Friday, December 5, 2008

Canada's Constitutional "Crisis"?

Images_2 As BBC Commentator Justin Webb handily summarizes the situation in Canada:

For anyone who has not been concentrating, the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, battling to stay in power, has persuaded the country's acting head of state to suspend Parliament so he can avoid being ousted by opposition parties next week. There is talk of coups and separatist plots.

Webb's own take is that there is the possibility that all "western democratic leaders and electors in the coming years" might suffer from "the Obama trap - the approach that looks at the panting, sated Americans and says, "boy I'd like some of what they've had!""  According to Webb:

One of the effects of the Obama phenomenon might be a reduction in respect for the institutions (for instance parliaments and parliamentary government) and for the dullness that is perfectly respectable in political life in the free world.

But Obama trap or not, the Canadian situation is serious.  There's good coverage by the BBC, recent article here, and in the Globe and Mail, recent story here, with Harper's statement here, and opposition statement here.


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