Canadian Government Collapses; Held in Contempt of Parliament
Stephen Harper's Government Collapses: No-Confidence Measure Passes [Updated]
Canada's opposition parties have voted on a motion of no confidence in Stephen Harper's minority Conservative government on March 25. Aside from the vote of no confidence, House also passed a measure holding the Harper Government in contempt of Parliament for refusing to share legislation information.
Stephen Harper's government has collapsed, and Canadians will vote for a new government in May. This is the first time in Canada's history that a government has been held in contempt of Parliament.
All 156 members of the Liberals, National Democrats and Bloc Quebecois It all came down to money: Harper (widely characterized as an out-of-touch egomaniac) has chosen widely unpopular things on which to spend Canadian money, and his opponents saw an opportunity to kick him out of Ottawa. Things like renaming the entire Canadian government after himself didn't help his image.
Led by Michael Ignatieff (who will face opposition from NDP leader and John Lock lookalike Jack Leyton in May), the opposition is delivering what was in the post for a long time: remember, Harper saved his party's collective butt in 2008 by proroguing Parliament, which served only to turn more of the Canadian people against him: it was a selfish move by all accounts, and it was not-so-quietly added to the tally of reasons why he has so few friends in the halls of Parliament: he just didnt' seem to care what anybody else thought, not the public nor other elected officials.
That image of a Prime Minister living in a bubble has finally led to Harper's undoing.
Stephen Harper's Conservatives 'In Contempt of Parliament'
Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff tweeted his intentions on his way to the House of Commons, and then repeated those words once he arrived.
On my way to the House of Commons, where I will move non-confidence in the Harper regime. Enough is enough. #cdnpoli #lpc
Indeed, Ignatieff read this statement in Parliament: “The motion asks that the House agree with the finding of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs that the government is in contempt of Parliament, which is unprecedented in Canadian parliamentary history, and consequently, the House has lost confidence in the government.”
The House voted at 1:30pm ET/10:30am PT on whether or not Stephen Harper's government is fit to lead. It was pretty much a foregone conclusion, though.
This is not really a victory for the opposition so much as an overall failure of the Canadian government itself: it's eating itself alive because it allowed Harper to go just a bit too far.
This week, the opposition-dominated procedure and House affairs committee found the government to be in contempt for failing to released information related to the costs of crime legislation and the purchase of stealth fighter jets.