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The pro-democracy movement in Canada

We're going to need one. After successfully navigating through all the procedural roadblocks the Liberals have thrown up, the Conservatives have finally managed to schedule a confidence vote on May 18th. But almost immediately, the Liberals said they will ignore the results:

A Conservative effort to hold a confidence vote by May 18 was approved by the House of Commons on Thursday - but it took the Liberals just minutes to brush it aside. Constitutional experts say precedents in Canadian parliamentary history offer little direction as Prime Minister Paul Martin's government lurches toward a crisis.

House Leader Tony Valeri insisted the motion is simply a procedural matter that has no binding effect on the government.

"There is no non-confidence motion," Valeri said. Moments earlier, the Commons Speaker endorsed the Conservative motion, which calls on the government to resign.

"This is merely an instruction to a committee," said Valeri.

Our Parliamentary system is built largely on traditions rather than rules. The Liberals have been taking advantage of this over the past few years so that no longer do Ministers have to answer a direct question during question period or resign when caught lying to the House. I've been frustrated for years at the slow destruction of accountability in the federal government and the concentration of power in the PMO. But this -- THIS! -- it's just too much! If this Conservative motion passes and the government ignores it, Canada will no longer be a democracy. I just hope Canadians can be roused from their complacency to tell the Liberals that this won't be tolerated.

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Comments

Sorry, I find it difficult to be outraged over the right's outrage du jour of "things that haven't happened yet and are only based on something somebody said." Wake me when it happens, then we'll talk.

Hey. When the ruling party announces they're going to break hundreds of years of Parliamentary tradition so they can cling to the power that allows them to hand out the goodies to their supporters, I get worried. But that's just me.

Did you ever think that the Liberals might be gauging the response to this outrageous idea? That if Canada just delivers a collective shrug, the Liberals will see it as a green light?

If I wake you up when that happens, it'll be too late.

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