Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Are you !^%# kidding me?!

I'm planning to write more on Liberal renewal and our performance in opposition tonight when I'm home from work, but I saw this story that we're backing down on the Ambrose motion and I couldn't let it go without a brief comment.

Liberals to abstain on motion that could have sparked election

OTTAWA (CP) - The Tories won the latest game of political brinksmanship Wednesday as the Liberals refused to support an NDP motion calling for the resignation of Environment Minister Rona Ambrose.

If the motion had passed, it would have gone to a vote in the House of Commons next fall and possibly triggered an election. Liberals on the Commons environment committee said they'd abstain from voting on the motion calling for the resignation of Environment Minister Rona Ambrose.

(more)

This is just a stupid move by the Liberal opposition. Harper had no grounds to call this a confidence motion. The government can't just make anything it wants a confidence motion. In fact, during the Martin minority I believe Harper said exactly that.


Liberal environment critic John Godfrey… denied that the Liberals were abstaining because they don't want to face an early election.


I don't buy it John. Walks like a duck, etc. We've set a precedent, and now Harper can make his breakfast order a confidence motion if he wants to. There was no way he could have triggered an election here, and if he'd tried he'd have looked like a dope and it would have backfired big time. Instead, we look like spineless wimps and he's a strong leader.


We've got a lot of learning to do about being in opposition. More later.

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7 comments:

Andrew said...

The government can make whatever legislation it wants into a confidence motion. Martin was not above issues threats such as these.

It was lame when Martin did it, and it's lame when Harper does it. Bloody politicians.

A BCer in Toronto said...

I don't have my Marleau and Monpetit with me (actually, I don't have a copy)but I think Harper was stretching things a fair bit here.

Even if they did call his bluff and he went to the GG, I'd think she'd ask him if he was daffy. If he responded affirmitively, she may well see if the Libs and Dips want to get together and test the house. Then things would get interesting.

And if she did grant a writ of election, how would Canadians respond to Harper forcing them to the polls in the heat of the summer because the opposition didn't like his environment minister? They'll get a majority for sure.

It would never have even come close to that though. It was a bluff, and the Liberals pussed-out.

Steve V said...

It was a bluff, and a bad one at that. Does anyone really believe the Conservatives would force Canadians to the polls over their environmental record? All the Liberals did was solidify the notion of Conservative bullying to get there way. I don't get it.

Psychols said...

Harper drew his line in the sand and the Liberals backed down. It makes the Liberals look like a bunch of spineless wimps.

If this story has legs, it will hurt the Liberal image.

Ed King said...

Andrew, when did Paul Martin threaten an election over an issue that was not confidence?

It should be noted that Stephen Harper co-wrote a (highly inappropriate) letter to the Governor General asking her to interpret confidence in the narrowest way. He also asked her to consult the opposition parties before granting a dissolution. But who cares? I would think we're all accustomed to Harper's hypocrisy by now.

btw Jeff, Marleau and Montpetit is available online here:

http://www.parl.gc.ca/MarleauMontpetit/

There is also the compendium of House of Commons procedures here:

http://www.parl.gc.ca/compendium

PithLord said...

Sorry, but if the House tells the PM who he can put in the cabinet, that is the very essence of non-confidence

Robert said...

I don't think it was spineless of the Liberals to abstain from this; it was as shrewd a move on the part of the Libs as it was shamefull of Harper to make it a confifence motion.

Had this triggered an election, it would have been labelled as the fault of the Liberal opposition trying to grasp at power again. Now it should be clear that they aren't.

The public should be notified that the Liberal opposition just forstalled the summer election that the CPC tried to engineer.

(Put's on tinfoil hat: ...NDP motion that would have made Liberal party take the blame for unwanted election... maybe CPC wanted this election hmmm. takes off tinfoil hat)