The Role Of Prorogation In Canada

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Prorogation is much like a complex acronym to Canadians. We understand that it conveys meaning in some way, yet majority of us are not familiar with the term. Prorogation was originally developed during the Tudor period as a healthy alternative to dissolution; however, today prorogation is a process that once approved by the Governor General, the acting Prime Minister may cease the current parliamentary session, effectively clearing the parliamentary agenda and ending proceedings for a set period of time. In recent years there has been a growing controversy in relation to prorogation in Canada. This is largely due to the 2008-2009 parliamentary disputes between the Conservative minority government and the opposition governments; however, that …show more content…

The first incident of prorogation abuse occurred in 1873 in just the second Canadian parliament. Prime Minister Sir John A. MacDonald requested the Earl of Dufferin, the acting GG to prorogue parliament so that he may avoid the ongoing allegations of bribery in regard to his involvement in the Pacific Scandal. His request was granted, and parliament prorogued for 10 weeks. Upon returning the committee investigating his involvement released their findings, and shortly after MacDonald stepped down. Another incident in which prorogation was used for partisan purposes was in 2002. Prime Minister Jean Chrétien requested Governor General Adrienne Clarkson to prorogue parliament. Chrétien’s request was due to allegations regarding a sponsorship scandal surrounding the Liberal Party at the time. Much like MacDonald, his request was granted as well. After the period had ended, the investigations into the scandal continued. Chrétien would subsequently step down as Prime Minister a year …show more content…

Our current laws are not strict enough on our government if loopholes such as this exist. We elect our government to rule, regulate and act in the interest of Canadians, yet Harper was able to disregard the interest of Canadians and prorogue parliament for his government’s own partisan reasons. Six years later, nothing has been done to ensure prorogation is not again used in such a partisan way. In analysis we also run into the issue that the Governor General plays an integral part in the prorogation process. The ability to end a parliamentary session is too much power for an individual that Canadians cannot keep responsible. This being said, something either has to be put in place to withhold the GG from making prorogation decisions, or something has to be implemented to considerably lessen their

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