I emailed this letter to as many newspapers across Canada as I could find:
January 1, 2010
RE: Proroguing parliament
Much has already been commented on in the major papers about Prime Minister Harper’s move to prorogue parliament until March. This move should outrage all who value the democratic process regardless of how battered that process may be.
The time has come where the parliamentary process is completely stalemated with the prime minister deciding he does not have to answer to the opposition. If he has so little respect for his peers in parliament, imagine how much less he has for the citizenry. He seems to regard us as mere numbers to plug into his political calculations. He seems confident that we will be so easily distracted by the Olympics, that he can boost his ratings by pasting himself and his party on the Olympic brand, thereby positioning himself in majority territory once again. A spring election is likely the next course of action.
I submit to your readers a plan of action that I believe is more necessary now than at any other time in our history. If parliamentarians cannot get to work on January 25th then neither should the rest of the country. All citizens who care about democracy should take the day off and make phone calls to the Prime Minister’s office demanding that parliament be resumed at once. The opposition parties, social justice groups and union leaders should be front and center in helping to organize this effort. It may seem a done deal since the Governor-General has already agreed to prorogue parliament (over the phone no less); however, the will of the people through parliament should override a non-elected figurehead. As well, this effort is not intended to simply support the status quo, rather this could and should be the beginning of a new political paradigm leading to electoral reform and ending the growing power and influence of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
All Canadians should carefully consider how easily this country can slip into authoritarianism; we seem to be well along the way.