29 November 2005

Canada to polls

The Canadian Liberal government lost a no confidence vote 171/133 about an hour ago. Outgoing Prime Minister Paul Martin told his caucus to get fitted out for snowshoes before launching a fairly blistering (by Canadian standards) attack on the Conservatives and New Democrats.

Election day will be fixed by the governor-general when Martin sees her tomorrow. All 308 ridings (electorates) in the House of Commons are up for grabs. I'll go into a little more detail tomorrow when I've worked my way through the lay of the land when it comes to which seats are at risk. Relatively few ridings are expected to change hands. That would explain why 70% of Canadians believe the most likely outcome is another Liberal minority government.

The last time an Australian government resigned after losing a no confidence vote was 1941. Malcolm Fraser lost a no confidence vote in 1975 but refused to resign. The CBC has a useful backgrounder on How to bring down a government which, given the numbers, would work in Australia.

1 comment:

Jack said...

Most Canadians probably are right. Another Liberal minority government. The big question mark is whether they'll keep Martin in charge of the party - lousy job over the past year and a half. There is some risk of ridings going to the CP in Ontario, but Harper's crew won't pick up anything in Quebec. I'll wait for your numbers regardless.