A while back, the Harper government tried to eliminate the public funding that the other Canadian parties rely upon to run for office. The other parties joined together in a vote of no confidence to undo the government and form a coalition, as, for example, many European countries do. Harper went to the Governor General to ask her to suspend or prorogue parliament. Among other things, this allowed Harper to interrupt the political momentum of the coalition, and to lead a smear campaign against it. It also had the effect of re-starting all bills in the House and the Senate, which means the Harper government can then dismiss the existing committees and appoint the committee members it wants.
Harper prorogued parliament a second time a year later. Harper officially sought to prorogue parliament to consult Canadians about economic reform and for the sake of the Olympics. The Economist called it "naked self interest." Other parties called it "almost despotic," an attempt to evade legitimate criticism that is building political momentum. 21,000 people protested against it in 60 cities.
The Economist summed up the situation as follows "Mr Harper is a competent tactician with a ruthless streak. He bars most ministers from talking to the media; he has axed some independent watchdogs; he has binned campaign promises to make government more open and accountable. Now he is subjecting Parliament to prime-ministerial whim. He may be right that most Canadians care more about the luge than the legislature, but that is surely true only while their decent system of government is in good hands. They may soon conclude that it isn’t."
The most significant scientific journal, Nature, published an editorial demanding that Harper stop repressing scientific evidence and practice, and asking the government to "set scientists free."
Harper's repression of scientific evidence, the attempt to portray and treat environmental and native groups that oppose government policy on tar sands as criminal or terrorist groups, the terrible omnibus crime bill, the devastating, unpopular and undemocratic omnibus budget, which eliminates environmental protections, eliminated public funding of elections and thereby the source of funding for the other major Canadian parties, the gutting of longstanding and effective government and social programs, the electoral fraud targeted at non-Conservatives that won at least 12 seats for the Conservative party in the last election, and removing Canada from the ranks of environmentally progressive nations, all show that this government is abusing and undoing the dignity of Canadians and the values we hold dear.
So: go put your name on that petition.