Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ Not Fallen

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

May 11, 2005

The conservative blogosphere - American and Canadian - is making a big deal over a motion passed last night that they claim is a vote of non-confidence in the government. Here, here, here, here, here , here , and here - looks like the marching orders got out to the attack swarm without a hitch.

This is, of course, patent nonsense. The vote was a recommendation to a committee that it call on the government to resign. Not that you'd know this by reading any of the conservative blogs.

I don't know what points they think they are gaining by spreading this sort of lie and misrepresentation. It's not like a confidence motion won't take place - it will take place, either on the budget vote (expected soon) or during one of the opposition days (also expected soon).

Where the truth lies, of course, is that the Conservative Party, in an alliance with the separatist Bloc Quebecois, wants to defeat the government without actually taking responsibility for it. They want to be able to turn around and say, but we didn't really force the government to resign.

Why? Because they don't want to face the electorate having defeated what was generally a popular budget. They don't want to explain why they rejected funding for the military, rejected diverting the gas tax to municipalities, rejected the royalty agreement with Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, rejected the money set aside to meet our Kyoto obligations.

They also don't want to have to explain why they forced an election only a year after the last one, why they forced an election when a clear majority of Canadians have said they don't want one, why they forced an election mere months after having said they would support the government on - yes - the budget.

Of course, none of this matters to the Conservatives. Only one thing does - after some bruising testimony at the Gomery commission, the Conservatives have made some gains in the polls, which leads them to think that, if an election were held now, they might win. In other words, the Conservatives' political game plan has nothing to do with what's good for Canada, it is pure and blatant opportunism.

Yes, Paul Martin should hold a budget vote now. Put it to the test and hold the Conservatives accountable. Now.

And the Conservatives and the conservative blogosphere should try being honest. If they can.

p.s. Given the interest the American right has shown in our coming election, one expects that they will hold their wailing to a dull roar when some foreign publication - like, say, the Guardian - tries to sway voters in the next presidential election.

Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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