The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

13 May 2005

Canadian PM Hopes Cancer Treatments Impede Vote

The Cancer Card

Liberal Party's Desperation To Retain Power

How addicted to power is a corrupt political party, when it resorts to planning a parliamentary confidence vote on a day when it knows several opponents will be unavailable, due to personal health issues?

The National Post and others are calling it "the cancer card".

A few days ago, we explained here that a vote of no confidence was already held in Ottawa's House of Commons and that the ruling Liberal Party lost. It somehow held on to power, in a Clinton-like manner, by parsing the motion's language.

Now it wants a second vote for next Thursday, when it thinks it can skate by, due to health-related absences by opposition MPs.

When Conservative Party leader Stephan Harper made note of the amazing coincidence, the liberal media ridiculed him for being conspiratorial, or just plain silly. But the facts are in Harper's corner.

Prime Minister Paul Martin would be able to hang on a bit longer, if he can get away with this stunt, delaying the increasingly inevitable collapse of his government. Harper's now so close to becoming Canada's next leader, he can taste it, so these tactics are certainly annoying.

(National Post- 13 May 2005- John Ivison)

It emerged yesterday that Darrel Stinson, one of the Conservatives fighting cancer, has an operation scheduled for Wednesday and will miss the vote the following day. What enraged Harper was his belief that the Liberals knew about this and cynically exploited the information by calling the vote for a time when Stinson was unavailable.

One Conservative said the Liberals have been calling around in British Columbia seeking information on Stinson's treatment and that Albina Guarnieri, the Veterans Affairs Minister, raised the issue with Chuck Cadman, the Independent MP who is also fighting cancer. "Some of the more aggressive tactics used by Martin's people offend [Harper's] sense of fair play," the Conservative said.

For its part, Guarnieri's office denies even discussing Stinson's health with Cadman. But who out there believes that this Liberal government wouldn't boil their grannies down to make glue if it helped them stay in power?

Stinson's absence shifts the balance of power in the House of Commons significantly and makes an election much less likely. The Conservatives and Bloc can now muster only 152 MPs, while the Liberals and NDP have 150 and hope to count on at least two of the three Independent MPs. The Speaker, a Liberal, would break any tie.

The Radio Equalizer has been monitoring a group of bloggers who are following Canadian developments closely:

Small Dead Animals
Brent Colbert
Captain's Quarters
Josef's Public Journal


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