The debate surrounding the 2008 prorogation crisis calls into question an abundance of topics such as the legitimacy of the Governor General, the nature of constitutional conventions, and the freedoms and lenience given to the Governor General on executive decisions. Furthermore, it could be argued that any prorogation decisions made by the Governor General are catch-22 in nature; in essence, if the request is denied, in the case of Harper in 2008, his government would have been defeated in a confidence vote and a questionable, arguably unstable coalition headed by Liberal leader Stephane Dion would have come into power. However, when the request was approved, it allowed Harper to, with lack of a better suited term, shirk his duties as Prime Minister of Canada and prolong the co...
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...ratic level of discretion on ministerial advice, any and all decisions made by them are generally catch-22 in nature. There will always be a negative consequence, or a large group of Canadians who feel as though there was a better alternative. Nevertheless, the Governor General takes that into account, as Michaelle Jean did in 2008. Jean also let Stephen Harper know that “she was not a rubber stamp for his request to shut down Parliament… [and] that it was within her constitutional discretionary power to turn him down,” (Franks 35). All the same, in the end Jean believed that the best course of action for Canada would be to keep Harper in power and stave off the confidence vote by means of granting prorogation – had Canadians truly not wanted Harper in power, one could argue that the results in the election barely a month earlier should have better reflected that.
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