Canadian politicians will hit the campaign trail this holiday season after opposition parties seized upon a corruption scandal to bring down the minority government of Prime Minister Paul Martin in a vote of no confidence.
Monday’s loss means an election for all 308 seats in the lower House of Commons, likely on Jan. 23. Martin and his Cabinet will continue to govern until then.
The Conservative Party teamed up with the New Democratic and Bloc Quebecois parties to bring down the government, claiming the ruling Liberal Party had lost its moral authority. Recent polls have given the Liberals a slight lead over the Conservatives, with the New Democrats in third place.
The same surveys suggest the Bloc Quebecois would sweep the French-speaking province of Quebec, making a majority government unlikely no matter which party wins the most seats.
Martin is expected to dissolve the House of Commons on Tuesday and set a firm date for the elections. Canadian law sharply restricts the duration of the campaign.
“The vote in the House of Commons did not go our way,” Martin said. “But the decision of the future of our government will be made by Canadians. They will judge us.”
Ed Morrissey, the revolutionary American blogger who was a key catalyst for the fall of the house of Martin, comments on the collapse of the Canadian libs here.
(Ed’s Canada archive–start at the bottom and scroll up.)
Austin Bay: “Martin is the Nixon of the North.”
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