Posts Tagged ‘throne speech’
Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff says Liberals will return to Parliament on January 25 to hold public consultations until the Olympics begin February 12.
Ignatieff promised the public consultations would produce “serious public policy”, and he held to his previous commitment not to force a spring election.
October 19 – 24, 2007 - Liberal leader Stéphane Dion addressed the House of Commons and announced his intention to abstain from the vote on the government’s Speech from the Throne despite previous threats and objections to the proposed legislative agenda.
The tactic is known as a ‘whipped abstention’ because MPs are compelled to abstain from the vote or be expelled from the party caucus.
MacKay Editorial Cartoons: Laughter rains down on Dion
Liberal leader Stéphane Dion has backed away from his Throne Speech ultimatum in which he threatened to defeat the government unless it meets 4 Liberal Party demands.
All three Opposition parties have set conditions for supporting the Throne Speech, and an election will be called if they follow through on their threats.
However, Stéphane Dion now says he will take a ‘wait and see’ approach. The change comes amid ongoing divisions in the Liberal Party, and after an October 13 Ipsos-Reid poll showing 40% of Canadians would vote Conservative, and 67% think Canada is moving in the right direction.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper challenged the opposition parties to either give the minority Conservative government a mandate to govern, or force a general election.
Both the Liberal Party and Bloc Québécois have threatened to reject the government’s Speech from the Throne on October 16, unless it meets their demands. The government will fall and there will be a general election unless it can win the support of at least one opposition party.
The government is unlikely to agree to all of Stéphane Dion’s demands, or all of the Bloc Québécois’ conditions. NDP Leader Jack Layton said he will wait and see whether any of his concerns are addressed.
September 26, 2007 – Stéphane Dion held a press conference to claim Stephen Harper has a hidden agenda.
Since Dion’s election as Liberal leader in December 2006, he has frequently described Harper’s government as secretive, ideological and having a hidden agenda.
Stéphane Dion says the Liberal Party will vote to defeat the government unless the Speech from the Throne addresses four key issues. The government will be defeated if it loses the Throne Speech vote in October.
Dion says that in order to guarantee Liberal Party support of the Throne Speech, the government must:
- Immediately inform NATO that Canada’s combat mission in Afghanistan will end in 2009
- Table the Clean Air and Climate Change Act in the next Parliamentary session
- Put forward a “real” economic plan
- Put forward a credible plan to address poverty
Stephen Harper has already committed to a vote in the House of Commons on extending the Afghan mission, and he unlikely to commit the government to any policy beforehand, putting him at odds with Dion’s first demand.
If we don’t have these 4 priorities, we will not be able to support this Throne Speech.
All three political parties must vote against the Throne Speech in order to defeat the government.
Like the Liberal Party, the Bloc Québécois has also promised to defeat the government if it doesn’t commit to ending the mission in Afghanistan.
The NDP also want the government to pull out of Afghanistan, but so far have not threatened to defeat the government over the issue.
Update, September 16 - This video has received a several hundred views from the Small Dead Animals blog, not to mention dozens of interesting and insightful comments from regular readers of the Roadkill Diaries.
Stéphane Dion responded to speculation the government may prorogue the current session of parliament in order to set a new agenda with a Throne Speech this fall. Any progress on un-passed bills would be lost, unless the government took steps to reintroduce the bills into the new session.
Dion asked the government to carry forward Bill C-30, The Clean Air and Climate Change Act, should they decide to prorogue. Dion also re-stated his demand that the Canada immediately notify its NATO allies that it will end its combat mission in Afghanistan when it expires in 2009.
However, Dion would not commit to defeating the government over these issues, or to supporting a Bloc Québécois threat to bring down the government over Canada’s role in Afghanistan.