But I’ve digressed. I don’t blame Jean. I blame Harper. He put the Governor-General in this position, and now a very dangerous precedent has been set: illegitimate governments that have lost the support of the people’s representatives can govern with impunity, fleeing parliament at will to avoid accountability. Mark my words: Conservatives, and all Canadians, will come to regret the precedent set here today.
What we have today, however, is an illegitimate government that has lost the moral authority to govern. As El Presidente would say, Let Me Be Clear. Stephen Harper has lost the confidence of the House. You know it, I know it, he knows it. It is a fundamental tenant of our system of parliamentary democracy that, to be Prime Minister, you must command the confidence of the House. And he does not. That is abundantly clear.
Harper may go on to govern for many years. And he may even do some good things, anything is possible. But his scorched Earth, nuclear war campaign to maintain his tenuous grip on power has besmirched and weakened the very institutions he claims to be fighting to protect.
He has stoked the fires of Western alienation by exploiting the legitimate concerns of Western Canadians for his narrow political ends.
He has stoked the fires of Quebec nationalism with his narrow-minded attacks on the Bloc Quebecois, a party that draws broad support from Quebecers not for its pro-sovereignty policy, but for its pro-Quebec policy.
He has exploited the lack of understanding many Canadians have of our parliamentary system to portray opposition parties representing the majority of the population exercising legitimate mechanisms available to them under our system of government as undertaking acts of treason that constitute a coup, thereby weakening the confidence and respect the public has in its system of government. That’s very dangerous.
And he compounded the danger by putting the Governor-General in the untenable position of having to make a decision he should never have asked her to make, further weakening our system of governance. It was only his blinding ambition and lack of respect for democracy that but her in this bind, and his inability to do the right thing.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
This is finals period so I do not have as much time as I would like to write, so I'll quote. Here is Jeff Jedras summing up my opinion of what Harper has done the past few weeks: