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Liberal Party Makes Six Proposals to Prevent the Abuse of Prorogation

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The Liberal Proposal

Since the conventional principles of Parliamentary democracy are not secure in the hands of the Harper government, the Liberal Party proposes remedial action to restore traditional standards of democratic behavior in future requests for prorogation.

The Liberal Party of Canada will present Motions in the House of Commons to amend the Standing Orders of the House and, if necessary, propose legislation to achieve the following:

1. Require the Prime Minister, before making a request for prorogation, to provide written notice of his intention to do so at least 10 days in advance, together with his specific reasons for seeking prorogation;

2. Require the Prime Minister to bring the issue of prorogation, and his reasons for seeking it, before the House of Commons immediately for a full debate;

3. Unless the House otherwise consents, prohibit a request for a prorogation within the first 12 months of any session;

4. Unless the House otherwise consents, prohibit a request for a prorogation that would last longer than one calendar month;

5. Unless the House otherwise consents, prohibit a request for a prorogation when a vote of confidence has been scheduled in the House; and

6. Allow the Committees of the House of Commons to continue to function during the period of time that Parliament is prorogued.

If possible, Liberals intend to submit their proposal to the House Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs for consideration by all parties before bringing forward amendments to the Standing Orders of the House of Commons.

The Standing Orders have been amended in the past to improve accountability. For example, changes to the Standing Orders now prevent Parliamentary orders for the production of documents from being extinguished by prorogation, as well as prevent Private Member’s Bills from being killed when the House of Commons is prorogued.


Liberal Party of Canada >> Liberals pledge to prevent abuse of prorogation

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