With all of the talk about terrorism this week, hardly a mention was made of the Conservative budget passing in Ottawa.
It is one thing to see a budget clear the house within a majority government, but when in a minority position, the passage of the budget is what allows the government to continue. A defeated budget is a vote of non-confidence which leads a sitting prime minister to ask the governor-general to dissolve parliament. In other words, he is toast.
On Tuesday, it seems that there was a domestic attack on the Parliament buildings. Someone apparently slipped some noxious substance into the ventilation system, causing all of the MP’s present to lose track of what was going on
Justice Minister Vic Toews stood up on the floor of the House this week and suggested that the budget receive third and final reading. Speaker Peter Milliken then asked all sitting members if there were any objections. Seeing that no one appeared to object, the speaker then recorded the budget as passed unanimously. (For all of you Michael Moore fans, that means everybody.)
When Conservative MP Diane Ablonczy showed up late to begin debating the budget, she was told that the bill had passed and was already on its way to the senate for its approval.
The NDP and Liberal MP’s pretty much sat there. It seems that they too had missed the procedural queue to challenge the third reading and to have their dissatisfaction recorded. The end result was for the Conservative budget under Stephen Harper to pass through the house and to go on record as being accepted by all parties unconditionally.
What a shame for the Liberal Party to now be on record as supporting the Conservative child care rebates and for the NDP to be on record as supporting a reduction in the Goods and Services Tax (gasp) and our retreat from any monetary commitment to Kyoto.
It’s kind of funny, really.
Perhaps our MP’s should pay attention to what is happening. They are at work, after all, and are paid very well to run our country.