Cash-for-Favors Scandal May Cause Collaspe of Canadian Liberal Government

Discussion in 'Canada' started by onedomino, Apr 22, 2005.

  1. onedomino
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    onedomino SCE to AUX

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    Canadian PM Wants More Time, Opposition Says No
    Fri Apr 22, 2005 02:47 PM ET

    http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=worldNews&storyID=8269427

    By David Ljunggren and Randall Palmer
    OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin, battling to prevent the fall of his minority Liberal government over a cash-for-favors scandal, pleaded for more time in office on Friday, but the main opposition party said he could no longer hope to cling to power.

    In a rare nationally televised address on Thursday evening, a contrite Martin apologized for the scandal and said he would call an election as soon as an inquiry into alleged kickbacks finished its work in December. (so he gets at least another 10 or 12 months in power?)

    But the official opposition Conservative Party said the country could not be run by a tainted government.

    "The real question I think is, do Canadians want a corrupt party to stay in power during this inquiry, and I think it's impossible," Conservative leader Stephen Harper told the French-language LCN news network.

    The Liberals are lagging badly in opinion polls. (What does this sloppy reporting mean? Lagging? What are the numbers?)

    Harper said he had not yet decided when to push for the government's defeat but it seemed increasingly likely (more precision reporting by Al-Reuters) that opposition parties would topple Martin next month and force a June 27 election. Canada's last election was in June 2004.

    The inquiry into the scandal has heard that money from a sponsorship program, designed to promote national unity and to counter separatism in French-speaking Quebec, was illegally funneled to members of the Liberal Party.

    Martin appeared on Canada's main television networks early on Friday to kick off a media blitz to persuade the country that an election should wait until after the inquiry into the scandal -- led by Judge John Gomery -- finishes its work.

    "I believe that if the opposition accepts the fundamental fairness of allowing Judge Gomery to make his report once all of the facts are in ... then we can focus on the matter at hand, which is governing the country," Martin told CBC.

    "So it's up to the opposition. I very, very much hope that they'll understand that and I think fair people will."

    The scandal is the biggest crisis to hit the Liberals since they took power in November 1993. Polls indicate that if an election were held now the main opposition Conservative Party would win power, albeit with a minority government. (What are the damn numbers?)

    The leader of the separatist Bloc Quebecois said the only thing which would prevent him from pushing for a June election would be if Martin resigned. Asked whether there was any chance Martin might quit, the prime minister's chief spokesman, Scott Reid, told Reuters: "No."

    Harper said he would have a clearer idea of when to push for an election at the beginning of May, when Parliament returns from a week-long break.

    Two motions of nonconfidence are making their way through Parliament and, on Friday, Harper introduced a third one.

    "If the government cannot maintain the confidence of the House (of Commons elected chamber), it must seek the confidence of Canadians," he told Parliament.

    Senior Conservative official Jay Hill said the third motion "puts one more arrow in our quiver, or round in our chamber, so we can pull the trigger later." (What a stupidly bellicose remark. Designed to lose votes?)

    Martin, who was finance minister at the time of the scandal, has already accepted overall responsibility for what happened, but is now making more heartfelt apologies.

    "I do regret very, very much that the government -- and that I -- was not more vigilant in checking it out ... I do very much regret that we did not know," he told CTV.

    The left-leaning New Democratic Party said it would consider supporting the government if it made significant changes to its budget. (Extortion as the price of Martin staying as PM?) The offer is of uncertain value since the New Democrats do not have enough legislators to keep Martin in power. A spokesman for Finance Minister Ralph Goodale said he had no plans to alter his 2005-06 budget "at this time."

    Also, see this: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20050422.w2mart0422/BNStory/National/
     
  2. Said1
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    Harper could have threw him out when the house voted on the budget (the conservatives abstained from voting altogether). Ad-scam has been around for a long time now, this is Chretien's baby too. In fact, Chretien's gov was riddled with financial scandle, and Martin has been cleared of misusing federal funds before he was pm. I honestly don't think Canadian's care all that much about the FACT that they've been a corrupt bunch of scum for almost 10 yrs. It's about time the shit finally hit the fan.
     
  3. onedomino
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    onedomino SCE to AUX

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    Do you know what the current poll numbers are? Would the Conservatives win if an election were held now? Would they need the help of another party to form a government?
     
  4. Said1
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    I haven't heard any official numbers as of yet, probably will be out in a few days. I really don't know if the conservatives would win, I think it would be close, again. The conservatives are also the official opposition, (and given the political game playing that's been going on here for some time now) forming a government shouldn't be a huge problem. :D
     
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    PS: I have to run, I'll certainly get back to this later.
     
  6. onedomino
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    onedomino SCE to AUX

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    So do you think will Martin be ousted? Will Quebec become a problem if a Conservative is elected? Do you think that Quebec separatism will someday succeed?
     
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    I really don't know if Martin will be ousted, it's too soon to tell IMHO. Even though Martin was finance minister at the time, Chretien was fully aware of what was going on too, and had a very flippant attitude towards the issue when questioned. I think Martin could talk his way out of it if he's careful. He has that wounded puppy persona that probably appeals to people, but it depends on how much people care too.

    The bloc Quebecois is a "socialist-nazi-seperatist" party. They are a problem and will continue to be, especially if they win the next provincial election, which looks promising. They have been closely aligned with the NDP (New Democratic Party) with most issues that have been taking place here over the last 10 months and both have voted against Martin's budget. If Martin is ousted, Harper faces HUGE opposition from all parties, not just the bloc. Not too mention his pro-USA ideas are not very popular either.

    Now seperatism is another thing altogether. The idea picks up steam, then fizzles out, repeatedly. The bloc is pushing for another referendum in '07, but I can't say how that will go. They missed by a mear 1% last time, and the bloc has lots of time to promote the idea. If they vote yes, I don't think they will be totally seperated, it's just not possible. Entire cities and towns will be bankrupted, I can't imagine what Quebec would do without Ontario, and the rest of Canada.
     
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  8. MrMarbles
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    Even ith all the corruption and cronyism that goes on inside the liberal party, i think we should let the PM follow through on his promise of a election call within 30 days of the Gomery inquiry results. We are going to get an election at some point in time, it should be at least be based on facts and not half-truths.

    And even with a new election, i don't think much will change. If the conservatives win, it will undoubtly be a minority. People don't trust the liberals, but they also don't trust the conservatives.
     
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  9. Said1
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    Too true mon chum, too true. I say let the enquirey conclude before a new election too, regardless of what they're trying to push through. Although I was reading something about Martin not lowering taxes as promised this morning. :rolleyes:
     
  10. MrMarbles
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    The NDP really want the corporate tax cuts gone from the budget, and won't help the liberals unless it is. But even with NDP help, they may not stop a non-confidence vote.
     

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