Thursday, May 05, 2005

Aim high, we're having a ball

Is it time to give up and move to Texas yet? OTTAWA — The Liberals have declared invalid a motion opponents say could spell the death of the minority government within two weeks. 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. The problem with constitutional law that largely exists as a matter of centuries-old precedent and custom going back to medieval noblemen and monarchs pulling power plays on each other is that...well...there's nothing to stop this. Give me republican government with a short, clear, and above all explicitly written constitution any day, if our parliamentary monarchy is no longer able to even feign adherence to its traditionally accepted (if not strictly defined) rules.

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