Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A forceful call for the PM to respect our traditions

The implications of Harper's gaming an election spelled out quite eloquently in a Globe editorial today:
Stephen Harper and his government should return to face the House of Commons before an election is called. Mr. Harper must show some serious regard for the fixed-election-date reform he himself introduced only two years ago.
A federal election has become desirable, but there is no urgency or necessity. Mr. Harper should respect, and work within, customary parliamentary procedures.
Mr. Harper would do a real injustice to his own long-term reputation if, without acting through parliamentary procedures, he were to give the appearance of disingenuously setting aside a previously held principle, for the sake of short-term political convenience and electoral tactics. Nor should he forgo the openness and formality of parliamentary procedure, with the requirements and rituals of debate and explanation, in order to seek a putative agreement to disagree, among party leaders in a back room.
While this Parliament seems adrift and our politics could benefit from going to the country, there is no pressing need to rush into an election, on the strength of back-room machinations.
Now that is some mighty fine writing. Hopefully there will be many more influential editorial pages joining in this coming week.