Watching a live Parliamentary vote on a budget bill is hardly my preferred form of entertainment, but last night was high political drama to the point I couldn’t tear myself away from the hypnotic calling out of MPs names as they stood to vote for or against the confidence motion against the government. How many Canadians held their breath when the moment came for the single independent MP still in play to stand or remain seated? Well, it’s history now: Chuck Cadman stood up, the government survived. And what started as a vote of no-confidence in the Liberal government has turned instead into a question of confidence in the hard-right leadership of the (formerly progressive) Conservative party.
Maybe it’s time for Stephen Harper to stop insisting that the duty of the loyal opposition is to replace the government, and get on with his real job of constructive debate and intelligent compromise. That’s what Canadians want from a minority parliament–not the desperate drama of a young party leader’s personal ambitions. As for his freshly-minted claims to provide a federalist alternative to the Bloc in Quebec–get a grip Mr. Harper. You’re not fooling anyone.