On the Edge of 143 Seats

I stay in power, the kitten gets to liveNever let it be said that Stephen Harper went down whining. (I mean, that’s pretty much what he’s doing, but let it never be said.)

After attempting to do the one thing capable of uniting the nation’s fragmented opposition parties — taking away public funding for political campaigns, thus ensuring that only the very wealthy would be able to have their voices heard in future elections — Harper stood slack-jawed as his opponents formed a workable coalition and called his bluff: You know, you’re just a minority government. We can take you, little man.

In a very short while, Harper will trek up to the Governor-General’s mansion and ask her to suspend this Parliamentary session for a month or so — as the Star puts it, he’s basically asking for a “time out” to figure out how to crawl back from the brink of revolt.

But here’s the rub: The Governor-General doesn’t have to do that. It’s entirely within her power to declare the coalition valid; constitutionally, that’s how Canada is able to deal with the defeat of a minority government without holding an election. And given the urgency with which Parliament needs to deal with this whole economic crisis, it seems to me that it’d be a lot more responsible to let the coalition get to that immediately, rather than giving Harper’s Conservatives a month to sit on their hands, officially prevented from acting.

But wait, I can hear my non-Canadian readers saying. What the hell is going on up there? Well, it’s a little tough to explain in a few sentences, but the knitblogger who calls herself the Yarn Harlot has put together an excellent summary of the situation without ever using the words “big baby” in reference to Harper. Pretty sure I couldn’t have pulled that off.

Hang on, Canada. It’s gonna be an interesting Christmas.

2 thoughts on “On the Edge of 143 Seats”

  1. “Prorogue” will probably become 2008’s Word of the Year, since it’s the word no one besides constitutional experts had ever heard of, prior to last week’s schoolyard eye-poking and squaring.

    Dion needs a strong, honest and influential handler, if not ace publicist to stop him from looking like a wet rag. His country-wide address Wednesday night was badly composed and BLURRY like a YouTube video, and half of his English/French media address, held after Harper’s ‘victorious’ meeting with the Governor General, had the French repliques remain untranslated, so allophones had no idea what the heck he was saying to defend his cause.

    Most frightening sign the coalition will have a great deal of work ahead: even as snow and sleet pelted Harper’s banal visage and architecturally brutalist head, he never wavered. Even his hair is comprised of anti-snowflake teflon shielding.

    And so begin six weeks of merriment, but the kitty gets to live a bit longer.


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