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CBC NEWS: PM gave Jean pledges in prorogation crisis

October 2nd, 2010 "I think the length of time the Governor General spent discussing the matter with the prime minister indicated, as so many commentators have pointed out, that she was not a clerk who would just say, 'Yes, whatever you want I must give,'" Russell said. Jean told The Canadian Press earlier this week she took the time to make the right decision and was using the delay to send a message to Canadians to become more involved in the political process.

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But the GG did let Harper get

But the GG did let Harper get what he wanted (i.e. suspend Parliament) instead of sending him back to face the House. Her actions thereby established a precedence for future PMs to escape an impending vote of no confidence by just proroguing Parliament.

This view was clearly expressed by a constitutional expert, Dr. Andrew Heard ( ) who wrote this: "On balance, it appears that the Governor General failed to defend Canadian parliamentary
democracy and opened the door to repeated abuses of power by future prime ministers." (pg. 21). Andrew also wrote this: "With this precedent, any prime minister can demand that the governor general suspend Parliament whenever he or she believes a successful vote of no confidence is imminent." (pg. 20).

No amount of spinning the message (e.g. by claiming that she had managed to get certain concessions from Harper) is going to change this fact. Specifically, Harper did not even have to walk across the street to see her for the second prorogation. So, it is unclear just what concessions she ever get from Harper. In fact, it would seem that if a message was indeed being sent to voters, it was that Harper had concluded after the first prorogation that he clearly had the upper hand.