Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Forty Runs Empty

To my dear readers – in my typical political junkie style, we’re about to enter a supremely entertaining period of time. The three opposition parties have announced their intentions to voice against the Conservative’s federal budget. For those unfamiliar, the failure of the government to get its budget passed is considered a vote of no confidence. That means the government has lost control of the House of Commons and must call an election.

Back to my comment about this being a political junkie’s dream. Canada does not have regularly scheduled elections on a federal level. Except in the case of national emergency we must hold an election every five years, but it is typically less, and at the whim of the government to ensure that they will preserve or gain a majority government. With an election writ about to be issued the political addicts will me will fall off the wagon (not that I ever got rehab) and we’ll be waist deep in polls and promises.

However this parliament has fallen as a result of the combined will of the opposition parties. Their withdrawal of support from the Conservatives has finally led to the collapse of the second Harper minority government. All evidence seems to indicate that the Conservatives were aiming for this outcome given that they had recently been running election-style ads on television. The Liberals, assuming an election was coming has met the Conservatives on this front. The opposition quickly went to work making sure the government fell on their terms.

I am personally very surprised that the government is going to fall on the budget. The Conservatives, suspecting that there would be an election called on the budget, packed it full of goodies. The trick is that the Conservatives get to say “Look at what the Liberals/NDP/Bloc voted against, they’re against working families!” Most Canadians can see through the ploy, but it can help.

The opposition originally was going to kick out the Tories on the back of their violation of Parliament’s rights. The Harper Conservatives have been found guilty by the Speaker of the House of withholding information from the House regarding the budget. The House’s primary role is to pass the budget. This dereliction of duty is a key violation of its constitutional responsibility. In recent months I have made several favourable comments about Harper but his government’s misleading of Parliament may be too far for a person of my political persuasion.

I hope to use the Orange Tory to provide effective election coverage, predictions and endorsements if one is called later this week. And so ends Canada’s fortieth Parliament, now let’s get to work on building the forty-first.

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