Monday, May 09, 2005

It is A Vote of Confidence

The Liberals are declaring tomorrow’s backhanded motion proposed today by the Tories not a vote of confidence. I grudgingly have to disagree and I believe this in fact a motion of confidence. Forgetting the fact that I do not believe the motion should be in order at all, but since the Speaker has ruled that it is, we must accept it is a motion of confidence against the government.

The vote is an amendment of a concurrence motion of a Public Accounts Committee report talking about the misdoings of former Parliamentary Privacy Commissioner which was presented to parliament last fall. The amendment proposed today by the Conservative House Leader Jay Hill to read “''to recommend that the government resign because of its failure to address the deficiencies in governance of the public service”.

The amendment in recap says that that motion should be sent back to the committee where it should recommend in the report that the government should resign.

The Liberals are arguing that is a procedural motion and thus not a confidence motion. I must disagree on this point; it is clearly a substantive motion. Let us understand the difference here. This amendment of the motion does more then call for the report to be sent back to committee but it recommends the resignation for the government. The fact that there is a recommendation that is clearly not a procedural recommendation shows that this is substantive in content. If the motion just called for the report to be sent back to committee then it would be a procedural one, but it clearly does more then that.

Do not get me wrong, I believe this is a backhanded and a bs way of trying to get to an election, and this is political opportunism at its best especially since tomorrows newspapers will have the headlines of today’s Gomery testimony from Benoit Corbeil, former Director of the Liberal Party in Québec.

But the fact is the motion is one of confidence. Although the motion recommends that the committee recommend that the government resign, the fact is if the motion passes then a majority of members of the house believe that the committee should change the report to say the government should resign. If A asks B to C to resign, then it is the same as A asking C to resign directly.

This whole things is BS and how tomorrow plays out shall be very interesting. Will the Liberals try and get the budget voted on tomorrow so they can lose on that. Will GG get involved? Stay tuned.


  • At 8:47 PM, Blogger Jason Cherniak said…

    But what if the Liberals want to vote on whether there is confidence? Wouldn't they also support the motion because they want to eventually vote on the final, amended report?

    Here's what I suspect. They are saying it isn't a confidence motion because they want to come back the next day after losing as Pearson did. They will move something along the lines of:

    "This House would prefer that an election not take place until after the final report of the Gomery Commission."

    That will be the motion of confidence and that will end up as the election issue.

  • At 8:51 PM, Blogger Political Nobody said…

    Day to late for that.In the world of 24hr media they will look even worse. What I expect will happen is now they will if they cannot get Kilgour/Cadman or they cannot prospone the vote somehow they will force a vote on the NDP budget add-on.

  • At 5:42 PM, Blogger Scott Tribe said…

    Well... the Liberals have shown they dont consider this a confidence vote because 2 of their Cabinet Ministers were away and didnt bother to show up for the vote tonight... that shows the Libs are pretty "confident" they are on good constitutional ground and on the right side of public opinion.


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