This was on the AP this morning. Sounds interesting. Martin’s party seems to have a lot of corruption, so far he hasn’t been accused.
Any thoughts on a replacement??
Canada’s government expected to fall Monday
TORONTO, Ontario (AP) – Opposition parties introduced a no-confidence motion on Thursday that is expected to topple Prime Minister Paul Martin’s government and force an election campaign during the holidays.
Canada’s three opposition party leaders say they will vote Monday to bring down Martin’s minority government.
They claim the Liberal Party no longer has the moral authority to lead the nation, referring to a corruption scandal within the Liberal ranks. Martin hasn’t been accused of any wrongdoing, but senior officials of his party have.
Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper said his party would join with the New Democrats and Bloc Quebecois parties to bring down the government after Martin rejected their demand to go to the polls after the Christmas holidays are over.
Harper has garnered enough opposition votes to bring down the minority government in a no-confidence vote in Parliament, launching a campaign that would overlap the Christmas-New Year season, though the actual voting day would likely be in January.
“This House has lost confidence in the government,” Harper said.
The motion was tabled after a frantic week in Ottawa, where the government rushed to offer a cascade of policy announcements before its demise.
Martin’s government fell into peril after it lost the support of the New Democratic Party. New Democrats leader Jack Layton – whose support of Martin’s scandal-plagued minority government earlier this year helped him escape early elections – said he hadn’t received enough assurances that the Liberal Party would crack down on the increased use of private health care in Canada.
Martin made a deal with Layton’s leftist party last spring, pledging $3.6 billion in social spending and a promise to delay billions in corporate tax cuts. In return, the New Democrats propped up the Liberals in a confidence motion, providing the support of their 19 members for a House of Commons motion that they survived by a single vote.
Martin has promised to call an election within 30 days of the release of the second part of a report into a corruption scandal within his Liberal Party. The document is expected on February 1, likely prompting elections in the first week of April, a time of year that suits Canadians better than the bitterly cold and busy holiday season.
The last time a Canadian political campaign coincided with the holiday season was in 1979, when Joe Clark’s minority Conservative government was toppled just weeks before Christmas. The vote was delayed until February, however, when Pierre Trudeau and the Liberals took back Parliament.
Recent polls have given the Liberals a slight lead over the Conservatives, with the NDP in third place nationally. Those same surveys suggest the Bloc would sweep the French-speaking province of Quebec, making a majority government unlikely no matter which party wins the most seats in the 308-member House of Commons.
The opposition is banking on the public’s disgust with an ongoing Liberal Party corruption scandal. The first of two investigative reports, released two weeks ago, absolved Martin of any wrongdoing, but accused senior Liberal Party members of kickbacks and misspending tens of millions of dollars in public money targeted for a national unity program in Quebec.