Monday, July 07, 2008

Live-blogging Prorogue Watch 2008

14:55: Will they prorogue, or won’t they? Speculation last week was that the Harper Conservatives, likely to prorogue parliament this fall anyway to delay its return and avoid a possible fall election, may prorogue Parliament a little early to avoid summer committee hearings into their electoral In-and-Out scandal:

Opposition MPs fear the Harper government is preparing to cut off parliamentary business for the summer rather than endure an inquiry into allegations of election spending fraud by the Conservative party.

After months of Tory filibustering that delayed a probe of the so-called in-and-out election financing scheme, the Commons ethics committee is finally scheduled to begin hearings on July 15.

Chief electoral officer Marc Mayrand and other officials from Elections Canada, the independent watchdog that red-flagged the alleged irregularities, are slated to be the first witnesses.

But some opposition critics suspect Prime Minister Stephen Harper will prorogue Parliament, a pre-emptive procedural tactic that governments usually employ when they want to wipe the legislative agenda clean and start fresh with a new throne speech.

In this case, since the full House of Commons has already adjourned for the summer, the main impact would be to dissolve all committees, thus thwarting the planned examination of the in-and-out affair.

The committee hearings are now less than 24 hours away . Will Harper prorogue? Will they filibuster? Or is there some crazy, unrevealed chapter in the committee dirty tricks handbook?

Stay tuned for regular updates.

15:05: There’s been a prorogual! Pakistan:
The seventh session of the Punjab Assembly was prorogued here Saturday after sixteen days of business during which the provincial budget for 2008-09 was passed by the house. Acting Speaker Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan chaired Saturday’s proceeding but he had to prorogue the session when Q-League MPA Amna Ulfat pointed the quorum, which was incomplete on head count.

So close, and yet so on the other side of the world a few days ago. I’ll keep an eye out though.

15:30: Still no sign of any hot proroguing action. It is getting steamy out here in suburban Toronto though. Tomorrow they're calling for 41C with the humidex. Madness. Will probably be hot in Ottawa too. To hot for committees? We'll see.

16:00: O'Malley reluctantly informs me that I got the date of the committee meeting wrong. It's actually NEXT Tuesday! Personally, I blame Stephane Dion for this committee timing trick. So that means Prorogue Watch 2008TM has eight more days to go. Maybe Harper will put us out of our misery early with a snap decision?

16:41: It's all quiet on the proroguing front. On the plus side though, I can now spell prorogue. It's a hard one to spell too. I'd have gone with perogue originally. Seems more natural. If you're wondering, the word comes from the Latin prōrogō, or to defer. The last hard to spell word blogging taught me to spell? Ignatieff.

17:01: Time to head home from work, and at last check no prorogue yet. Would a promulgation be the same thing? While they're similar words, the meanings are actually different. Wikipedia says "
Promulgation or enactment is the act of formally proclaiming or declaring new statutory or administrative law when it receives final approval."

All this proroguing talk though has made me pretty hungry, and I'm craving, go figure, perogies. So I'm off to Price Choppers to pick up the necessities. How do you like to cook and prepare your perogies? Does Jason Kenney really like perogies, or just when he's trying to woo the Ukranian community?

18:42: My coverage of Prorogue Watch 2008 has been interrupted so I cal bring you Perogy Watch 2008. I've returned home perogies in hand, and I'm just waiting for them to defrost before panfrying them with some bacon. Might top with a little grated cheddar. Healthy, I know, but I got the light sour cream so it all balances out. Just realized I forgot to get mushrooms and onion which, along with the light sour cream, would practically have made this health food. Ah, well. Updates as warranted.

21:45: Perogies were quite good, although the mushrooms and onions would have been nice. This will conclude Perogy Watch 2008.

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kady said...

I almost hate to tell you this, but the meetings aren't scheduled to start until *next* Tuesday. I know! I can't wait either.

Jeff said...

You mean I need to come up with half-hourly updates for 7, nay, 8 days! Madness!

kady said...

If you run out of relevant commentary to make, just complain about your shoes. Or other people's shoes. That'll eat up some time.

Jeff said...

I do have some good shoe-related material, good tip. I'll slate that for Thursday.

Jason Cherniak said...


900ft Jesus said...

caught Kady on CBC this morning. My guess is harper will prorogue, despite the optics being bad, as Kady said. It's been his pattern, even when it shoots him in the foot.

(perogies are good with bacon)

Jeff said...

Optics have rarely worried Harper in the past, particularly when trying to avoid committee hearings. I suspect he will prorogue too. His thinking, and I'd agree, will be who will really care besides partisans and parliamentary wonks? It's the summer, people's minds are elsewhere.