Dec 05, 2008 — Canada's Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, won a stay of political execution yesterday, but the opposition parties vow that they will be waiting when the House of Commons reconvenes next month. The Governor General agreed to suspend Parliament until late January. At that time, Harper's Conservatives will present a budget, and are expected to face a fresh confidence vote. Rallies have been held in several cities as Canadians voiced their feelings about the political standoff in Ottawa; more are expected this weekend.
Harper said an extended Christmas break will give all political parties a chance to work together and focus on the economy. But Liberal Leader Stephane Dion says only a "monumental change" by Harper would persuade the opposition parties from toppling his government. New Democrat Leader Jack Layton says he can't have confidence in a prime minister who would shutdown Parliament knowing he's about to lose a confidence vote.
Dr. Robert Thacker is director of the Canadian Studies program at St. Lawrence University. He joined Martha Foley in the studio this morning to help sort out the context, and the possible consequences.