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The BBC has just caught up with the political events north of the border. The British news service just noticed that a no-confidence motion will get a vote late this afternoon or early this evening -- after having been tabled on Thursday:
Canada's Prime Minister, Paul Martin, faces a no-confidence motion in parliament which his minority Liberal government is widely tipped to lose.
It is expected that an election would then be called in early 2006.
Monday's no-confidence motion was introduced by three opposition parties last week, after Mr Martin rejected an ultimatum demanding a poll in February.
The motion claims the Liberal party - which Mr Martin has led since 2003 - no longer has the moral authority to lead.
The government has been dogged by allegations of irregularities over contracts awarded by a previous Liberal administration.
Mr Martin is not implicated in the scandal, but the opposition says his government is tainted and should be forced out of office.
A couple of points to consider, on my lunch break at Culver's where they offer free wi-fi access (and pretty darned good chili and cole slaw): first, it's stretching the point to say that Martin hasn't been implicated in Adscam. He didn't get directly tied to the money laundering, but the Sponsorship Programme scandal occurred while he served as Finance Minister. Since millions of dollars disappeared while he had responsibility for the Canadian federal budget, he certainly has ties to the scandal; he might just not have to face criminal charges. Maybe.
Also, to call the Adscam money-laundering and political kickback scheme "irregularities" equates somewhat to calling Watergate a dispute over fair use of recordings. The Gomery inquiry established real crimes, crimes that will require prosecution. The BBC penchant for understatement misrepresents the entire push for the no-confidence motion.
Lastly, I'm trying not to be too hard on the BBC. At least they finally noticed that a major world government will collapse today. The American media still hasn't noticed it. I'll be posting on this later today, when I get home and watch the vote. Somehow, I keep expecting Martin to pull another rabbit out of his hat and dodge the bullet. Perhaps he might prorogue Parliament before allowing the vote to take place ...Sphere It View blog reactions
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