Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Then, I was inspired; now, I'm sad and tired

This about wraps up today's implosion, I think: OTTAWA - The Conservatives will vote in support of the federal budget, Tory Leader Stephen Harper announced hours after high-profile MP Belinda Stronach defected to the Liberals. Stephen Harper said of Belinda Stronach's defection: 'There's no grand principle involved in this decision, just ambition.' Harper said his party will still try to topple the Liberals on a second vote on Thursday – a budget amendment that directs $4.6 billion to housing and the environment. "It's our intention to support Bill C-43, the original budget," Harper said on Tuesday night. "We'll oppose Bill C-48, which was the deal with the NDP, which is complete irresponsible fiscal policy." Even if the second vote could be won - and that's a pretty big if, now - what does it mean, after all? Given the tendency of our Natural Governing Party to interpret matters of confidence loosely, to say the least, I think a plausible (well, CBC-plausible) case could be made that passing the larger part of the budget shows more confidence than defeating the lesser would, thus negating it as a government-toppling measure. The former, as it were, could "outweigh" the value of the latter, in another episode of playground riddle logic. Nonsensical? Sure. Contemptuous of both parliamentary tradition and the ideals of representative democracy? You bet. But it's no less absurd than the farce that's been Liberal behaviour since last Wednesday.

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