Via The Globe and Mail:
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has obtained Governor-General Michaëlle Jean’s consent to temporarily shut down Parliament, a move that allows him to avoid a confidence vote next week that he was expected to lose. [...]
Mr. Harper said Parliament will return on Jan. 26 and the first order of business will be the 2009 budget.
He grudgingly acknowledged he has to make peace with the opposition parties. “Obviously we have to do some trust-building here on both sides.”
The Prime Minister said he will spend December and January hammering out the budget. “My work over the next few weeks will be focused almost exclusively on preparing the federal budget.”
From where I sit, this is quite a breach of democratic protocol, to suspend the House because parties within it that represent a majority have declared they are set to form a new government.
Even if Harper remains Prime Minister upon the reconvening of the House, obviously his budget will look rather different than the one he was planning when he, evidently, though he had a de-facto majority government. In that sense, democracy still wins. But the principle that parliament should not be allowed to meet when it is expected to vote its lack of confidence in the incumbent government is far from a good one.