?Let me tell you, the three opposition parties are spending an enormous amount of time playing politics.? That?s how Prime Minister Paul Martin responded this week to a proposal by the Conservative Party, the NDP and the Bloc Quebecois to hold an election in February.
Look at the statistics for yourself and you?ll understand simultaneously who is truly ?playing politics? and why the opposition parties believe it?s time to put this ethically-corrupt and democratically-deficient Liberal government out of its misery.
Of the 72 government bills put before the House of Commons by the Liberals in the 38th Parliament, the Conservative Party of Canada voted to support or indicated it will vote to support 44 or 61 percent.
Of the 23 opposition supply day motions introduced by the Conservatives, the NDP and the Bloc Quebecois, and debated in the House of Commons, the Liberals voted to support just 3, or 13 percent.
So you can imagine that when I, as the Official Opposition House Leader, watch Paul Martin go on national television and baldly claim that he wants to make this minority parliament work but the opposition won?t let him ?. well, I can understand why Canadians don?t trust politicians to tell them the truth!
The Conservative Party went into this minority parliament believing we could remain true to our party?s policies and principles yet succeed in passing legislation that would benefit all Canadians. We acted responsibly by judging each piece of government legislation on its merit and cooperated with the other political parties if we felt it deserved our support.
Even when Conservative MPs felt a bill fell short of our expectations, we still supported it if the general intent would offer some improvement to the lives of Canadians.
In fact, if it weren?t for the Conservative Party, the NDP and the Bloc would have succeeded in defeating the Liberal government in March during a vote on the federal budget. We were far from thrilled with the budget, but it wasn?t enough to bring down the government.
Of course, that was before the daily Gomery testimonies revealed rampant Liberal corruption, before the government started trying to ?bribe? opposition MPs, and before Paul Martin made a $4.6-billion spending deal with Jack Layton that killed tax cuts for Canadian businesses.
It was only then that Conservative MPs voted against the Martin-Layton deal, Bill C-48, nearly bringing down the government. Still, since that time, Conservative MPs have supported the passage of dozens of Liberal government bills.
On the several occasions that the opposition parties cooperated on the passage of an opposition motion, the Liberal government failed to take the necessary measures to enact them. That means victims of hepatitis C tainted blood, farmers, natives, property owners and the families of the Air India bombing victims, among others, continue to await action on commitments made to them through a parliamentary vote.
Paul Martin claims he doesn?t want an election because Parliament has important work to do. Yet he rejects virtually all opposition proposals and, when there is agreement, he openly defies the recorded will of democratically-elected MPs. So who?s playing politics Mr. Martin?!