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Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Okay, this blog is about politics a lot of the time. 

But you know why? Because right now, Canadian politics is so interesting. (This, by the way, is why my friend Andrew drives me nuts: Canadian federal politics is just one historic event after another right now, and his last post was eleven days ago, and it was about American politics. Cover the interesting stuff, Serenepia! Or at least take more photos!)

Okay, back to my point: the Tories, despite various procedural shenanigans by the Grits, finally got a resolution into the house yesterday which (as Paul Wells noted) recommended that the Public Accounts Committee report should call for the resignation of the government. The motion passed 153-150.

This is procedural silliness. But it was the only vote the Liberals would allow on to the floor, and it really was a motion, passed by the House, that expressed a call for the resignation of the government. That's no-confidence!

Confidence motions are not automatically fatal. At least one time in the past, I seem to recall a Canadian government getting caught napping, without enough members in the house, and the opposition went and quickly snuck in a no-confidence vote. It passed, but didn't kill the government, because the government could just call back the full complement of its members any time and pass a confidence vote.

the Prime Minister is not in that situation: the government (if it even dared to bring a bill forward) could not pass a motion on National Kittens Are Cute Day at this point, because that would get voted down. They have zero chance of passing a budget, a confidence motion, or anything else. They have not the confidence of the house. I don't know how else to express it.

And yet, Martin continues to exercise the privileges of the executive branch! No no no! That's not how it works!

To give credit where due, the Liberals do have some thin reasons for declaring their right to exist, but let's be clear: the reason for the flim-flam Tory bill in the first place is that the Liberals started rearranging Opposition Days to prevent their government from falling. Indeed, the Conservatives challenged the Grits, right after the vote, to introduce a true confidence motion into the house. The government demurred, because there is no way it would have passed.

This is not pretty. But entertaining!

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