Election looms as government falls
Mar 25, 2011 2:25 PM EThttp://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2011/03/25/pol-defeat.html
It's official — the government has fallen from power, clearing the way for a spring election.
The opposition Liberals, NDP and Bloc Québécois came together Friday afternoon in an historic vote to say they no longer have confidence in the Conservative government. The non-confidence vote automatically sparks an election after five years of Conservative minority rule.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper immediately rose to ask that the House be adjourned.
Harper was expected to speak in the foyer of the House of Commons within minutes of the adjournment.
He is also expected to go to Rideau Hall Saturday morning to ask Governor General David Johnston to formally dissolve Parliament. As soon as he does that, candidates will hit their local neighbourhoods and the party leaders will fan out across the country to ask voters to send them back to Parliament.
Only five other non-confidence votes have happened in Canada's history, according to information on the Library of Parliament website. This is the first time it has occurred because a majority of MPs voted that they believed the government was in contempt of Parliament.
In the moments before the vote, many opposing MPs, including Harper and Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff shook hands.
Ignatieff had kicked off debate earlier Friday, urging MPs to defeat the government.
Leaders will speak outside the House of Commons. We'll have updates after they speak."A government that breaks the rules and conceals the facts from the Canadian people does not deserve to remain in office," he said.
The only thing worse than a politician is an opposition politician.