What this amendment does is to give Stephen Harper an option: be accountable. Be open. Be responsive to Canadians. If you don’t take that option, pal, we will defeat you. That’s not a threat. It’s a promise.
It is fair to say that the budget has not passed. It is fair to say the budget will not pass – it will not pass if the Conservative Party does not do what Liberals, and Canadians, require of them.
Accountability isn’t just a word, you know. It is a cornerstone of our democracy. And the fact is, the Conservatives have not been accountable. They have not been straight with Canadians. The effect of this of amendment is to force them to be accountable. It forces them to be straight with Canadians. It keeps that sword hanging over their heads.
This amendment has ample constitutional, legal and political precedent, and those things are important. But what is most important is what Canadians want out of their government: a government that listens to them. A government that respects them. A government that remembers who is the boss.
Canadians, you see, are the boss. Not Stephen Harper. Today, with this measure, we are reminding him of that. And if he doesn’t change his ways, we will defeat him.
Now, I am no mathematician, but to defeat the Conservatives, doesn't one need around 144 votes in the House of Commons? I'm no Constitutional expert either, so maybe I'm wrong. The last time I took stock, the Liberal Party of Canada only has 77 seats in that House. Doesn't that mean in order to defeat the government you need 67 more votes?
I ask you: Do you really think Jack and Gilles are going to be excited about helping out Mr. Ignatieff's party at present to defeat the government when they both already have the massive seat totals in the House, the likes of which they may not see again? My guess is no.
Here's the truth. Michael Ignatieff could have been Prime Minister next week. He chose not to. I know two things for sure. Dion would have been PM next week and Bob Rae would have too.
There are people going hungry because they have to decide whether it's more important to pay their rent or buy groceries or keep their hydro on. Do you think they give a shit about tax credits? There are thousands of unemployed workers that will be losing their homes, their cars, their families because of the ridiculous EI system we have. So you think 5 extra weeks of EI if they qualify is going to help them save it all?
You could have asked for more Mr. Ignatieff in your amendments. You should have asked for more.