The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

12 April 2005

Martin's Liberal Party in Serious Trouble

Ready To Collapse?

Support For Leftist Canadian Government Dropping Daily

Things are looking worse for Prime Minister Paul Martin's Liberal Party nearly every day, but a new, especially dire survey must have many in Ottawa looking for a way to quickly jump off this sinking ship.

The new Toronto Star poll shows the Conservative Party of Canada easily winning any election held now. That appears to be the first one showing an outright victory for Conservatives.

If Martin loses a no-confidence vote that may be introduced into the House of Commons this week, Canadians could once again be headed to the polls and Conservative leader Stephan Harper could become prime minister.

In a clever bit of politicking, Conservatives are not going to introduce the measure themselves unless compelled to, leaving it to the third party Bloc Quebecois to take action instead.

The Sponsorship Scandal is now being compared to Watergate, but I think it's far worse, because it involves outright theft of millions in taxpayer funds. Never has Canada looked more like a banana republic, thanks to the Liberals.

And even if the events took place before Martin took over as PM, there's no doubt the public sees his party to blame and knows he was most certainly in the middle of the situation somewhere.

Thanks to bloggers on this side of the border such as Captain's Quarters, Americans, particularly conservatives, are paying closer attention to Canadian events than in the past. That's a fantastic development.

Check sites such as Brent Colbert's Comments, Small Dead Animals and CIVITATENSIS for more in-depth coverage of the latest details. There are interesting updates at these blogs today. Colbert has background on the shadowy players involved in the scandal.

(Beth Duff-Brown- AP)

OTTAWA, Canada — Prime Minister Paul Martin scrambled yesterday to prevent the fall of his government amid a kickback scandal in his Liberal Party, as a new poll showed the opposition Conservatives would easily win fresh elections if held today.

In what some say is Canada's version of Watergate, in terms of magnitude and potential damage, Martin reiterated that he had nothing to do with the ethics fiasco, in which party members are accused of having taken kickbacks from advertising agencies hired to promote federalism in the rebellious French-speaking province of Quebec.

"Not only do I have the moral authority, I have the moral responsibility" to keep the government afloat until the full inquiry into the scandal concludes in the fall, Martin said.

"Canadians are entitled to ask someone to step forward, and I'm the prime minister of this country. I can assure you that anyone who has been implicated is going to be punished."

How long Martin can remain prime minister is anyone's guess, and the halls of Parliament were rife with speculation about whether new elections were around the corner.

The separatist Bloc Québécois could introduce a confidence motion by Thursday, although the more powerful Conservative Party was hedging, knowing most Canadians are not keen for new elections.

"There is a depth of anger there. The Liberal Party is in deep, deep trouble," said Richard Simeon, professor of political science at the University of Toronto.

A poll published by the Toronto Star yesterday indicates that only one-fourth of those questioned last week would vote for the Liberals if elections were held today. The Conservatives were backed by 36 percent, up 10 points from a survey taken in February.


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