Is the end near?

Could the end be near when everyone least expects it? Following a week of intense filibustering by the Conservatives in an attempt to push bill C-38, the same-sex marriage bill, and if possible C-48, the NDP-budget bill, into the fall sitting of parliament, the Government has tabled a motion to put an end to it. Motion No. 17, which would extend the sitting of the Parliament indefinitely into the summer, has formally put a kink into the Conservatives mission to postpone the passing of these bills. Although the Conservatives can still continue their filibuster, the meaningfulness of the delay has evaporated.

Irate at Motion No. 17, the Conservatives have renewed their threats to take down the government. This is somewhat strange, as the Conservatives had the ability to do just that on Tuesday June 21, only 2 days ago, during the second reading of bill C-48. The absence of as many as 6 Conservative MP’s from the vote (at least 1 whom was in the house earlier that day) ensured that the bill they so adamantly opposed passed.

Can these new threats be taken seriously? Would the Conservatives risk an early election now, before any indication that their support has rebounded since Grewal? With voting on the 3rd reading of C-48 expected late this week or early next, I guess we will just have to wait and see.

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2 Comments

  1. Gnomes said,

    Thursday, 23 June 2005 at 2:00 pm

    This issue may be an extension of the debate within the nascent Conservative party between the ideologues and the tactical strategists. Stopping the SSM bill or NDP budget amendments would be good in terms of Conservative party policy, but bad strategically. The Conservatives’ best hope is for an election on the timeframe that the Liberals have committed to; defeating C-48 now would release the Liberals from that promise and almost certainly give them another, possibly stronger government.

    The defeat of C-38 wouldn’t trigger an election, but the issue is nothing but future trouble for the Conservatives, who would face a tremendous backlash in public opinion if they ever were in a position to try and pass a law outlawing it, thus invalidating thousands of existing marriages.

  2. O'Smiley said,

    Thursday, 23 June 2005 at 2:29 pm

    As far as can be seen there is no contest in regards to C-38. The second reading of C-38 passed 163 to 138 and it is very unlikely to be defeated on 3rd reading.

    The only possible challenge to the government must occur on the 3rd reading of C-48. This bill has been very close in past votes (the Speaker had to cast a tie breaking vote was required on 1st reading) and if all members are present in parliament during 3rd reading than a defeat of the C-48 is very possible.

    This is likely the Conservatives last chance for an early election before Gomery. All that has to happen is for Gomery to report no fault in Paul Martin and any chances for the Conservatives to form the next government will be history.


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