tuque /tūk/ n Canadian English, var. toque [19th c. Canadian French, from the French toque, from the Basque tauka] 1 A close-fitting knitted cap, often with a long tapering end or tassel or pompom. 2 fig Something quintessentially Canadian.
souq /sūk/ n from the Arabic سوق var. souk 1 An open-air marketplace. 2 fig A central meeting place for the circulation of news and ideas.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Canadian Revolution Day 7: Prorogation

The best option for Prime Minister Stephen Harper - facing a slam-dunk no-confidence vote on Monday and an agreement by the 3 opposition parties to supplant his government - is prorogation.

(Cue song and dance by bleary-eyed constitutional nerds.)

Prorogation \pruh-ro-'ga-shun\ n. (vb: prorogue; prorogued):
  1. The act of deferring or suspending;
  2. The act of terminating a session of Canadian Parliament - done by the Governor General at the request of the prime minister. All unpassed legislation dies except for private members' bills, and Parliament's agenda is wiped clean. A new session begins with a new Throne Speech. Prorogation differs from adjournment, which is decided by majority vote of the House of Commons or Senate. Unpassed legislation remains on the agenda;
  3. The period between two sessions of a legislative body; though that body still be constituted its orders (i.e. bills, motions) are expunged until the next Parliament;
  4. In the Canadian Revolution of '08, an irate Stephen Harper's only full-baked option for heading off the insurrectionists and buying time so he can spin public opinion against the opposition;
  5. A constitutional crisis waiting to happen.*
* Picture the scene: The Governor General holds two letters in her hand. One is from the Prime Minister, demanding that she execute his request for prorogation, as constitutionally she must. The other is signed by the leaders of the 3 opposition parties, affirming that the Commons have lost confidence in the government and that the 3 leaders be allowed to form a government that has the confidence of the Commons, which constitutionally the GG must allow.

How long before the GG's head explodes?

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