A blog to give a voice to our concern about the continued erosion of our democratic processes not only within the House of Commons and within our electoral system but also throughout our society. Here you will find articles about the current problems within our parliamentary democracy, about actions both good and bad by our elected representatives, about possible solutions, opinions and debate about the state of democracy in Canada, and about our roles/responsibilities as democratic citizens. We invite your thoughtful and polite comments upon our posts and ask those who wish to post longer articles or share ideas on this subject to submit them for inclusion as a guest post.
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Monday, February 15, 2010

The Liberal Proposal

As several bloggers and news media have noted the Liberals today sent an open letter to PM Harper, attached to that letter was their proposal re Prorogation. So that we all know exactly what they proposed I have downloaded the over 4mb image pdf, scanned the image and run it through OCR software. Here then is that text. Note to LPC, you have been around government too long, why not provide a simple text copy of your letter or at at least a text pdf, seems you are on the same page as the rest of the bunch in Ottawa in making access to documents as difficult as possible!

The text follows:-

Since the conventional principles of Parliamentary democracy are not secure in the hands of the Harper government, the Liberal Party proposes remedial action to rest ore traditional standards of democratic behavior in future requests for prorogation.

The Liberal Party of Canada will present Motions in the House of Commons to amend the Standing Orders of the House and, if necessary, propose legislation to achieve the following

1. Require the Prime Minister, before making a request for prorogation, to provide written notice of his intention to do so at least 10 days in advance, together With his specific reasons for seeking prorogation;

2. Require the Prime Minister to bring the issue of prorogation, and his reasons for seeking it, before the House of Commons immediately for a full debate;

3. Unless the House otherwise consents, prohibit request for a prorogation Within the first 12 months of any session;

4. Unless the House otherwise consents, prohibit request for a prorogation that would last longer than one calendar month;

5. Unless the House otherwise consents, prohibit request for a prorogation when a vote of confidence has been scheduled in the House; and

6. Allow the Committees of the House of Commons to continue to function during the period of time that Parliament is prorogued

If possible, Liberals intend to submit their proposal to the House Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs for consideration by all parties before bringing forward amendments to the Standing Orders of the House of Commons.

View the letter to Prime Minister Harper
Warning to those without high speed connections this letter of just 8 pages is over 4mb!

I have seen similar proposals offered over the last few weeks and note that this proposal does NOTHING to limit a majority government from proroguing parliament. They could simply have a whipped vote to have “The House” agree to such a move if they wished to avoid difficult questions by the opposition. In my view there needs to be some overall limits upon this recently abused parliamentary convention. Support Democracy - Recommend this Post at Progressive Bloggers

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