Speaker Milliken delivered a complete rebuke to the government, Parliament is supreme, and Harper is left with few attractive options. This is a big loss for the Conservatives, they boxed themselves in a corner and now they've managed to reinforce the decidedly negative narrative, that yes, they are secretive and anti-democratic. I believe those two characterizations are the worst possible for a government borne of grassroots expression and supposed white knights of accountability and transparency. This decision will not just reaffirm our democratic tenets, it will HAUNT the Conservatives moving forward.
The Speaker was quite clear, the government has two weeks to work with the opposition to find a tenable solution. Should no agreement come, then that failure will bring consequence for the government. So long as the opposition proceeds in good faith, there is nothing to be gained for the Conservatives, should we require another ruling in two weeks. The spectre of a snap election, predicated on the idea of a government defying the now ESTABLISHED will of Parliament couldn't possibly be more dangerous for the incumbents. Anything is possible with this crew, but from the Liberal perspective, I salivate at the prospects of Harper actually pushing us over the brink and fighting an election defending the rationale. Good luck with that one, it's the stuff of opposition dreams.
The prorogue option is a complete and utter non-starter, Harper has no more political capital on this score, that decision would result in mini revolt, making last winter look tame in comparison. I suppose there is the Supreme Court option, but even this scenario paints a clear picture of a government defying Parliament's will, defying CLEAR guidance from the Speaker. Factor in little advocate support, the government would be left alone and the negative impressions clear.
The opposition has begun to press this "culture of deceit", "culture of secrecy" repetitive imprinting, designed to hammer the point to Canadians that the nature of this government is offensive. This decision by the Speaker, no matter what happens in the next two weeks, will be referenced for future use, another powerful example that tarnishes the government.
I will enjoy watching the government wiggle it's way out of this decision, because which every way they turn, it represents a net negative. Parliament is supreme, deal with it.