I've heard this argument all over the blogosphere, the news, and the anywhere else you find hot air.
The only problem is that this argument is a very thin one.
Truly there seem to be three possible reasons why Stephen Harper prorogued parliament:
- To consult with Canadians about the Budget. The government has made it clear that cut backs are going to be needed. It makes only sense from a strategic perspective that the Tories want a period of time to go through a consultation process. It will get the public ready for what's coming and it will serve as a justification for what we all know the government needs to do. Now the government will be able to say when the Liberals decry the cutbacks to come "We consulted with Canadians..."
- To Push Senate Reform. By postponing the resumption of parliament it puts senate reform in a position to be achievable. Harper will no doubt appoint enough Senators in the in between for a Tory majority to be present there by the time parliament resumes. A Tory majority there will mean the only real block that was left to genuine reform has been removed.
- To avoid the Afghan Detainee issue because they're Evil Reptilian Morons. If the government truly has done something dastardly in how Afghan detainees were handled in the last couple of years, there is no way they can avoid this information from eventually becoming public. The opposition is NOT going to spontaneously forget the issue when they return to parliament. Further, if you want the public to forget a scandal, you have an investigation as soon as possible. Dragging the issue on is a recipe for a disaster of AdScam proportions. If the information that the government is withholding is really as damning as the opposition suggests, Stephen Harper has effectively committed political suicide. He would have been far better off to disclose the problems, fire the appropriate people and move on. He's done just that in the past with previous scandals - why would he spontaneously change his mind now when it comes to this alleged scandal?
So take your pick, either Stephen Harper is an idiot demon from outer space that has sealed his political fate anyway or he's strategically positioning himself for the budget and senate reform.
Take it from me - Stephen Harper is no idiot.