The nastiness in the House has got everyone slamming the Conservatives.
CTVs headline is pretty non-partisan, but if you read the article: Grits accused of planning vote around sick MPs most of the quotes are by people like Tony Valeri, Paul Martin, Scott Brison, and even Jack Layton -- about the Conservatives making the accusation, rather than the distinct probability that its true. (Thanks to 905 Tory for the link).
I subscribe to the Liberal newsletter, and they released 'A Statement from the Prime Minister" which was verbatim what he said today at the press conference before Question Period. As his excuses for delaying a 'real' confidence vote, Martin said:
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.
It's already been pointed out by others that his itinery is irrelevant. There is nothing so gravely important in that list that the budget is somehow connected to it or could be affected by it. The only answer is what Harper and the Tories suggested -- the vote is being postponed because Martin is betting on at least one of the sick MPs being too sick to travel.
The indignation and sanctimonious bleating of the Liberals is disingenuous. They act offended -- Stephen Harper must be LOW to have even thought such a thing.
Had Martin thought May 19th was a good day for the budget vote, his letter would have said: We the government, believe there is business in the House that needs to be completed before the budget vote. We need to wait for the Veteran's Bill to clear Senate, and for the DNA bill to be rushed through the House and Senate. Both of these things will be expedited, but we believe, in order for the budget to have fair debate, a vote should be called no earlier than May 19th.
The letter doesn't say anything like that. It mentions no work that needs to be completed. It makes no reference to time for debate. It lays out Martin's itinerary for next week and says -- we're too busy to entertain the will of the people at the moment --we'll get back to you when we've time.
The Liberals made the mistake of genuinely wanting the vote when some Tories might be too sick to be there. Instead of offering reasons for their decision, they had to offer excuses -- because liars think up excuses. The reasons were there, and could easily have justified the delay. But they were lying. Paul Martin stood up in front of all of us and said -- we can't have a confidence vote now, I have to meet the Queen.
And now they stand there sputtering all offended. How could Stephen Harper accuse us of something so beastly . . . so reprehensible . . . so sleazy . . . how did he know?
He knew because it's so typical.