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Democracy on life support?

Predictably, the Canadian blogosphere has been a-buzz with reaction to Belinda's defection. Most of it has been shock, disgust, dismay, and insults (Publius has a good round-up), but Colby Cosh has a powerful post about how this country might just be strolling into a huge constitutional crisis:

The whole point of the tradition that the confidence of the House will be tested at once, upon the government's defeat in a supply-related division, is to prevent exactly the sort of shenanigan just perpetrated. Martin has used the delay he imposed unilaterally to purchase the services of a disaffected Conservative leadership candidate--one, it bears noting, elected by her constituents as a Conservative. (She'll be in charge of "democratic renewal", says Martin--never let it be said the man lacks a taste for irony.) "I am not sure," Bliss concluded, "that Canada has ever had such a serious parliamentary crisis." There can be no doubt about it now. If the Liberals win Thursday's confidence vote by virtue of Stronach's presence on the government benches, we will continue to have a government openly acknowledged to be illegal by most if not all of the major constitutional authorities in the country.
Well, the ones not bought off by the Liberals, anyway.

Paul Martin seems to be intent on destroying this country as we know it. The corruption of his party and his banana-republic tactics have infuriated Quebec and the West, yet still he sits in the driver's seat. If the Liberals somehow manage to create a majority government , there'll be another Quebec referendum, followed shortly by one in Alberta.

I could even see myself voting 'oui'...

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