Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Dissension in the Ranks ? ? ? ?

This news is just devastating too bad, isn't it?

From CTV today:

Accord dispute creates dissent in Harper cabinet

Updated Mon. Jun. 11 2007 10:10 PM ET - CTV.ca News Staff

CTV News has learned a weekend letter on the Atlantic Accord dispute has left Prime Minister Stephen Harper facing a major cabinet split.

Sources say that Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay feels blindsided by the letter to the editor published Saturday that inflamed matters.

Insiders say that Sandra Buckler, the prime minister's communications director, instructed MacKay to sign the letter, which rejected any side deals with Nova Scotia.

MacKay, a Nova Scotia MP and the senior minister for Atlantic Canada, refused, say sources. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty signed the letter.

And later in the article this scenario:

Liberal senators, who hold a majority, say they might even take up MacDonald's call to defeat the budget.

"If Mr. Harper wants this budget, Mr. Harper is going to have to change this budget," said Liberal Sen. Terry Mercer of Nova Scotia.

Having the Senate vote down the budget would be a vote of non-confidence in the government and an election could result.

"It would be totally irresponsible and it would be unprecedented for the unelected Senate to defeat a budget bill," said Conservative Sen. Marjory LeBreton, the party's house leader.

As we're not experts on the Canadian political process, does this possibility have any validity?

If so, what an intriguing idea . . . .


Tom said...

Canadian politics confuses the heck out of me. I hope to learn more once up there.

I can't figure out how these elections just come about.

West End Bob said...

We're trying to learn the system, too!

Apparently, voting against a proposed budget is a vote of no-confidence in the existing government which triggers an election. In harper's case, I don't care what triggers it as long as he and his ilk are gone soon . . . .

Canada Calling said...

Common talk up here is to expect a call for a new election before the end of the year.

Here is more than you probably wanted to know from Wikipedia :)

"The House of Commons is a democratically elected body, consisting of 308 members, who are known as Members of Parliament (MPs)."
"The "lower" of the two houses making up the parliament, the House of Commons in practice holds far more power than the upper house, the Senate. Although the approval of both Houses is necessary for legislation, the Senate very rarely rejects bills passed by the Commons (though the Senate does occasionally amend bills). The Prime Minister stays in office only as long as he or she retains the support of the Lower House."
"Stephen Harper is the current Prime Minister. He was appointed by Governor General Michaƫlle Jean (per constitutional convention) as the 25th Prime Minister of Canada, on February 6, 2006. Prime Minister Harper leads a minority government - that is, there are more MPs seated on the opposition benches to the left of the Speaker of the House of Commons than on the government benches to the right of the Speaker."

West End Bob said...

Thanks, Canada Calling.

Yeah, we've got our "bookmarks" noted for different aspects of Canadian government. I very much approve of the fact that at least there is some semblance of multi-party governance. Unlike . . . . . The US, for instance??