Sunday, November 13, 2005

Government may fall on Tuesday

Good for Harper. If he wants to lead, he needs to start acting like a leader. Grow some balls, man!

Personally, I don't put much stock in this "Canadians don't want an election" business. In fact, I don't really put much stock in what "the majority" wants period, never have. Majority or no, if there's an election, you get out and you vote, that's your civic duty - it's not like it's a huge burden, once every few years you gotta go mark a box. And as for a Christmas election, I'm sorry fellow Liberals but I'm going to have to turn on you on this one - you're wrong to say that there will be a Christmas election if the government falls on Tuesday. Unless Paul Martin is monumentally stupid, there won't be. It is the government which schedules elections - the 36-day campaign is only the minimum required. Traditionally, campaigns have lasted much longer than that. So guys and gals, let it go. It's not going to happen.

The fact is, Harper and Layton both have a responsibility to do this. Duceppe has been the only consistent leader among them - he has maintained all along that the Liberals do not have the moral authority to govern, and he has been expressing that in his votes for the past several months.

Layton withheld his judgment, and when Gomery issued his report, he came to the decision that the Liberals do not have the moral authority to govern. (Ignoring that Gomery basically exonnerates them, but whatever, that's politics.) And yet, he's been wishy-washy on expressing this in a vote - that fake confidence motion? What the hell is that?

And Harper, well, Harper I just wanted to slap when he said he wasn't going to bring down the government. You CANNOT say on the one hand that the government does not have the moral authority to govern, but on the other hand ALLOW them to continue governing!

This is the way Canadian democracy works: The government is assumed at all times to have the authority to govern, as it is acting on the authority of the monarch with the consent of the House of Commons. In order to say that a government no longer has the authority to govern, the House of Commons must pass a motion of no-confidence or reject a motion of confidence. Failing one of these two things, the government has the authority to govern, and nothing any opposition leader says will change that fact. Period.

So, if Mr. Harper and Mr. Layton truly believe the government has lost the confidence of the House, they have a duty to express this in a vote. But simply saying for the next couple of months that the government has lost the confidence of the House, when the House has clearly not expressed such a thing, is a mockery of Canadian democracy.


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