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May 17, 2005

Would You Mind If I Told You How We Did It In Canada?

This news is a little old, but worth noting. NDP MP Ed Broadbent has agreed to abstain from Thursday's budget vote to compensate for Conservative MP Darrel Stinton's planned absence in a procedure known as pairing.

Stinton is scheduled for cancer surgery Wednesday, and Broadbent (whose arty has formed a shaky alliance with the Liberals) has decided to sit out as a courtesy. This is not an unprecedented move, and I think is clearly in the best interest of voters (instead of the best interest of the party), since it will negate any unfair advantage one side may have. Not that I particularly agree with the Conservatives, or the NDP, but I do think taking advantage of a representative's illness to be somewhat undemocratic.

I've discussed this with several of my American friends, who all seem shocked by the very idea. When asked if such a thing would happen in the US, all I got was laughter for a response. I guess we do things a little differently in Canada, and I'm ok with that.

20:39 | Canada , | Politics


We definitely do things differently: we haven't had a legitmate government--i.e. a party that can command the confidence of the House of Commons--for about a week.

Do you think the U.S. would allow themselves to stay in constitutional limbo for even one day, let alone seven?

Posted by: ryan at May 18, 2005 8:58 AM

I don't know what you mean by constitutional limbo, as long as the government doesn't lose a confidence vote, they're legitimate. Whether the Opposition turns up the rhetoric or not isn't really relevant. Either way, it will be decided tomorrow.

As for the US, how about 4 years? In the 2000 election, the Supreme Court refused to allow a Florida vote recount, effectively awarding the presidency to Bush.

Posted by: Chris at May 18, 2005 7:25 PM

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