Thursday, May 21, 2009
Yes! Says respected columnist James Travers.
According to Travers, Harper is centralizing increasingly more "Presidential Powers" in the PMO remote from the oversight functions of the House of Commons.
He used the Christmas Constitutional Crisis to tell Canadian people that they directly elected the Prime Minister which of course is factually wrong as our Prime Minister is defined as the individual who has the confidence of the House of Commons. Instead, Harper led Canadians to believe that we directly elected our PM similar to the direct Presidential election in America. Of course, only the voters of Calgary Centre got a chance to vote for Harper and he became PM only because he was leader of the largest party, albeit a minority party. It was constitutionally correct for any other parliamentarian to be appointed as PM if they enjoyed the confidence of the House, a responsibility that would have fallen to Stephane Dion who had the support of both the NDP and the BLOC. To avoid this aspect of the Canadian Constitution, Harper convinced the Governor General to proroque Parliament at the most inopportune time when economic action was required to combat our faltering economy. What a time to take a holiday! But it is one other way that Harper has Americanized our Canadian system.
It was dishonest and unprincipled for Harper to lie to the Canadian people merely to preserve power. His action was unique for Prime Ministers in Canadian history but hopefully it will not set a precedent for other more principled leaders in the future.
Canada needs a leader who respects the most basic law of the land...the Canadian Constitution.
Harper once derided Canada as "a Northern European welfare state in the worst sense of the term, and very proud of it." He also told an American audience that "Canada is content to become a second-tier socialist country, boasting ever more loudly about its economy and social services, to mask its second-rate status."
As Harper once boasted: "You won't recognize Canada when I get through with it." Since taking office, he's been carrying out his promise."
Perhaps we need a Prime Minister who is proud of the history and traditions of this country...and Harper is not it!