In defence of the realm of prorogation

In defence of the realm of prorogation It struck me as odd that your January 15 article on the proroguing of Parliament only told the story you want to be told, and quoted only those people who agree with you. Then I remembered, most of the media have

It struck me as odd that your January 15 article on the proroguing of Parliament only told the story you want to be told, and quoted only those people who agree with you.

Then I remembered, most of the media have had a longstanding grudge against Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservative government, not to mention the majority of reporters tend to be left leaning, if not actual sycophants and toadies of the Liberals and the NDP; parties which are actually much more concerned about promoting their electoral prospects than they are about the current prorogation or its alleged slight to democracy.

As evidence of their charges, they argue the government has prorogued Parliament twice in 12 months, but they forget to mention that the prorogation of December 2008 was due to the attempt of the ugly alliance of the Liberals and NDP with the separatist Bloc to disrespect the democratic choice of the voters and illegitimately seize power. In truth, that first prorogation preserved our democracy.

Now we have the media and opposition spinning the current prorogation into a constitutional crisis when it is nothing of the sort.

Our democracy has, in no way, been harmed or compromised. And even though Parliament is not sitting, it is patently untrue that MPs are not working (as belied by the photo that accompanied your article entitled “Yukon MP Larry Bagnell at work in his Whitehorse office”).

I am quite sure most MP’s of all parties are similarly at work, not taking ‘two months off’ as the opposition agitators are alleging. Similarly, the accusation that the Conservatives have shown ‘contempt’ for Parliament seems odd when one considers that there was never any such accusation when Liberal governments prorogued Parliament, which they have done many times, and for much longer than the current prorogation, which is really only five weeks given that Parliament was already going to be in recess till January 25.

Moreover, the attention of most Canadians will soon be on the Olympics, and, I suspect, most would probably prefer not to hear the opposition and media’s political carping during the Games, or have that kind of publicity presented to our guests and the world.

What about the accusation the motive for prorogation was to shut down the inquiry into alleged torture of Afghan prisoners?

Even if that charge has partial merit, the inquiry itself had no merit. The facts of the matter are that Canadian soldiers did not abuse or torture anyone, nor did they knowingly or deliberately send prisoners to be tortured.

It is the Afghan government that must answer for the treatment of its citizen prisoners, not Canada. Although it may be true that our government was aware of some prisoner abuse by Afghan authorities, the Conservatives have been doing the right thing in keeping silent on the issue while quietly taking steps with the Karzai government to ensure respectful treatment of prisoners.

Too bad Richard Colvin did not do the same.

Meanwhile, the Taliban, which carefully monitors our media, takes solace and encouragement from the angst stirred up in our nation by the self-serving antics of the opposition parties and their supporters. They should know better and keep their traps shut. Instead, their ill-considered public crusade demoralizes our nation and continues to put our military mission and the lives of our soldiers in unnecessary jeopardy.

It is also disingenuous for Bagnell to complain that the proroguing of Parliament ‘killed roughly 35 bills’ that were in the works when his party, as well as the NDP and Bloc Quebecois, have been fighting tooth and nail to prevent them from moving forward, let alone being passed.

If, indeed, Larry is onside with most of those bills, let him and his fellow opposition MPs agree to bring them forward at the same point when Parliament resumes, and work towards their quick passage (including voting to get rid of the costly and useless long gun registry). Neither will Yukoners or northerners be deprived of the work of the committees studying poverty and economic development in the North unless the opposition wants us to be. On the other hand, the appointment of new Conservative senators during this brief interregnum will do much to ensure that the business of our nation does move forward, despite all the attempts of the opposition to delay or prevent it.

Finally, any fair or reasonable assessment of the performance of the Harper Conservatives during their four years in office would put to flight most of Duff Coniker’s epithets and criticisms. No doubt they might have done better in some regards, however, the Harper government has an enviable record of good leadership and governance.

Despite the difficult circumstance of having a minority under constant threat by a hostile opposition, the Harper government has racked up a long list of laudable achievements for the benefit of Canadians, which makes previous Liberal governments’ records look positively picayune and pathetic.

And what have the Liberals offered us for ‘leaders’ these many years? Ð ‘Just watch me fuddle duddle’ Pierre Trudeau; ‘I like pepper on my steak and playing golf’ Jean Chretien; ‘I didn’t know anything about scandal, Mr. Dithers’ Paul Martin; ‘I’ll sell out Canada to the Bloc and NDP to be PM’ Stephane Dion; and ‘just visiting’ Michael Ignatieff.

I’ll take Harper and the Conservatives any day.

Rick Tone

Whitehorse