Friday, June 24, 2005

Summer Bloc Buster

The Bloc's sudden turnaround on the NDP budget bribe bill in exchange for quick passage of same-sex marriage before breaking late for summer has everybody fuming in Tory blogdom.

The MSM has been harping about the Tories being in bed with the separatists for so long that I think even we started believing they were some sort of coalition partners, hence the screeching by Peter MacKay et. al. about the Grits' underhanded tricks in wooing the Bloc.

The Globe and Mail is predictably quite happy about the vote to shut down debate on C-48, since it practically assures passage of their beloved same-sex marriage bill next week.

But buried in the celebratory article are hints that Paul Martin still can't keep his caucus in line:

With the support of the Bloc and the NDP, the Liberals had little problem winning a vote late yesterday to approve a motion to extend the sitting indefinitely and an earlier motion to shut down debate over the extension. Still, 14 Liberal backbenchers voted against the motion. Many are known to oppose the same-sex marriage bill.

If the Bloc hadn't done an about-face on the budget, some or all of those anti-SSM Grit backbenchers would almost certainly have voted against C-48. The Liberals would go into an unwanted summer election with SSM pushed to the forefront by its own MPs.

Martin would be hard-pressed to blame the "Alliance-Conservative-separatist coalition" for an election caused by his inability to manage his caucus.

What can he do, slag his own backbenchers on the campaign trail?

It seems Paul Martin can manage everyone else's caucus, but not his own.

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