Monday, November 28, 2005

The government has fallen . . .

Oh, I always wanted to write that! In the U.S., it would be some great big horrible thing! But here in Canada, as in any country with a Westminster system, it just means Parliament's being dissolved due to lack of confidence and an election is coming . . . sounds pretty cool, though, if you think about it.

Federal election call set for Tuesday after Liberals lose non-confidence vote

. . . The 17 months since the last election will likely be remembered more for their caustic political jousting than classic policy achievement.

For months, Liberals used every procedural tactic at their disposal to remain in power. They wanted to stage an election next spring after delivering a good-news budget and after the final report on the sponsorship scandal.

As the government wavered with every explosive new allegation from the sponsorship inquiry, politicians of all stripes seemed to devote more energy to electoral positioning than they did to running the country.

The opposition tried to topple the government last spring following allegations that cash-stuffed envelopes illegally funded Liberal campaigns and enriched friends of the regime in the 1990s.

Parliamentary committees were shut down by an empowered opposition, there were calls for the Governor General to force an election, and the government choked off opposition days to keep itself alive.

The frenzy was best captured by the sight of cancer-stricken MPs flying in from across the country to help swing the balance in confidence votes.

. . . It's the first time a government has fallen on a straight motion of non-confidence in Parliament. Other minority governments have been forced into elections after losing budget votes or censure motions interpreted as loss of confidence.

What, I've got to go defend Edmonton Centre again???

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