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Parliament prorogued: Necessary move or undemocratic?

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Prime Minister Stephen Harper is shown outside Ottawa's Rideau Hall on Dec. 4, 2008, after Gov. Gen Michaëlle Jean approved his recommendation to prorogue Parliament. (Tom Hanson/Canadian Press)

Parliament will be prorogued for two months until after the Vancouver Winter Olympics, the Prime Minister's Office announced Wednesday.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper's spokesman Dimitri Soudas said a speech from the throne will be delivered on March 3, followed the next day by presentation of the budget. The session had been scheduled to resume on Jan. 25 after the holiday break.

Soudas said the prime minister spoke with Gov. Gen Michaëlle Jean on the phone earlier Wednesday. But Soudas said he was not allowed to discuss a private conversation between the prime minister and the Governor General and would not confirm whether Jean had yet approved the request for the prorogation.

The move to prorogue, or suspend, Parliament could be seen as a strategic move by Harper to gain a majority on Senate committees while possibly also avoiding criticism over the Afghan detainee issue.

Soudas said the government sought the suspension so it could consult with Canadians, stakeholders and businesses as it moves into what it calls the "next phase" of its economic action plan amid signs of economic recovery.

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What do you think of parliament being  prorogued. Is this, as Liberal House leader Ralph Goodale says, a "shocking insult to democracy" or, as the government says, is it a necessary step for Canada's economic recovery?

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