There are many reasons to be upset by the Harper Tories' shutting down parliament and fleeing away across the rooftops to avoid questions over the Afghan detainee and other issues. For one thing, it means emasculating the seat of Canadian federal democracy over a scandalette that, if probed thoroughly and completely, would almost certainly not amount to much: the Conservative government inherited a flawed prisoner transfer arrangement from their Liberal predecessors; they were too slow to correct its flaws, but did so eventually. End of story.
In other words, they have chosen to cut and run over a fairly trivial matter, which implies that they treat the institution of parliament as something to be violated casually.
There is also the matter of the offhand brutality with which they have been willing to abandon their own legislative agenda. I personally might not agree with bill C-15 (mandatory minimum sentencing) or their consumer safety laws(C-6), for example, but these were nevertheless the result of an enormous amount of work by people and interests who were invested in them very deeply. And all of this work has been tossed aside at the first sign of political turbulence.
So, not only does the Harper government not give a toss about Canada's democratic process, they don't care about their own policies. They seem to have become entirely opportunistic over their four years in power.
But there is something more basic driving Canadian anger over prorogation, I think. It has to do with Stephen Harper the man, ideological Conservatives like those that fill his government's back-benches, and their relationship to what used to be called The Work Ethic.
I mean, this is the Prime Minister who once that claimed Atlantic Canada was hampered by a "culture of defeat", bred by laziness and a continued dependence on government handouts. This is the Prime Minister who branded the whole nation beyond the borders of Alberta a "2nd tier socialist" country. And this is the Prime Minister whose party has always been more than happy to play the "Bums from Out East" tune for all its been worth, who have argued that their political opponents are a bunch of slackers who "don't understand what it means to meet a payroll", and so on and so forth.
Now this very same Prime Minister has--hey presto!--rewarded himself and his MPs two months extra vacation time. THAT, I believe, is what really grates with Canadians. It's what lies behind the signs proclaiming Get back to work! that appeared again and again at anti-prorogation rallies across the country last weekend.
And I see that Norman Spector is prattling on again about coups, and coalitions between Liberals, Socialists, and Separatists. Well, Mr. Spector, at least these people showed up on Monday, ready to do their job. Mr. Harper and his gang of Calgary Capitalists couldn't be arsed.