Right now, as I watch live on tv, the Canadian Government is falling. It is the first time in Canadian history that a sitting government has been found in contempt of Parliament, to be toppled during the vote of non-confidence that is taking place now.
Votes of non-confidence are themselves extremely rare. But in a few moments, Canadian history will be made when the Conservative’s minority government will be the first ever found to have contemptuously flouted the will of Parliament.
Right now, as I watch, the majority of elected Members of Parliament are rising to vote their non-confidence in the minority government.
This is historical in its uniqueness.
This is exciting in its reinforcement of the democratic process.
This is serious in its implications.
Flowing under all of the political machinations are the public statements of the parties’ leaders, most notably the leader of the party in power – Stephen Harper.
Harper and the Tories have tried to spin this event, accusing the Grits of contemptuously flouting the will of Canadians (?), labeling the opposition parties as being members of an evil coalition (?), and making light of the entire situation (?).
I am left wondering what is more troubling – that the Conservative government has repeatedly thumbed its nose at the majority of Canadians and has now been found in contempt of Parliament, or that they do not recognize the extreme seriousness of this.
This has never happened before. It is not a political game. It is not a minor inconvenience. Yet the Conservatives – in their cheering and jeering in the House of Commons and their snide remarks during scrums – are treating this like it’s no big deal.
It is a big deal. It’s a very big deal.