. This definition of prorogation is being progressively amended by Harper and his Conservatives, rendering it instead a powerful government tool to escape accountability and to leverage power.
The first instance of this was last year, during the parliamentary crisis. Under unusual circumstances, the Prime Minister asked the Governor General to prorogue Parliament so as to avoid an impending vote of non-confidence. By misguidedly accepting this request, the Governor General ceded prorogation to the Prime Minister as a political tool. Last year the government used it to stave off defeat. Now they are musing about using it for other, similarly unconventional and partisan motives.
The Conservatives are worried by the prospect of further questions on the issues surrounding Richard Colvin's testimony on the transfer of prisoners to the Afghan police. They have been losing, albeit not at an exceedingly rapid rate, support in the polls.
Furthermore, the fact that in the new year the Conservatives could have a majority in the Senate is driving them to consider prorogation. The problem is that if they do not prorogue Parliament, they will have a majority in the Senate, but not on the Senate committees. Only prorogation can do this.
It would be a prorogation for purely partisan motives and for this reason, if the Conservatives do ask for the proroguing of Parliament, the Governor General should do what she should have done last year, and deny this request.
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