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Harper to prorogue Parliament

Ottawa was buzzing on Wednesday morning with reports that Prime Minister Stephen Harper is proroguing Parliament.

The Globe and Mail published a report on the prorogation, as did The Star and CBC News.

The effect of prorogation would be to postpone the resumption of Parliament from January 25 to March 3. This would delay, among other things, the hearings of the Afghanistan committee looking into treatment of detainees handed over from Canadian forces to the Afghan authorities.

Reaction in the blogosphere has been prompt. CBC blogger Kady O'Malley has confirmed that the Throne Speech will be on March 3, followed by a budget on March 4.

Andrew Coyne, describing it as The Short Parliament, argues that MPs should meet anyway, even if only in a tennis court.

At Peace, order and good government, eh?, the blogger suggests that this will enable Harper to appoint new Conservative senators who will give the party a majority in the Senate.

The B.C. blog Impolitical posted on the prorogation under the headline "Democracy Optional," concluding: "Stephen Harper, treating parliament as if it's his own personal plaything, to dismiss at his leisure while the rest of the world goes on working...there's no legitimate reason for it."

The Liberal Party and NDP had no immediate responses on their websites, but some kind of statement can be expected soon.

Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee.

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