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April 20, 2005
Liberals Fail To Secure May 19th Opposition Day

The Liberals gambled everything they had left on stripping Parliament of any opportunity to introduce a no-confidence vote that would topple the Martin regime -- their credibility, any hope of an alliance with the NDP, and what remained of public sympathy regarding their predicament. The naked power play designed to shut up the opposition and delay elections failed, however, as the Tories got a single Opposition Day back on the calendar for May 19th:

One day after the government postponed the Conservatives' opposition day scheduled for today and attempted to push back all the opposition days that had been set for the first three weeks of May, the Tories managed to use a backdoor route to salvage one of them.

On that day, May 19, the Conservatives can bring forward a no-confidence motion.

The firm date, coupled with signals from all three opposition parties that they are willing to defeat the government, suggests the minority Parliament is in its final days.

Prior to their heavy-handed attempt to prorogue Parliament without allowing another Opposition Day, the Liberals had a chance of retaining enough votes to keep the elections at bay until possibly late fall. However, Martin lost any hope of alliance with other parties after this last-ditch effort to retain his premiership. Even so, had the Liberals made it stick, they could have postponed new elections until autumn and hoped for better issues on which to run.

Now, thanks to the timing of the final opportunity allowed to the Tories, the other parties will certainly take the opportunity to remove the Liberals from their minority government. Martin has left Harper no choice but to table the no-confidence motion on that date, which will result in new elections on June 27th. And frankly, that timing could not possibly be worse for the Liberals.

The Gomery Inquiry will just be ready to hear testimony from Paul Coffin, likely under a publication ban, the week after the no-confidence motion. The same dynamic that applied to Jean Brault's testimony will once again raise public interest in the Gomery proceedings, especially if the ban gets broken either here at CQ or elsewhere. Even if the ban remains effective, the essence of Coffin's story will play out in banner headlines during the entire campaign, driving home over and over again the Liberal money-laundering scheme that essentially kept them in power for years, bypassing electoral rules and spending limits. By the time June 27th rolls around, the fact that Justice Gomery has not yet issued a written report will be moot.

The Liberals just lost the election yesterday in Parliament, and they know it. If more MPs have been thinking about switching parties, expect them to move within the next two weeks. Even in Ontario, few Liberal seats are likely to be safe bets by June 27th.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at April 20, 2005 7:34 AM

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» Tories Get Their Opposition Day from
Captain's Quarters has posted that the Tories got their Opposition Day through a backdoor route (if anyone knows how they did it please let me know as I have no clue). May 19th is the day that will in all likelyhood be when the Liberal Party is oust... [Read More]

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» Canada's Liberals Deep in Corruption from The (not so) Daily Me
This really stinks badly! Here's brief time-line: Gomery commission commissioned to probe Liberal corruption Publication ban issued Blogs: Silenced! Charged! Captain's Quarters (one of my favorite blogs) does an extensive write-up. CQ is down rig... [Read More]

Tracked on April 21, 2005 5:31 PM

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