Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Harper on Democracy: It causes instability

It seems that, instead of sticking to his mediocre defences for proroguing Parliament, Stephen Harper has felt the compunction to provide another defence more ludicrous than the rest. In an interview with BNN, Harper first claimed that his move to prorogue Parliament has not hurt Canadian democracy. He followed this willfully blind comment with the following:

"As soon as parliament comes back, we're in a minority Parliament situation and the first thing that happens is a vote of confidence and there will be votes of confidence and election speculation for every single week after that for the rest of the year That's the kind of instability I think that markets are actually worried about."

Harper claimed this so as to be able to purport that prorogation was of benefit to the economy, as it eliminates the instability caused by democracy. This shows either a great lack of political tact, or a profound undervaluing of democracy.

Democracy does not exist to serve the economy. It exists rather to allow the governed to enter into a social contract with their government, which stipulates that they can determine the formation of that government. If this were to interfere with markets, then so be it.

In addition, there is no foundation on which Stephen Harper can base this argument. Canada has been growing at rates faster than the rest of the G8 for the last few years, and all of these have been years of minority government, governments yielding the instability Harper decries. Therefore, it cannot be the case that minority government instability has a negative effect on the economy.

Stephen Harper got his economics wrong, and what's more, provided yet another episode evidencing contempt of democracy in the saga that has been his relationship with Parliament.
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  1. If the "instability" of a possible confidence vote is a market killer, then perhaps Mr. Harper can explain why the TSX reacted by rising almost 1000 points in the two weeks immediately following Iggy's Sept 1 statement that Harper's time was up and promising to bring down the government?

    Let me guess, he'll say that it would have risen 2000 were it not for that.....

  2. I am laughing out loud and then crying myself to sleep.

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