Canadian progessive survives... just

In Canada, the Prime Minister Paul Martin, from the (progressive) Liberal Party managed to survive a no-confidence vote only after the Speaker cast the deciding vote. Martin may have made it through this time, but the Conservatives have sniffed blood, and they're likely to continue to make life tricky.

There's plenty on the web about the issue, but here's a first-hand take on things from a Canadian friend of mine, Charles:

The Tories may win the confidence vote, but it remains to be seen whether they can win the election that will follow!

It is expected that the next campaign will last 40 days, more than the usual 30 days, a lot can happen, and the Liberals have a great organisation (the big red machine), much better oiled than that of the Tories. Besides, because the Bloc Quebecois' hard base splits the vote, the Tories will lack necessary support in the East to win a majority in the House of Commons. And probably most importantly, Canadians do not like the Tories' leader, Stephen Harper, he is very right-wing despite a few recent efforts to move toward the center. Recent surveys put the Liberals ahead. Finally, it is stupid to call an election in the summer in Canada. I do not think it has ever been done.

I just think it is very very very sad that our leaders are so preoccupied with childish issues instead of focusing on the real problems affecting Canada. We are wasting precious time... China is coming.
So maybe the Liberals will survive for a while yet.

It's Paul Martin!
That's Paul Martin in the front, and an unknown assaillant behind him.


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