For my American friends
Canadian federal politics are a dog's breakfast these days. So it's no wonder some of our friends to the south have taken the wrong message from this week's non-confidence vote.
Target Centermass quotes a USA Today line: "A corruption scandal forced a vote of no-confidence Monday..." Captain's Quarters also seems to think the government's defeat is all about Adscam. InstaPundit uncharacteristically goes way, WAY over the top: "Reader T.J. Marshman thinks that Ed Morrissey deserves credit for bringing down the Candadian government, by breaking the publication ban on the Gomery investigation. Could be! I started to say that before, but didn't want to be accused of blogger triumphalism."
Where to begin?
Let's start with the overblown idea that putting Gomery inquiry testimony out in the public sphere a few days early way back in April triggered the election this week. As I mentioned at the time, the publication ban was a temporary one - if Gomery has really and truly wanted to bury it, he would have heard the testimony in camera. And that was eight months ago. Since that time, Gomery's inital report has been published (the fact-finding portion - a second report with recommendations to prevent a recurrance of this sort of abuse of power will be forthcoming in the early spring), and it actually exonerated Paul Martin. Much of the information was already available back when another non-confidence vote was taken, and the Liberals won that one (although they shouldn't have been allowed to - they lost the confidence of the House of Commons a week before the vote, and only survived it by bribing a defector from the Conservatives with a juicy Cabinet post).
If the government's defeat had been precipitated by Adscam testimony, it would have gone down long before now.
In fact, it's not the scandal that triggered the election at all. Jack Layton's nineteen-seat NDP party propped up the Liberal government in exchange for $4.6 billion in budget concessions back in June. They tried to extort even more out of the government earlier this month, and when they were rejected, they decided to pull the plug:
Layton, frustrated with Martin's refusal to meet his demands for health-care reforms, pulled the plug on the uneasy alliance his party forged with the Liberals last spring, depriving Martin of the ability to stave off an election call until well into the new year.
"We will not be supporting the government in a confidence motion when it comes forward," Layton said after a speech to a business audience at a downtown Toronto hotel.
So to my understandably confused compatriots south of the border: this was about parliamentary politics in a minority government, not about scandal. It was most certainly not about blogging.
In a way, I wish you guys were right, since it would be evidence of some sort of moral standard in the Canadian electorate. Unfortunately, corruption on even a grand scale just doesn't have that much pull in Canada.
Update: Welcome to readers from The MotherCorp's site! As a certified right-wing nutbar, I find it deliciously ironic that the first mainstream media outlet to link to yours truly is the Castro Bootlicking Corporation. Serves me right.
Well, welcome to you - beer's in the fridge, munchies are in the cupboards, and the bathroom's down he hall and on the right. Make yourself at home, and come back to visit anytime.