Monday, June 06, 2005

LONDON MP PAT O'BRIEN HAS QUIT THE LIBERALS!

That's right, you read it. Another one says take this party and shove it, this time to the Liberals.
You need a scorecard to figure out who's in which party these days. Pat O'Brien quit the Liberals today because he opposes same-sex marriage. There's a bill going through Parliament right now and basically this is a big issue for O'Brien, actually probably his only issue at the moment. He's basically staking his whole political career on his opposition to same-sex marriage. I don't even think he really cares about any other issue right now.

So that's him now moving over to sit with Carolyn and David and Chuck now in the darkest recesses of the Commons (independents). And topping it off there's uncertainty over Gilles Duceppe who might be pressed to take over the Parti Quebecois in Quebec City, now that Bernard Landry has quit. But I think he's going to stay. The Bloc needs him to defeat the Liberals right now in Parliament, where every vote counts, and the fact of the matter is that right now Duceppe has a lot of power in Ottawa, a lot of clout. And I think he wants to use it. Besides, if he quits Ottawa that's one less vote for the Bloc in Parliament on a non-confidence vote, and there's no way he's going to allow Paul Martin to get away with stalling on a byelection call. I don't think Duceppe is going anywhere, at least not right now with things the way they are in Ottawa.

Well, well. A day ago the Liberals and their allies had a slight numerical edge, respecting whether they still had the confidence of the House: 153-152 from my count, counting the new MP that was sworn in. They had themselves, the NDP, Carolyn Parrish, Chuck Cadman, Belinda, and that new MP. And in a tie they have the Speaker. Now O'Brien has quit and that edge is gone. What does this mean? It could mean Pat O'Brien is so determined to kill same-sex marriage that he could actually vote to kill the budget in order to bring down the house and stop same-sex marriage from happening.

And then we'll see more Gurmant Grewal-type shenanigans from the Liberals, and the government will survive, again. Just what Parliament needs right now. Or maybe the government WILL fall and Paul Martin will call the Conservatives a bunch of extremists because they collapsed the government over same sex marriage!

Regardless, you can bet the Tories are going to pounce on this gift from this disaffected, disgusted former Liberal.

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UPDATE: Ahem. Forget it, the Tories won't be up to much pouncing anytime soon.
Just heard on the news that O'Brien says he's still going to vote with the Liberals on the budget, so I guess we can all calm down again. And now there's news that he may be joined as an independent by... GURMANT GREWAL! So I guess the Tories aren't going to be pouncing on anyone, anywhere, anytime.

Seems Grewal is in deep trouble because he tried to have someone courier some package for him through Air Canada, which is a no-no since 9/11 and also Air India. This looks highly suspicious. Plus there are more forensic people claiming tape doctoring and that these tapes were messed around with, and that it's more than simply a tape transfer issue.

Grewal looks increasingly like a loose cannon and a living, breathing advertisement why the people of Canada ought to always vote Liberal. People were uncomfortable with him taping conversations to begin with and if it turns out there was doctoring, well, that makes the Conservatives in Ottawa look really bad. More and more people in the Tory party are getting fed up with Grewal and they've already stripped him of his caucus duties and are distancing themselves from him. Their next move may be to just boot him right out on the street. Personally, I hope so. Grewal's reputation, what there is of it, is up in smoke. With friends like Grewal the Tories don't need any enemies now, do they?

As I say, the ghost of the Alliance lives on. It haunts, forever. Oh, and here's the worst part: his wife Nina Grewal is in the House, too. If they kick Gurmant out Nina may quit the party, too.

Won't be long before the "independents" have a majority in Parliament, then they could take the government over.

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