Canadian PM Suspends Parliament to Keep Power-Could it happen here?

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Thread: Canadian PM Suspends Parliament to Keep Power-Could it happen here?

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    VIP Member Array miklcolt45's Avatar
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    Canadian PM Suspends Parliament to Keep Power-Could it happen here?

    FOXNews.com - Canadian PM Suspends Parliament to Keep Power - International News | News of the World | Middle East News | Europe News

    Canadian PM Suspends Parliament to Keep Power

    Friday, December 05, 2008

    OTTAWA Canada's opposition parties vowed to oust Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government next month after Harper shut down Parliament to avoid almost certain defeat in an imminent confidence vote, but infighting among the one of the parties cast doubt on whether the coalition will hold.

    Harper successfully asked the unelected representative of the head of state on Thursday for the power to close down Parliament until Jan. 26, hoping to buy enough time to develop a stimulus package that could prop up the economy.

    The prime minister, whose Conservative party won re-election just two months ago, said a budget will be the first order of business when Parliament resumes.

    Three opposition parties have united against Harper, charging he has no plan to steer Canada through the global financial crisis. The credit crisis and a global sell-off of commodities have slowed Canada's resource-rich economy, and the finance minister said last week he expects a recession.

    The opposition parties, which control the majority of seats in Parliament, had scheduled a confidence vote for Monday in which Harper was virtually certain to lose a defeat that would have forced his government from power or triggered another election.

    Governor General Michaelle Jean, who represents Britain's Queen Elizabeth II as head of state, had the power to grant the unusual request to suspend parliament. Had she refused, Harper would have had two choices: step down or face the no-confidence vote.

    Both Harper and Jean's spokeswoman declined to comment on the leaders' two-and-a-half hour meeting Thursday.

    Liberal leader Stephane Dion said the opposition would continue to seek to topple Harper unless he makes a "monumental change" in dealing with the economy and other parties.

    "For the first time in the history of Canada the prime minister is running away from the Parliament of Canada," said Dion, who could have been prime minister...."

    Opposition New Democrat leader Jack Layton said Harper was "trying to lock the door of Parliament so that the elected people cannot speak. He's trying to save his job."

    Analysts said a governor general has never been asked to suspend parliament to delay an ouster vote when it was clear the government didn't have the confidence of a majority of legislators.

    ...Robert Bothwell, director of the international relations program at the University of Toronto, said Harper damaged himself and the country. Bothwell criticized the move to suspend parliament.

    "Canada looks terrible. It looks ridiculous. It makes nonsense of our constitution," he said, adding that the move set a dangerous precedent, paving the way for any prime minister facing defeat to follow suit.

    Wiseman said Jean's decision strengthened the office of the prime minister at the expense of the popularly elected Parliament.

    "It's not a good day for parliamentary democracy," Wiseman said.
    So, what is the chance that some yahoo of a President takes office, then 4 or 8 years from now (just hypothetical, now ) refuses to stand down after he is defeated in an election? Military coup? Executive order arrests opposing congressional leaders?

    Clearly not legal. Likely not even possible. Or, is it?
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. - Jim Elliott

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    Looking at the history of various governments thoughout the world...I'd say that ANYTHING is possible.
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    BAC
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    No, it could not happen here. There is no power vested in the Executive that could do anything remotely similar. We would be talking a purely hypothetical tyrant, because non exist in this nation at this point in time.


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    No, it could not happen here
    That is precisely why it could happen.
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    Making sure that peasants are disarmed first might help...
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    Senior Member Array walvord's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotGuns View Post
    That is precisely why it could happen.
    +1 on that. The greatest potential will be 2016 at the end of the 8 year run.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotGuns View Post
    That is precisely why it could happen.
    My thoughts exactly. The mere fact that good folks think that it can't ever happen is exactly why it can.

    When has the restrictions of the constitution restricted them recently...
    "My God David, We're a Civilized society."

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    BAC
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    A meteor could strike the earth, too. I won't waste my time fearing about something with so distinctly little chance of happening. We've gone over forty presidents and none have tried it or even spoke of it; this including some of the worst president we've had who have likewise shown minimal regard to constitutional process. None of the candidates who made a bid for the White House this last election cycle have spoke or hinted of it, and none have a history that would suggest they would do anything to that effect (the only case that could be made against that is a certain New York Mayor, who is widely unpopular and tried to do it legally instead of illegally).

    If you folks worried about it happening have something to confirm your fears, by all means, share. "Because you said it couldn't happen is precisely why it could" isn't much of an answer on any scale. I also fail to see what this has to do with the Second Amendment, so I wouldn't mind someone sharing that, either.


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    Actually, such an attempt has already happened. Consider that Richard Nixon and his staff attempted to retain power by criminal means, and if his cover-up had been successful, he'd have done just that.

    Watch the movie "Seven Days in May" for another possible scenario.

    Obviously, it's possible for a widespread armed insurrection to take place in the U.S., because it has (the Civil War).

    It's important for us all to be vigilant and suspicious of any attempts to abrogate the Constitution, and to demand redress when it occurs.
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    Senior Member Array walvord's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BAC View Post
    A meteor could strike the earth, too. I won't waste my time fearing about something with so distinctly little chance of happening. We've gone over forty presidents and none have tried it or even spoke of it; this including some of the worst president we've had who have likewise shown minimal regard to constitutional process. None of the candidates who made a bid for the White House this last election cycle have spoke or hinted of it, and none have a history that would suggest they would do anything to that effect (the only case that could be made against that is a certain New York Mayor, who is widely unpopular and tried to do it legally instead of illegally).

    If you folks worried about it happening have something to confirm your fears, by all means, share. "Because you said it couldn't happen is precisely why it could" isn't much of an answer on any scale. I also fail to see what this has to do with the Second Amendment, so I wouldn't mind someone sharing that, either.


    -B
    With regards to the 2nd amendment, see Australia and Great Britain. As far at the CFR is concerned, the constitution is just a blankety blank piece of old paper and will soon become about as relevant as a restraining order if we keep going the way we're going. Who would have thought that Bloomberg could have overrode the term limits in NY. and could seek a third term. The people voted no, but he changed it anyway. With those that we have in office and continue to get in the future and you expect the constitution to get in their way, you may become very disappointed at what results we end up with. The U.N. hammers away at our constitution every day and with this new Susan Rice about to become our rep., it is about to become a very bumpy ride.
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    Senior Member Array mi2az's Avatar
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    I remember reading something that a president can post-pone turning over the reins of power if a national crisis were to occur between now and Jan 20. Lets say terriost attack destroyed NYC. It would have to be large and catostrophic
    "When the people fear the government you have tyranny...when the government fears the people you have liberty."

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    I guess no one remembers when Al Gore and Bush were butting heads in Florida in 2000. If they can argue for weeks about a few votes think about the possibilities if something real happened.

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    BAC
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodc13 View Post
    Actually, such an attempt has already happened. Consider that Richard Nixon and his staff attempted to retain power by criminal means, and if his cover-up had been successful, he'd have done just that.
    Mind explaining that? As far as I could see, he did a lot of dirty deeds but none involved disbanding a wing of government to retain power. Similarly, I don't see the point in pointing to a work of fiction (one where the executive himself is attacked, might I add, not the reverse) as a possibility of what might happen.

    Obviously, it's possible for a widespread armed insurrection to take place in the U.S., because it has (the Civil War).
    The Civil War is a completely unrelated event. That was not a case of an executive disbanding the legislature to retain power.

    Quote Originally Posted by walvord View Post
    With regards to the 2nd amendment, see Australia and Great Britain.
    So the answer is nothing, then. A possible action of a hypothetical event with an extremely low likelihood of happening.


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    Distinguished Member Array GWRedDragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mi2az View Post
    I remember reading something that a president can post-pone turning over the reins of power if a national crisis were to occur between now and Jan 20. Lets say terriost attack destroyed NYC. It would have to be large and catostrophic
    No.

    Absolutely not.

    Amendment 20 of the Constitution:

    1. The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin.
    The President loses all powers at noon on January 20th.
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    Here we go again!

    Thanks to BAC and GWRedDragon for providing the realism we so often need in these types of threads.


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