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The Canadian Parliament has taken up the no-confidence motion that threatens to topple the Martin executive and the Liberal grip on power after months of breath-holding following the Adscam investigation. The debate swings from banal to enlightening; the Liberals have attacked the Tories as unpatriotic for working with Bloc Quebecois, and the opposition parties have attacked the Grits for all sorts of policy differences -- a mistake, given the obvious target of corruption which should remain a focus.
Jack Layton started well, but sounds more like MoveOn; anti-Americanism and attacks on George Bush peppering his speech. One great response to the catcalls coming from the Grit bench: "They will have their chance to explain themselves to the Canadian people soon enough." He committed the NDP to the no-confidence motion, however, saying "Enough is enough."
I expect a vote later this morning, or perhaps in the afternoon. Keep an eye on what happens. Also watch John McDonald at Newsbeat1, whose eagle eye for detail has kept Canadians well informed for months.
UPDATE 10:34 - The vote will apparently come on Monday, according to Layton.
UPDATE II: The Globe & Mail has more detail on the motion. Stephen Harper introduced the expected motion, and Layton seconded it, removing most of the doubt. As I noted yesterday, the motion stuck to a simple language of lost confidence, while the speakers on the issue talked at length about the reasons for the loss of confidence.
The G&M also reports that the Liberals have an extensive negative campaign already planned -- attacking the opposition to pre-empt the damage Adscam will do to the Liberals in the first post-Gomery election. They will continue to paint Harper as a "scary" right-wing ideologue, a strategy that has worked well up to now, but might lose some of its sting after Canadians discovered the extent of Liberal corruption. Most of the advertising has already been planned for post-Christmas television.
Thanksgiving (the American version) has turned out to be a busy day for Canadians. It looks like Christmas will be just as fascinating.Sphere It View blog reactions
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