As I wrote on the commentary pages of this newspaper on Tuesday, it would be unprecedented for the Governor-General to refuse the Prime Minister's request for an election if the Conservatives are defeated in January. The only time the reserve power of the Crown has been used in this way in Canada was to deny Mackenzie King dissolution after he attempted, for a second time, to thwart Arthur Meighen--who had won the plurality of the seats in the preceding election--from forming a government. Following the same logic of parliamentary propriety, I'm very troubled by the Governor-General's decision to accept Mr. Harper's request to prorogue the House-an act clearly designed to prevent a confidence vote on which the Conservatives would likely have been defeated. In Her Excellency's defence, I suppose it can be said that the country needed a cooling-off period. That said, I can think of no grounds on which Mme. Jean should accede to the Prime Minister's request to appoint 18 senators at this time. Under section 24 of the 1867 Constitution, it is the Governor-General who appoints senators on the advice of her first minister. In the current circumstances, it would be entirely appropriate for Her Excellency to refuse the advice, until such time as Mr. Harper demonstrates to her that he has the confidence of the House of Commons.