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Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Will the Martin Liberal Government fall today? This is the billion dollar question that keen political observers have been mulling over for the last couple of weeks.

Belinda’s overnight conversion to Martin Liberalism, while shocking, may not actually have that much of an impact on the vote, scheduled to be held this afternoon in Ottawa. Over the last week, odds-makers have been leaning more in favour of the vote not passing. Unfortunately.

Actually, there are a few votes that will be taking place.

The first is a vote on the original budget, as agreed to by all parties earlier in the year. The Conservatives have suggested they will vote in support of this budget, in move calculated to derail the misguided attempts of the NDP to hijack Parliament’s agenda with their old-fashioned and out of touch taxation policies.

The second vote will be a vote on the amended and unholy NDP-Liberal budget, which strays from the so-called fiscal prudence that Martin has been spouting for the last 12 years.

The final vote will be on a formal non-confidence motion that the Liberals, in their classic undemocratic fashion, managed to put off by undemocratically delaying the “opposition days” in Parliament.

If any of these votes fail, Martin will be cast out from the cozy 24 Sussex Drive and into the fray of an election campaign – a campaign where his government’s record of blatant pay-offs to friends and insiders will be the main issue.

In British Columbia we are in a unique situation, having just come off of a provincial election campaign. We are, frankly, a little tired of all the politicking and really just want to open up the cottage, or crack a beer while sitting on the sand watching the beach volleyball players. The thought of more phone calls, election signs and radio shows with rabid callers isn’t exactly enthralling.

That being said, tonight’s votes are really important and, if the Federal Liberal government does fail, we owe it to democracy to take a deep breath and be just as active and engaged in the Federal campaign as we were in the Provincial. A record number of voters cast ballots on Tuesday night – that means something.

It means we care about our province.

And although we may not really want an election, we do want to get rid of the Federal Liberals, who have taken trough-feeding and brown envelopes filled with campaign cash (in this case our tax-dollars) to a whole new level.

Politicians need to hear from us that this kind of government is not acceptable in Canada. Period. Full Stop.

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