The conservative government of Stephen Harper has been defeated on a confidence vote 156-145. PM Harper is expected to visit the Governor-general tomorrow and ask him to dissolve Parliament. Then we will be off to the polls, likely on May 2nd.
The opposition parties have been beating the drum for some time now concerning ethics violations and "contempt of Parliament" by the government. They may, however, be the victims of their own rhetoric as the voters just don't seem to care or simply aren't listening. Stephen Harper's Conservatives are at an all time high in the polls and if they stay there, we could see a Conservative majority government come May 2nd.
The question is: can the Liberals under Michael Ignatieff convince Canadians that the government is indeed behaving unethically and contemptibly? And so much so that it needs to be replaced? Not such an easy task for a party that itself in 2006 went down to defeat over some of the most egregious ethics issues ever seen in Canadian politics. On an ethical basis, how do you trump the passing of taxpayer money under the table in brown bags to political operatives and Liberal Party cronies?
The other thing working against the Liberals and the NDP is the economy and you can be sure the Conservatives will do everything in their power to make this the focus of the election. Canada has weathered the world-wide recession well and this is largely attributed to the good fiscal management of the government.
With the Conservatives leading in key provinces like Ontario and BC, and improving in Quebec, one has to wonder about the logic of the Liberals to force an election at this time. Is Iggy so absorbed in his own BS that he is blind to the mood of Canadians? Or has he had enough of Canadian politics and wants to go back to his cushy job at Harvard?
Update: via the Globe:
It was also a motion that declared the government to be in contempt of Parliament for its refusal to share information that opposition members said they needed to properly assess legislation put before them.Hmmm... you would think the government said something like "We will have to pass the bill for you to find out what's in it"? Oh, the arrogance!