As many Canadians, or the ones paying attention, may already know, the Canadian government has been suspended, twice in a year. At the end of December, Neocon leader Stephen Harper suspended the parliament through the Governor General until March 3, 2010. In what other country is this sort of action enforceable? In a country with a non-elected head of state who lives in a foreign country, and one where the PM is a dictator in parliament.
Despite the mess, the Liberal Party, perhaps showing true political grit or desperation for a photo-op, though it denies the latter, will return to work as of January 25. The Opposition, Liberal, NDP and Bloc, have accused PM Harper of carrying out the suspension for the purposes of distracting people from the Afghan detainee scandal that flared during the holiday season and the weak job growth, high unemployment and stagnant economy.
However, Harper’s spokesperson insists it was to allow the minority Conservative government to “recalibrate.” Either way, considering Harper’s behavior at the Climate Summit in Copenhagen last December and the new revelation that his government has cut off funding for scientists studying climate change, there are many people unhappy with his government. Harper’s agenda is clear. This is a man trying to hold on to power for as long as he can.
There’s no doubt a federal election is imminent this spring. It’s been a year and a half since the last election in October of 2008, and Canada barely escaped one last year, but Harper’s actions have become intolerable.
Canada’s frequent elections may be tiresome; and, though I was a vocal opponent against the push for an election last year, I can’t say I feel the same this year. A recession and the high unemployment among youth have ignited a desire for an election–change. I am not excited about this election, but maybe it’d be for the best, or better.
I have to admit, the only way I’ll truly become excited about Canadian politics is when a reform of the Canadian system is the main agenda. I have written on this topic before. Harper’s suspension of parliament is simply a testament to the things government can get away with in a system that, due to its undemocratic nature, allows for a power grab.