Harper threatens election to end 'dysfunction'
DANIEL LEBLANC AND CAMPBELL CLARK
From Friday's Globe and Mail
August 14, 2008 at 9:35 PM EDT
— Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Thursday he will not govern over a
“dysfunctional” Parliament and warned for the first time he could take
matters into his own hands and force the country into a fall election.
Harper's made his threat as he and other government officials grew
increasingly testy over four days of rare summer hearings into the
Conservative Party's “in-and-out” advertising scheme in the 2006 election
He warned the opposition two weeks ago that he would not tolerate
parliamentary committees acting as “kangaroo courts,” but a senior
Conservative official said Thursday it doesn't look as though the opposition
A number of Conservative Party workers refused to appear this week before
the House of Commons ethics committee, which is probing $1-million in
transfers between Conservative headquarters and local campaigns two years
The Tory no-shows increased the chaotic nature of the proceedings and fuelled
opposition attacks against the Harper government. But Conservative MPs argue the
committee is biased and is ruled by a “tyranny of the majority.”
Speaking in Newfoundland, Mr. Harper said he will quickly see whether
Parliament can work when the House and the Senate start fall sittings in
mid-September. If Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion can't decide to bring down the
government or supports its legislative agenda, he said he will take matters into
his own hands.
“In the past few months, and particularly over the summer, we have seen
increasing signs that this Parliament is really not working very well any more.
It is becoming increasingly dysfunctional,” Mr. Harper said.
“Quite frankly, I'm going to have to make a judgment in the next little while
as to whether or not this Parliament can function productively,” he said.
Conservative officials refused to issue a specific ultimatum Thursday or
state exactly how the government could fall, but they added their threshold is
not only surviving confidence votes, but also enacting laws.
“Governing is more than not just being defeated in the House. It's also being
able to pass legislation,” a senior Conservative adviser said.
Mr. Harper's made his comments as Conservative MPs continuously disrupted the
proceedings of the House of Commons committee on ethics. A raft of Conservative
witnesses have failed to appear, including several who were served with
One witness, an official agent for a former Tory candidate, said a
Conservative organizer told witnesses not to attend, and Liberal committee
chairman Paul Szabo said another potential witness who did not show up also told
a committee clerk that the party told witnesses not to go.
Conservatives have twice tried to crash the hearings, demanding to be heard
before or after their scheduled appearance.
Thursday, former Tory candidate Sam Goldstein began yelling at opposition MPs
on the committee as it broke for lunch. He had failed to appear on Tuesday,
despite a summons, saying he was in court; MPs refused his request to be heard
immediately but scheduled him for the end of the day, but Mr. Goldstein left.
On Monday, Tory campaign manager Doug Finley showed up and demanded to be
heard two days before he was scheduled, but was refused, and then on Wednesday
he failed to appear at the time set by the committee.
Thursday, opposition MPs on the committee passed a motion giving recalcitrant
invitees one more chance to appear between Sept. 15 and 30, and suggested that
if they do not, they might ask the Speaker to issue a warrant for them to be
forced to attend. Tory members opposed that motion, calling for the committee to
ask the Speaker for direction.
The Liberals, who will have the votes to tip the scales either way in future
confidence votes, are refusing to be boxed in by the Prime Minister. Instead,
they argue that the current state of chaos in Ottawa is caused by the
Conservative Party's obstructionist tactics, and that the Conservatives are
trying to deflect attention away from government scandals.
“This is the Prime Minister who made a virtue of passing fixed-election date
legislation, and now he's threatening to cross Sussex Drive and go see his
neighbour, the Governor-General, and ask for an election because he's
fabricating a crisis where none exists,” Liberal MP Dominic LeBlanc said.
With a report from The Canadian Press
Commentary in the Globe and Mail
Dysfunction? How about failing Canada's children by failing to have a legal
presumption of equal parenting after separation? How about failing to address
the war against me being conducted by the family court judiciary? How about
failing to ensure that children are entitled to live with and have a
relationship with both parents?
We live in a sick dysfunctional Canada that is absent the Rule of Law, our
Supreme Court of Canada has NEVER heard an appeal by a self represented
litigant, our Ontario Court of Appeal has systemic process of bias against me to
the point that there is almost no point in any male litigating any issue as the
Appeal Court judges "get even" that is, even if a male wins a minor issue, he
will be hit with such massive cost penalties he will never be able to litigate
Some Ottawa Family Court Judges habitually issue orders to permanently deprive
father's of any right even to VARY an order, thats right, or even REPLY to a
motion by a vindictive mother.
Dysfunction, Stephen Harper is a puppet prime minister. He regurgitates what
ever Washington tells him to and its time for a change.
If you are thinking of voting in the Next Election, don't vote for the No Dads
Party let by that anti father crusader, Jack Layton. He is one politician who
has supported anti father causes for a long time and its time for for a change.
Children across Canada are denied a right to have a relationship with their
father because politicians like Jack Layton refuse to endorse a bill that would
guarantee a child's right to equal parenting after separation.