Perhaps I'm a cynic or a latent conspiracy theorist -- but I'm suspicious about the numbers in the vote tonight.
Could it be that the Liberals wanted to lose this vote?
Two Cabinet Ministers did not attend -- Justice Minister Irwin Cotler and Natural Resources Minister John Efford.
Last week, in anticipation of a crucial vote in the House of Commons, Veteran's Affairs Minister Albina Guarnieri was called home almost as soon as she touched down in Holland -- that 'crucial' vote wasn't even on the agenda. Today, the Liberals had full knowledge of an impending 'crucial vote' and yet two Cabinet Ministers don't show ?
CTV says Cotler was in Montreal for a family funeral. Not to be insensitive, but at 5:45 p.m.? I believe Cotler was in the House Monday, and he was scheduled to give the keynote speech for the Ottawa Police Services on Monday night. There is no indication that this speech was cancelled. It appears Cotler might even have been in Ottawa this morning (see link) for a meeting about the new DNA Registry. If the government had considered this a crucial vote, I believe he'd have flown back to Ottawa immediately after the funeral service.
Apparently Efford was receiving 'medical treatment' in Newfoundland. Again, this might be true, but the timing seems suspicious to me.
Did the government want this vote to pass? I believe they did. The Queens Park Liberals are notorious for sending up trial balloons. Their federal brethren are likely doing the same. They'll listen to the feedback (or fallout) and then they'll decide on their own terms, how and when to close shop.