Throne Speeches and Prorogation

For an interesting look at opinions on the purpose of Throne Speeches and the different traditions around Throne Speeches and Prorogation in other Westminster system, I invite you to check out On Procedure and Politics post here. This blog is always a great source of information on the nuances of parliamentary procedure.


What’s different about this prorogation?

Prime Minister Harper today announced his intention to seek prorogation of the federal parliament. This would mean that instead of returning on September 16th, the House of Commons would return in October.

However, instead of simply resuming activities as it was before the summer break, a prorogation resets parliament, resulting in a new session. A new session requires a new Speech from the Throne.

Commentators had made this prediction a while ago ago, that prorogation was a necessary step to also reboot a struggling Conservative party bogged down by the Senate expense issue while also giving the new ministers from the recent Cabinet shuffle, a chance to get a little more comfortable in their new roles.

Any mention of prorogation, which has since entered into the lexicon of ordinary Canadians as something negative since Mr. Harper’s 2008 and 2009 prorogations first generated controversy (among other disquieting uses of the practice), is sure to generate some suspicion. However, this time Mr. Harper is bound to find many more supporters and much less dissent than his previous two requests. Why? Continue reading