Monday, December 01, 2008

Would the Conservative party support proroguing the session?

Rosemary Barton just reporting on CBC at about 4:30 that prorogation not being discussed at the moment by Conservatives but that there is some thought it is the Conservatives' only way out...hmmm. That's a terrible situation to be in with damaging optics for Mr. Harper. This is a big question at the moment, seems to me. Does the Conservative caucus support prorogation? How do they justify this to their constituents in the current economic climate? After they have just brought in a throne speech outlining their plans for the session? Do any senior Conservative officials with a sense of how this will look have the gumption to speak up to Mr. Harper at the moment?

If Mr. Harper refuses to hold a vote right now, it'll be clear that proroguing is all about his personal political viability. It is difficult to see how it is in the nation's interest to dismiss the House of Commons at the moment. It's an untenable argument.

The spiral of damaging optics for Mr. Harper continues today with the opposition hitting all the right notes. It will be interesting to see if the Conservative party wants to follow him down his misguided path. Now is the time for right-thinking, sensible Conservatives to speak up.

Update (5:15 p.m.): See Andrew Steele on this question with some legal technicalities demonstrating the hurdles to prorogation.

Update (5:38 p.m.): Scott Reid, Conservative MP version, on Politics with Don Newman just a few moments ago: prorogation less likely, not more.