If you like politics, well, you’re probably watching what’s going on south of the border. But there’s going to be a little fun up here as well over the next week or so. First up, in a few minutes, the Liberals present their amendment on the budget. Here it is:
That the motion be amended by deleting all of the words after the word 'That' and by substituting the following therefore:
'this House recognizes that this Budget contains some initiatives that attempt to mirror sound and intelligent Liberal policy proposals, but regrets that the government has made significant economic policy mistakes over the past two years and shown an NDP-like lack of fiscal prudence that prevent it from dealing with a downturn in the Canadian economy.'
Voting on this amendment
begins at 6:30 pm Ottawa time. We should have it live on CTV Newsnet is now over. Just 7 Liberal MPs were present in the House at the time of the vote on their amendment and they were the only ones to vote in favour of it. Every MP from every other party was present. If the government loses the vote on this — and all three Opposition parties have to vote in favour of it in order for the Government to lose — then, that’s it: We go to the polls. It’s unlikely, however, the NDP, at least, votes for this because of the little NDP dig in the middle of the motion. Mind you, the NDP is so annoyed at the Libs nowadays that maybe they vote in favour of it, just to bring the government down and spite the Liberals, who, many believe are not ready for an election. Don’t count on that: The smart money is on the Government surviving for the following:
TUE MAR 4 – The main budget vote. So this is big budget vote. The NDP and Bloc will vote against; the Conservatives in favour. The Liberals are already on record as saying they won’t bring the government down over the budget so they need to figure out what to do here. They could abstain or only a small number of Liberals might be present to vote against the budget.
WED MAR 5 – This is the first of six consecutive “Opposition Days”. Each Opposition party is allotted so many days in the Parliamentary calendar during which they can introduce and debate – and vote on — anything they want. The Bloc Quebecois is up first so, presumably, if they want an election, they can write up a confidence motion and present it today.
THU MAR 6 – The Liberals have their Opposition day.
FRI MAR 7 – The NDP have their Opposition day and we hear rumours that they may try to craft a non-confidence motion the Liberals would have to support — something about environment and didn’t Stephane Dion do a better job when he was Environment Minister.
NEXT WEEK – There will be three Opposition days next week — likely Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Not clear yet which party gets which day.
THU MAR 13 – The Afghanistan Motion. This is the governnment’s motion, re-written with Liberal input. It’s a confidence motion but, as both the Tories and Grits agree on the essence of the motion, this one should pass.