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Canada Boring? I Think Not · As not­ed ear­li­er, we’ve got a mi­nor­i­ty gov­ern­ment em­broiled in a nasty scan­dal and an Op­po­si­tion that sniffs blood in the wa­ter. So, what hap­pened? The NDP, our left-wing par­ty, agreed to prop up the Lib­er­al gov­ern­ment on con­di­tion that they get all sorts of social-democratic good­ies in­to the Fed­er­al bud­get. But that’s not quite enough votes to do the job, and the Loy­al Op­po­si­tion, cur­rent­ly the Con­ser­va­tives (Tories) and BQ (Québec sep­a­ratist­s), were go­ing to try to vote down the bud­get and pre­cip­i­tate an elec­tion. So the Lib­er­als went out and bought them­selves an­oth­er vote, brib­ing promi­nent To­ry bil­lion­airess bim­bo Belin­da Stronach away to the Lib­er­al side with a plum­my cab­i­net job. That still wasn’t quite enough; vote-counters came up with 151 sol­id votes on the Govern­ment side, 152 again­st, and mav­er­ick In­de­pen­dent MP Chuck Cad­man sit­ting on the fence. Wel­l, the vote hap­pened this af­ter­noon and no­body knew what was go­ing to hap­pen up un­til the sec­ond they called Chuck’s name; he stood up to vote with the Govern­men­t, pro­duc­ing a tie, which due to par­lia­men­tary ar­cana that need not con­cern us is a gov­ern­ment win. Bed­lam erupt­ed. I’m ir­ri­tat­ed be­cause I want­ed an elec­tion now, but I think the re­sult is prob­a­bly fair be­cause near as I can tell a slight ma­jor­i­ty of the cit­i­zens would rather wait a few more month­s. You couldn’t make this stuff up. [Up­date: I’m get­ting lots of push-back on “bimbo”.] ...
The Martin Government Is Toast · One the one hand, you’ve got a mi­nor­i­ty gov­ern­ment that’s just been caught laun­der­ing a mil­lion bucks through cor­rupt ad agen­cies back in­to its own cof­fer­s. On the oth­er hand, you’ve got a weak and di­vid­ed op­po­si­tion; I for one am un­con­vinced they’d gov­ern bet­ter. Doesn’t mat­ter; when a gov­ern­ment acts this bad­ly it just has to be spanked, pour en­cour­ager les autres. Go on Stephen, Jack, and Gilles, pull the damn trig­ger al­ready and let’s have an elec­tion and give the Lib­er­als a dose of op­po­si­tion. It’ll make us all feel bet­ter, and our pol­i­tics are strong­ly enough centre-loaded that it’ll be hard for the next gov­ern­ment to do too much dam­age. It’ll prob­a­bly be an­oth­er mi­nor­i­ty gov­ern­ment any­how, which is prob­a­bly a good thing at this stage.
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