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Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper pauses during a news conference in Whitehorse on Aug. 19, 2013.

CHRIS WATTIE/Reuters

Another parliamentary prorogation? Groan – readers, print and digital, have seen this film before, and everyone can quote the lines

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That isn't what Parliament is for. Parliament exists so that the "narrative" can be debated in the public realm and be accountable to those who elected Prime Minister Stephen Harper. No wonder he so consistently prorogues Parliament. Be clear, however, that this is de facto if not de jure contempt of Parliament, its purposes and processes. Nothing has really changed and the question will be whether Canadians have learned their lesson from last time.

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Eric Beresford, Halifax

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It is time that the Governor-General lives up to his responsibilities and refuses to allow this without proper justification. Governors-general are the guardians of our parliamentary system and have to live up to their responsibilities to ensure the system is not misused.

Marzi Mehta, Calgary

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Prorogation should be put to a vote by the House, rather than just being up to the Prime Minister. That way, if too many MPs think he's using it to weasel out of politically uncomfortable obligations, they can override it and say, "No, you have to face the music."

Andrew Lindsey, Toronto

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At least the Liberals established the Gomery Commission to examine the sponsorship scandal and paid the political price. Stephen Harper thumbs his nose at democracy, smugly daring Canadians to wake from their slumber.

Robert Coutts, Winnipeg

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I am most definitely not a supporter of Stephen Harper. However, this is really being overdone. This prorogation is perfectly consistent with past practice. After the fiasco a few years ago, when Mr. Harper used prorogation to avoid a confidence vote (which was an abuse of the power), "prorogation" suddenly became a hot-button word. It merely delays the opening of Parliament by a matter of a few weeks to let the government outline a new legislative agenda.

Steven Davis, Port Colborne, Ont.

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He hit the reset button. It's acceptable in our democracy. He is supposed to give Parliament direction, which will come through the Throne Speech.

Gregory Williams, Peterborough, Ont.

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Prorogation doesn't prevent anyone from facing the opposition in the House of Commons. It may offer a reprieve from parliamentary scrutiny, but it's only temporary. A prorogation will always end and back the ministers of the Crown must go to have their actions questioned by those in Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition. It's the opposition's responsibility not to forget what to hold the government accountable for.

Gavin Guthrie, Toronto

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Jean Chrétien prorogued Parliament four times. Pierre Trudeau did it 11 times. Much could be reformed in the way Parliament works, but every prime minister, regardless of affiliation, has manipulated the rules to suit their short-term needs.

Doug Hodgins, Calgary

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I don't care how many politicians have prorogued Parliament before. The bottom line is that I expect more and a better government, period.

Alison Smith, Victoria

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As expected, opposition leaders complain. What an inadequate response.

I want MPs in their seats in the House of Commons mid-September, using their time profitably. Would the Prime Minister lock the doors of the Commons to keep MPs out? Or would he respect their diligence? Let's find out.

Vaughan Lyon, professor emeritus of political science, Trent University

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One of the next government's first tasks should be to ensure that no future prime ministers can prorogue Parliament simply for their own convenience. Such measures should be available only for national emergencies.

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Christopher Levenson, Vancouver

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I am herewith proroguing the portion of my tax bill that goes to pay for Parliament. I see no point in funding an institution isn't offering the democratic services I pay for.

If Canada Revenue Agency asks me why, I'll just tell them I'll be back – October is my tentative timing.

Gareth Lind, Guelph, Ont.

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The kids are acting up, I am tired of driving them around, shopping and cooking. Is it okay if I prorogue parenthood? It will only be for a few weeks. I heard about some guy who prorogues the affairs of a whole country when things start to become difficult, so my request shouldn't be too much to ask.

Margo Willmot, Carleton Place, Ont.

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It should be no surprise we've spent more than half a million tax dollars developing a stealth snowmobile. Look how much we've spent developing a stealth government.

See them in October … maybe.

Steve Pitt, Rutherglen, Ont.

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So, Stephen Harper has unplugged Parliament so he can reboot with a new Speech from the Throne. With the Blue Screen Of Death looming in 2015, and no way to close the Senate scandal dialogue box, it's not surprising. Refreshing the screen with a cabinet shuffle didn't fix the internal errors plaguing his government. Sure, his desktop's rearranged, and some of the older faces are in the recycle bin, but the whole government has been infected with some kind of virus, if all the files in the Senate are any indication, and a simple reboot isn't going to change that.

It may be time for Canadians to just reformat the whole hard drive. Or better yet, switch to a different platform.

Angela Rickman, Ottawa

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ON REFLECTION MORE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Multi- is culture

I've often heard people say countries like Canada have no culture, but after having travelled abroad over the past few years, I realized that Canada's culture is its multiculturalism.

The Parti Québécois's proposal to ban religious symbols from public sites (Quebec Confirms Controversial Minorities Bill Coming – Aug. 23) is contrary to everything Canada stands for.

Diversity and multiculturalism have always been Canada's solution, not its problem – let's keep it that way.

Raza Shah, Saskatoon

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That Commons joint

I read with interest Justin Trudeau's admission that he has smoked pot since being elected as an MP (Trudeau's Pot Use Fans Legalization Debate – Aug. 23).

Wouldn't you, too, if you had to sit in the House of Commons all day?

Peter Froislie, Ottawa

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Private matters

Kudos to The Globe and Mail for having the decency to refer to Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning by her chosen name and gender pronoun (Bradley Or Chelsea? How The Globe Will Refer To Private Manning – online, Aug. 22).

Many other reputable Canadian news agencies refuse to do so for fear of generating "confusion" on the part of their readers and listeners. It's Ms. Manning's right to determine her gender, not the media's right.

Melissa Gismondi, Oakville, Ont.

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Friday frisson

Your front-page headline created quite a frisson of excitement in my home, suggesting the altruistic self-immolation of the Senate: "Retire Old Tankers, Senate Urges" (Aug. 23).

Harry Strub, Winnipeg

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