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:: ElectionWatch 2006

Party leaders gearing up for non-confidence vote

Paul Martin, Stephen Harper, Jack Layton and Gilles Duceppe gear up for the big race. 

OTTAWA - Call it The Drive for Five. 

Prime Minister Paul Martin and the Liberal party will seek to win a fifth-consecutive election victory  when Canadians head to the polls sometime in 2006. 

That feat has happened twice in Canadian politics and both times it was done by two Liberal prime ministers. Mackenzie King and Louis St. Laurent won five elections combined from 1935 to 1953. And Lester B. Pearson and Pierre Trudeau won five combined elections from 1963 to 1974. No party has won six in a row.
 
But the early prognostication is that if the Liberals do win a fifth election it likely will be another minority government. 

But the big question swirling around Parliament Hill now is when do we go to the polls?  

Martin has promised to call an election within 30 days of the release of Justice John Gomery's second report on the sponsorship scandal, due on February 1. That would mean an election probably being held in mid-April.

But all three opposition leaders have a plan to vote on a motion on November 15 to force the prime minister to call an election in the first week of January for mid-February. 

If the PM disagrees to the demand, the party leaders will use an opposition day the next week, November 22, to defeat the government on a vote of non-confidence.

The parties will use opposition days to put through these motions.

Seven opposition days must be held before the end of the fall sitting, where the parties can put forward motions, including non-confidence motions. 

There are two already scheduled for next week. On Tuesday the 15th, the Conservatives will have an opposition day and then on Thursday the 16th the Bloc will have their day.

The remaining opposition days will be set the at the end of each week by the Government House Leader Tony Valeri, although the NDP has been promised an opposition day for the week of November 21.  

The three opposition parties are united for the first time since the spring in defeating the government and forcing an election.  

Layton is now onside with Harper and Duceppe after propping up the Liberals in the spring.

A November 22 defeat of the government would mean an election date of Tuesday,  January 3 at the earliest. 

If Martin were to call an election in the first week of the New Year, then the election date would be Monday, February 13 at the earliest. 

POLITICSWATCH'S RIDINGS TO WATCH 

Ontario

Central Toronto (10 ridings)
(Posted November 17, 2005)

 

B.C.

Vancouver and the Northern Mainland (11 ridings)
(Posted November 11, 2005)

 

B.C Interior  (9 ridings)
(Posted November 15, 2005)

 

:: PoliticsWatch Story of the Election to Date

> Non-confidence vote 101  (November 14)
> Opposition leaders plot strategy (November 11)
> Martin doesn't have democratic authority to make election promises, says Harper (November 10)

> Harper, Duceppe supportive of Layton's election motion (November 9)

> Harper won't rule out supporting estimates  (November 8)

> Layton opens door to early election  (November 7)

> Legislative Update: Opposition parties free to bring forward confidence motions (November 4)

> Layton ups threats  (November 2)

> Gomery exonerates Martin, blames Chretien, Pelletier, Gagliano (November 1)

> Legislative Update: Gomery unlikely to bring down the House (October 28)

> Layton calls meeting with Martin disappointing  (October 25)

> Martin says he's meeting, not bargaining, with Layton  (October 24)

> Martin says Yes to Layton  (October 20)

> What Gomery read over the summer (October 14)

> Another session of scandal (October 11)

> Harper won't defeat government on energy bill (October 5)

> Government delays confidence votes six weeks  (October 4)

> Harper says election timing up to Layton  (September 22)

> PM dares Harper to work "hand-in-hand" with Duceppe  (September 16)
> Gomery delay means pre-election budget on the way  (September 12)

> Tory caucus prepares for sneak Liberal attack  (September 6)

> Will gas prices cost Liberals at the polls?  (August 31)

> PM denies writing off Quebec  (August 25)

> How the West can be won  (August 25)

> New TV ads show Harper being Harper  (August 23)

> NDP prefers post-Gomery election  (August 22)

> Liberal ministers invade Canada's North  (August 5)

> Martin dares Harper to make same-sex marriage an election issue  (June 29)

> Martin survives  (May 19)

> "Betrayal"  (May 17)

> Tories, Bloc shutdown Parliament  (May 12)

> Harper, Duceppe demand vote, Martin says wait a week  (May 11)
> Motions recommending Liberals resign passes  (May 10)
> NDP saves Liberals from confidence vote  (May 2)

> Harper declares war (April 27)

> Liberals, NDP reach budget deal  (April 26)

> Embattled PM tries to buy time  (April 21)

> Opposition puts forward non-confidence motion: Martin to address the nation  (April 20)

> Looking to avoid confidence vote, Liberals yank opposition days  (April 18)

> PM calls on Harper not to force an election  (April 8)

> Brault's tsunami of Liberal corruption  (April 7)

© PoliticsWatch 2005. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PoliticsWatch content, including by framing, copying, linking or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Public Interests Research and Communications Inc. PoliticsWatch is registered trademark of PIRCINC.

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