Both Houses of the Canadian Parliament, the Senate and the HOC have their own speakers. These speakers have many roles, including moderating debate. However, they also have a role that has progressively become ceremonial, that of representing their Houses to any other bodies, such as the Crown (in Canada effectively the Governor General).
This is the role that they should fulfill in the current parliamentary crisis. This, for once, is a matter in which Parliament, through its two speakers, needs to be represented. This is entirely within the purview of the Speakers, as although this role of representing their Houses has taken on a ceremonial character, they are still the only individuals who could legally fulfill it.
This idea of representing Parliament may sound nebulous, but in this current prorogation it has the potential of being concrete. If the Speakers were to take their roles as representatives of the two houses of Parliament seriously, they should be dutifully appalled by the total disregard, disdain, and contempt for Parliament that this prorogation shows. They should make a public announcement to this effect, calling for the reconvening of Parliament, and solicit the governor general on this issue, and if that is to no avail, then perhaps even the Queen.
Of course, it is unlikely that the last option would have much weight, and neither is it likely that the governor-general would now overturn her decision to allow prorogation. However, what is certain is that it would heighten public awareness of the issue and exemplify the extent to which our democracy is being taken from us.
Speakers used to be killed for the news they brought their sovereign of deliberations within the forums of democracy. It is at such a historic and significant time as now that the Speakers should assume that mantle of courage of their predecessors and defend the institution they represent. It is at times such as these that they should use their legally conferred powers to the true extent of their original intention.
Recommend this Post at Progressive Bloggers
If you liked this post, please vote for my blog at Canadian Blogosphere
- Take Away Harper's Right to Prorogue
- What the House of Commons is now being used for, t...
- Harper's Disdain for democracy continues
- Harper Calls his own Prorogation Anti-democratic
- Harper on Democracy: It causes instability
- The Speakers should protect Parliament
- This Prorogation Should Trigger Reform of Parliame...
- The Economist takes note of Harper's high handedne...
- Liberal MPs to defy Prorogation, Show up to work o...
- Debunking Conservative Myths on Prorogation
- ▼ January (10)