Last night, I did something I don’t do often, which was watch TV. The presidential debate was coming on, so there I was, trying to remember how to use the clicker thing. It’d been a while.
Anyway, Professor Michael Bliss flashed up on the screen, alongside my brother Jim Watson. Bliss was fulminating about Dalton McGuinty’s request to the Lieutenant-Governor to prorogue the Legislature. Jim looked bored by Bliss, and who can blame him.
I didn’t throw anything at the screen, but – listening to Bliss – I sure wanted to. In the distant reaches of my rather small cranium, I remembered Bliss saying something entirely different when Stephen Harper did it. So I researched, and found, his quote. Then I found lots of other peoples’ quotes (some of whom haven’t said anything about the current debate in Ontario, per se, but are people who are widely read and therefore influential). Here they are, free of charge, and for your entertainment.
- “It’s a tempest in a teapot, and the opposition parties are trying to keep it boiling.” – Michael Bliss, Globe and Mail, January 29, 2010
- “It makes sense to prorogue.” – John Ivison, National Post, December 10, 2010
- “It is ordinarily a perfectly legitimate exercise of his authority for a prime minister to prorogue.” – Andrew Coyne, Maclean’s, October 18, 2010
- “Proroguing can be a legitimate tool. When a government has achieved the bulk of its agenda and wishes to begin again, it makes sense to wipe the slate clean and start over.” – Editorial board, Globe and Mail, February 5, 2010
- “History has shown that there’s often good reason to prorogue after only a year or for longer than a month.” – Constitutional expert Ned Franks, January 26, 2010
- “Despite the universal outrage of the media, I get the sense that most Canadians wouldn’t mind if Parliament scarcely met at all. Do you blame them?” – Margaret Wente, Globe and Mail, January 12, 2010
- “It is somewhat difficult to fathom the sudden, albeit localized, hyperventilation over Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s decision to prorogue Parliament.” – Jeff Simpson, Globe and Mail, January 9, 2010
- “Public interest in the [prorogue] issue is thin and fleeting.” – National Post editorial board, January 9, 2010