Ramping up

OK, we’re back.

Very shortly, though, this blog will be moving to CTV’s site.

I’ll be on the bus with Conservative leader Stephen Harper for the first two weeks of the campaign and then I’ll spend a week with NDP leader Jack Layton. (left) If CTV has plans for coverage beyond week three, they haven’t told me.

Jack Layton - NDP LeaderFor those readers from another country, let me give you the backstory:

Canada has a parliamentary democracy based on the British system. The government is formed by the party with the most MPs in our House of Commons. Right now, the Liberal Party of Canada is the governing party and Paul Martin is the Prime Minister. He was elected in June 2004. The problem for Martin, however, is that he was elected with a minority government. That is: The combined votes of all MPs from political parties that are not Liberals is greater than those from MPs who are Liberals.

And so after about a year-and-half of a relatively shakys minority government, Martin has lost the “confidence” of the House of Commons, i.e. the MPs who are not Liberals. On Monday, at about 6:30 pm Ottawa time, those MPs will vote ‘no confidence’ in Martin’s government. Martin will do what prime minister’s are supposed to do when their government fails to win the confidence of the House: He will ask the Governor-General to dissolve Parliament and call a general election.

And so, on Tuesday, we will be on the campaign trail.

No one’s quite sure, yet, when the election will be but the best political gossip has it pegged for Monday January 23.


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