Prorogation should not be used

With impending questions directed toward his government in the House of Commons, Stephen Harper should not have prorogued Parliament in order to stifle debate and investigation into alleged misconduct on the part of ministers of the Crown.

Prorogation is typically a tool used to renew sessions after a government’s legislative agenda has all but completed its course; about 30 bills were canned due to prorogation, which is about the same amount of legislation this Parliament has passed in total.

Prorogation is also exercised to provide newly instated prime ministers with the chance to formulate their own agenda, as has occurred in the past (most recently in 2003 to usher in Paul Martin, successor of Jean Chrétien). Our current prime minister has neither the former or latter excuse to prorogue parliament; instead, Stephen Harper shut down Parliament to avoid questions on the Afghan detainee issue, the federal deficit, a staggering unemployment rate (which especially affects young Canadians like us), and climate change policy.

The Liberal Party has proposed several new policies, including one to curb abuses of prorogation moving into the future. This policy would ensure that prorogation is no longer utilized as a manipulative political tool for prime ministers, and render prime ministers accountable to parliament.
The WLU Young Liberals applaud this party policy and will continue to help promote positive politics and democracy within Canada.

–Nick Gibson, president of the WLU Young Liberals

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