All is quiet on the Western front.
Civility has returned to Parliament Hill, for a few days it would seem, until Thursday. And then that's when the Liberals get toppled from power and all hell breaks loose.
As stated the Liberals need all three Independents in their camp in order to survive: Carolyn Parrish, David Kilgour and Chuck Cadman. The mainstream media have continually reported, erroneously, that the Liberals have two guaranteed and that Cadman is the wild card. But the truth is that in fact the Libs only have one guaranteed vote from these three: Parrish. The other two have not committed to vote for the government and have in fact voiced their displeasure about the mess on Parliament Hill. Chuck Cadman knows his constituents don't want an election, but on the other hand Parliament isn't working and that is weighing heavily on his mind. On the weekend he seemed to be leaning heavily towards voting to topple the government. Meanwhile David Kilgour has been upset with the Martin government's lack of commitment to Darfur, and even though he sided with the government on that vote last week, that was only to buy the Liberals' time to get their act together, it was no guarantee that he would vote the same way on a budget.
Read these comments and see what you think, it's the CBC, and they suggest Kilgour is going to vote these guys right out of there. By my count, that's 154-150 if that is what goes down on Thursday. And Martin would have to hand in his resignation to Adrienne.
There was also a story in the Globe with quotes from Jay Hill to the effect that the Tories would back down on further confidence motions after this week's budget vote but I think that's just a signal from Hill that this is it, all or nothing, no more games. If you want to pass judgement on confidence then you must vote against the budget. End of story. I think they're sending a message to Kilgour and Cadman that there won't be some separate "no confidence" vote a week from now, or two weeks from now. This is it, better make your mind up to get rid of these guys fast, or else the corruption and dysfunctionality continues through the fall.
There's also a new Sun/Leger poll out that has the Liberals at 43% and the Tories at 31% in Ontario, the same crummy numbers that got the Liberals 75 Ontario seats last time. But a few people have noticed that these numbers were taken before last week's infamous week of rebellion in the House of Commons, and the Liberals have been getting pounded since then. I am still a little worried about the numbers in Ontario and have been worried for quite some time about Toronto.
I am still on record as saying Toronto will be a blowout. But I think the Conservative base is much more organized than in 2004 because I'm seeing much more people at the nomination meetings. Don Valley East got a very good turnout and Beaches-East York had a much better turnout than they had any right to expect. They said it was the biggest crowd they had there in 28 years. Halton had a nomination meeting just outside Toronto, and apparently the crowd there was the biggest they had since the days when Otto Jelinek was in there. The Tories are getting big crowds on short notice all over the place at these meetings. Admittedly many of those who show up are one-issue "mad-as-hell" types, but still, the base is really motivated this time to get rid of the crooks in Ottawa.
If you're Conservative, that's a positive sign.