Canada's three opposition parties, which control a majority in Parliament, voted against Martin's government, claiming his Liberal Party no longer has the moral authority to lead the nation.Canada's Liberals have spent a year on the hot seat over questions about violations of campaign finance laws and outright unlawful "kickbacks" in connection with various advertising agencies. Early this month, the so-called Gomery investigation confirmed various criminal violations, and blamed Canada's Liberal Party and various party officials, including former Prime Minister Chrétien. Recently, Paul Martin -- current Prime Minister and Liberal Party leader -- has been bribing the electorate, especially aboriginal Canadians with expensive social program give-aways, hoping to purchase a political power extension. Opposition parties claim recent Liberal proposals were leaked prior to public announcement, allowing government supporters to profit from insider trading.
The loss means an election for all 308 seats in the lower House of Commons, likely on Jan. 23. Martin and his Cabinet would continue to govern until then.
Canada's famously fractured conservatives theoretically are united behind party leader Stephen Harper. Yet despite recent scandals, polls show Liberals leading Conservatives. In a land where "neoconservative" is an insult, where the Liberals won every seat in Ontario as recently as 1997, and where -- despite opting out of the Bush/Blair Coalition -- the Iraq war remains a flashpoint, Canada's center-right Conservatives are anything but a lock.
Vodkapundit's Stephen Green:
I got a little schadenfreude thrill out of Martin's black eye, if only because he's been such a dipshit anti-American sometimes. But for fans of a Single Canada – like me – ditching Martin is probably nothin' but good news.
If there's anything with the ability to split Canada apart, it's Canada's Liberal Party. For years now, the LP has simultaneously flirted with Quebec Separatists while engaging in social and spending policies which constantly annoy everybody west of Winnipeg. If the LP keeps on this way, the Frenchies will eventually go their own way – and so might British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba (as a group). Poor little Ottawa, along with maybe the Maritime Provinces, would be all that remained of Rump Canada. . .
Whoever takes power after next year's election, they'll still have Bloc Québécois to deal with, if they want to form a majority. My read of BQ is, at this time they're more interested in aggrandizing their Frenchness than in making a new nation-state. Assuming BQ can make a deal with the two other non-LP parties, the new government will represent a wider range of interests than the old LP-BQ chum-fest.