Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Paul Martin Speaks

Here is Paul Martin's official statement about yesterday's non-confidence vote:

Good afternoon.

Can't disagree with that. The weather is nice this afternoon.

Canada has a long and proud Parliamentary tradition, and there are rules and conventions that guide that tradition. Rules and conventions that are older than any of us.

The vote in the House of Commons last night was important, but it was not a matter of confidence.

So important, in fact, that two senior ministers didn't show for it. Even more importantly, the government ignored just about all the constitutional and parliamentary rules and conventions to deny the obvious.

If your boss asks you to clean out your desk, he's not just advising you to tidy up your workspace. A vote calling for the government to resign works on the same principle.

However, it is clear that in keeping with our Parliamentary tradition, the question of confidence in the government must be settled soon, clearly, and definitively.

I have just met with my caucus. Earlier today, I spoke with my cabinet. And this is what I told them.

On May 17, voters in British Columbia will be going to the polls in a provincial election.

Next Tuesday and Wednesday, I will be in Regina to welcome the Queen to Canada. On Thursday, May 19, I will be in Ottawa. And I am proposing that there be, on that day, a vote on the budget bill. This vote will be a matter of confidence.

And why will it be a vote of confidence? Because Martin says so. This time, parliamentary and constitutional convention just happen to agree with him, when it's convenient to blame the opposition for playing political games during a royal visit.

Make no mistake: I am committed to working with Jack Layton to pass the budget -- a balanced budget that would help strengthen our economy, protect our environment and create a national program of early learning and child care.

I believe that Canadians want this budget passed. And I believe they want an election to be held after the final report of Judge Gomery.

In other words: he's going to use Jack Layton to keep his government alive until he can prorogue Parliament until after Judge Gomery issues a report full of recommendations but empty of blame. At which time he will declare that he and the Liberal Party have been exonerated, then call an election and hopefully sweep to a majority.

If the government loses the vote next Thursday, I will seek the dissolution of this Parliament and Canadians will know that Stephen Harper and Gilles Duceppe have worked together to force an election less than one year after the last election.

By scheduling this vote, I am respecting my obligations to our Parliamentary tradition.

I call on Stephen Harper and Gilles Duceppe to respect their obligations – to demonstrate respect for Parliament and for Canadians by ensuring this House is able to function between now and the day of the vote, and by committing to Canadians that they will honour and recognize the outcome of the confidence vote.”

A fugitive who surrenders himself after fleeing arrest doesn't deserve praise for making a gracious concession to the law. Neither should we consider Paul Martin's pledge of a confidence vote next week the same way.

But now he's released his campaign theme--those scary Tories and the treasonous separatists have ganged up on us to force people back from the cottage to vote in the summer.

Wonder how long it took Scott Reid and David Herle to cook this statement up? They should have had something for the PM last night better than this warmed-over hash.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow - we should really cut the PM some slack... Wait... Did I say cut him some slack?

Paul Martin needs to realize that he, in refusing to step down, has sullied Canada's name on the world stage.

F@ck him, the election should be called today.

I think we need to get Donald Trump into that caucus meeting.

"Paul... You're fired."