"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality." --Bishop Desmond Tutu

Friday, December 05, 2008

Canada now located SOUTH of America

So it appears that Canada has become a Banana Republic overnight. In an unprecedented move, the Canadian Prime Minister, the detestable Stephen Harper, has asked for and received from the Governor General, permission to dissolve Parliament until January 26th thereby preventing a guaranteed No Confidence vote from taking place.

Governor General Michaelle Jean -- the representative of Queen Elizabeth, Canada's head of state -- agreed to Harper's request to shut down Parliament until Jan 26. Parliament was reconvened just weeks ago after the October 14 election.

Harper's request for suspension was unprecedented. No prime minister had asked for Parliament to be suspended to avoid a confidence vote in the House of Commons.

Such a vote had been set for Monday and the Conservatives almost certainly would have lost it, and faced the possibility of being replaced by a coalition of opposition parties.

For those who don't follow Canadian politics or the Canadian governmental system, Canada is a constitutional monarchy with the Prime Minister as head of government and the Queen of England as the head of state. The Governor General is the Queen's representative in Canada and does have the power to dissolve Parliament in the Queen's name. But it's never been done before. It's the equivalent of the Queen dissolving the House of Commons in the UK. It never happens. Ever.

So what happens next?

The New Democrats and Bloc maintained their insistence that Harper could not be trusted and must be removed, as did some members of Dion's Liberal caucus.

"You can run but you can't hide," said Bob Rae, who is looking to become Liberal leader when Dion steps down early in May. He predicted the opposition would topple Harper early next year.

You can run, but you can't hide. I like the sound of that.

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