G-G should make leaders all take a time-out

Coalition BQ-NPD-PLC

Prime Minister Stephen Harper set the stage last night for a visit this morning to his neighbour, Governor-General Michaëlle Jean. He will likely ask her to make the opposition parties take a few deep breaths before they topple his government.
That would be a fine sensible idea, almost the first we've heard from any party leader in these tumultuous 10 days. The Governor-General owes it to all Canadians to give Harper a prorogation of Parliament if he requests one. This poisoned session of Parliament should be scrapped, and the parties can all begin anew in January.
That said, Canadians are still waiting for Harper to acknowledge, however obliquely, what everyone knows: that elements of last month's economic update were both mean-spirited and unwise.
It will not be easy, we'll admit, for Harper to show any humility while the opposition is in full cry about disrespect for the sovereignty of Parliament, denial of democracy, dictatorship ...
In turn, those claims would be more convincing if rank-and-file opposition MPs had played a real role in cooking up this speedy coalition.
But they did not. It was a caucus of three Liberal leadership candidates who chose, in effect, the leader for this coalition. And that pirated recording of an NDP caucus discussion reveals that Jack Layton, in consultation with some union leaders but not his MPs, negotiated the coalition's terms. Dismissively, he told his MPs not to worry over the details: "Much of what you would have want(ed) to see, it's probably already there" in the coalition deal. So much for the sovereignty of Parliament.
Everyone's still playing games. Showing more cunning than sincerity, Harper yesterday invited the premiers to a January meeting on the economy. As PM, Harper has treated the premiers like so many uncouth neighbours, deserving only wary civility. Wrapping himself now in collegial concern for their economic wish-lists seems like just another gimmick in this season of gimmicks.
Prorogation would be a blow to the coalitionists. Home over the holidays, they would have to explain to their own anxious supporters where this could lead each party, and why this was all done so hastily. Already some Liberal MPs, not least Michael Ignatieff, are ostentatiously keeping clear of all the intrigue. Some New Democratic MPs, too, are said to be less than pleased by all of this.
What a mess the four leaders have made, when leadership is urgently needed. But now the Governor-General can begin some healing, if she will send them all to their rooms by proroguing Parliament. She should tell them to take a time-out and come back in January, when everyone's calmer.

Laissez un commentaire

Aucun commentaire trouvé