the net effect of how the technological liberalism that defines our doctrinal systems, both official and unofficial, has informed our views of Canada's civic reality. We've been made to see our nationhood as totally subject to human decision, totally unanswerable to any conceivable inner restraint demanded by the organic nature of the polity itself (vulgarly called "tradition") or to any conceivable ordering principle that may claim immunity from electoral contingency.
We've had a sort of trick played upon us: we've been made to believe that the only legitimate political reality is the one we ourselves produce while simultaneously being forced to watch the means of asserting that reality disappear or at least wither to the point of utter pointlessness.
The most simplistic version of the argument I’m making would be, “If you don’t like the Conservatives, defeat them in Parliament and let’s have an election.” I’ve seen variations of that argument on other Maclean’s blogs and in the comment boards. But of course that line reduces our democracy to a binary choice, in which everything short of a confidence vote is meaningless. Of course that’s silly. There are degrees of disagreement with government action. And, of course, the opposition tried to defeat the government in Parliament at the end of 2008 and Stephen Harper…prorogued the House.
Both blog posts linked to wind up asking the question, "what are our options, other than elections?"
I think that's the biggest condemnation of Harper's actions thus far. There is no check or balance to his control of parliament. The only option is forcing an election, something "that Canadians don't want"
This proves that our options are false. By having to consider absurd or previously unthinkable actions (shadow parliament) in response to Harper's actions, it shows the absurdity of the whole damned issue.
Updater: Semi-related in a not-really kind of way. John has a bang-up post about other failures of our/the American system.