Prorogue precedents

Steven Harper wanted to shut down Parliament just because he does not agree with it. Some say this is unprecedented.

In fact, Harper is following parliamentary tradition. Consider the following precedents:

1629 King Charles I in England
1799 Napoleon in France
1913: Victoriano Huerta in Mexico
1933: Adolf Hitler in Germany
1936 Francisco Franco in Spain
1939: Benito Mussolini in Italy
1973: Augusto Pinochet in Chile
2008: Steven Harper in Canada

with thanks to Sean in Ottawa for bringing this to my attention.

Leave a comment


  1. Tim

     /  December 5, 2008

    What is stopping Harper from again?
    1) using procedures to delay a non-confidence vote for a week or so.
    2) And then proroguing again,
    3) repeating the process and in effect taking over absolute control of Government.


    Thanks Harper, for destroying democracy.
    Now we have no choice but to take to the streets and fight for our freedoms you, Harper, have taken away.

  2. oh snap, that might leave a mark,… LOL

  3. al warren

     /  December 5, 2008

    Eeew, burrrn! Thanks for that.

  4. J.J.

     /  December 5, 2008


    2005: Emperor Palpatine in Coruscant

  5. Parmeisan

     /  December 5, 2008

    “What is stopping Harper from … proroguing again”?

    Well, the Governor General, for one. She can just refuse the request next time, or the time after, or whenever she decides that enough is enough.

    I’m more afraid that we’re going to have an election shortly after the prorogue ends, which will result in another Conservative Minority and another Coalition. No matter how that ends, we’ve wasted a bunch of time and money.

  6. SKite in AB

     /  December 6, 2008


    The political left may have a tough time doing that, being against firearms and all that.

    Not entirely sure which freedoms you believe he has taken away. Proroging is a constitutional and legal act; as constitutional and legal as forming a coalition in a minority parliament.

    Whether or not they are seen as legitimate by the electorate is something else entirely. I am not sure either is going over very well. Personally, I was hoping they would face the house, lose the vote, and head to an election to let the people have the final say on what they want . I guess we will just have to wait and see now.

  7. Ben

     /  December 7, 2008

    Sir John A. MacDonald also asked for and received prorogation in 1873. By inference, we should then be lumping him in with this cherry-picked list of war criminals?

    This is sickening “commentary”. I’m no fan of the Conservatives, Harper or the use of prorogation to avoid a confidence vote, but to attempt to draw this parallel indicates a grossly rhetorical approach to political discourse.

  8. SKite in AB

     /  December 7, 2008

    I can’t recall for certain, but I think Chretien may have also.

  1. watercooler » Prorogue, the new Black

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