Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Election machinations being moved up by the Conservatives

Big news in the undertow today, perhaps obscured by the Raitt matter. The Conservatives have moved up the Liberal opposition day such that the vote on any confidence measure proposed will be on Friday June 19th. With the notice of such motion having to be tabled on Wednesday June 17th, one week from today. From Globe link:
Conservative House Leader Jay Hill has moved up the Liberals’ opposition day, just as Liberals debate this morning whether to use their slot to move a non-confidence motion.
Liberals were originally told the last opposition day, which goes to them, would be on Tuesday, June 23. That’s the last scheduled day before the summer recess. The last opposition day is now booked for Friday the 19th, with a rare Friday night vote on the opposition day motion.
There will also be votes that night on the government’s main spending estimates. The estimates votes are always matters of confidence, meaning a government defeat would force an election.
It is highly unusual to hold votes on Fridays because most MPs head home to their ridings the night before.
A measure of Conservative concern over the Raitt document & tape fallout (pardon the pun), Chalk River mismanagement that has caused a major national health crisis, exploding deficit numbers, and so on and so on. After Michael Ignatieff announced his intention to make a "serene and clear decision" on whether to move non-confidence, not surprising that the Conservatives have decided to increase the pressure on him with a little focussing of the mind manoeuver. It likely won't change Ignatieff's decision calculus, he'd already stated Liberals would decide by the end of this week in any event. There are plenty of reasons for the Liberals to go, that's for sure.

And plenty of reasons for Conservatives to not want an election. The latest of the Raitt tape disclosures comes this afternoon. Would love to see the Chronicle Herald keep rollin' it out for the foreseeable future. I mean, 5 hours...they've likely only scratched the surface.

Not up to Liberals alone, though. That's the kicker.