Paul Martin-der FuhrerWell, it is official-Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin is a dictator. For those not familiar with how parliamentary systems work, they rely on the notion that Governments survive based on the confidence of the House. When the Government loses a vote in the House of Commons, typically the Prime Minister asks the Queen (in this case, Her Majesty is represented by Governor General Adrienne Clarkson) to dissolve Parliament and call an election in order that the legitimacy of the Government cannot be brought into question.
Well, the Liberal Government lost a procedural motion in the House of Commons last night by a vote of 153 -150. The key to this particular procedural motion is that the language of it was such that it contained words of no-confidence, which effectively made it a vote of no-confidence. So Paul Martin went to Rideau Hall and asked Adrienne to do her duty on the Queen's behalf and call an election, right? Nope...nevermind the established customs of parliamentary democracy! Paulie Boy instead declared that this was a mere procedural motion, and every opposition MP (Tory and Bloc), even those sick and in hospital, who bothered to show up to defeat the Government voted in vain. Instead, Il Duce says he doesn't have to yield to an election or ask for Parliament to be dissolved. He says he can wait until next week, May 19th, when the budget is voted on. On several occasions now, he has tried to avoid votes taking place in the Commons at all that could bring down the Government, even having his cronies toy with the Parliamentary calendar. Now that a vote has occurred in which the Government has suffered a major defeat, an effective vote of no-confidence, Martin simply refuses to have Parliament dissolved.
One has to wonder if Martin is deliberately waiting until next week because a number of Conservative MPs (or independents who may vote with the Opposition) have cancer or are ill, and may not be able to make next week's budget vote. If the sick Members can't make it, you guessed it, Paulie Librano squeaks by again. It is sad when your Government must depend on the grave illness of others in order to survive. What is even more sad is that this is considered an acceptable tactic to use to remain in power. Those kinds of political moves are emblematic of a dictatorial mentality. I sincerely hope, so that we are spared the spectacle of a dictatorship under the vale of democracy on our northern border, that the sick Members of Parliament can make it back for next week's vote. Paul Martin is trying to avoid an election that he knows he will lose. It is time for the Parliament and people of Canada to hold the Liberals to account.