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Do or die
By Jason Hayes
In the rush of headlines questioning Paul Martin's possible involvement in the sponsorship scandal, it is interesting to see how his other glaring inadequacies are being set aside.
Not one headline today discussed the fact that the beleaguered Martin has
still not wavered on his refusal to allow a free vote on funding for the
To be fair, his plate is rather full right now with fighting off the media and picking fights with former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien. However, short of a US-style impeachment or Martin's resignation, Martin will be the prime minister for another four to six months.
This means that when the furor over the sponsorship scandal subsides and the daily workings of government resume, Liberal MP's will still be incapable of representing the wishes of their constituents. Prime Minister Paul Martin has purposefully chosen to do nothing about this problem.
Roger Galloway (Parliamentary Secretary for Democratic Reform) initially
assured Canadians that the Martin action plan to address the democratic deficit
would allow a free vote on funding for the firearms registry. However, news
that a free vote would see funding for the program stopped brought out Martin's
Martin is at a key juncture in his very short tenure as prime minister. He can choose to act like a leader and make a much needed decision to allow democratic representation in this country. Failing that, he can cling to his rapidly fading influence and power for a few remaining months, refuse to address the democratic deficit, and quite likely suffer the same embarrassing fate as Kim Campbell did several years ago.
Given Martin's past decisions as prime minister, one does not hold out a great deal of hope for any serious reform. However, the potentially career ending reality of the sponsorship scandal might be enough to encourage new thinking.
Decisions need to be made and for Paul Martin, it is time to do or die.
Jason Hayes is an independent consultant who specializes in environmental,
policy, and tech issues. His blog is located at www.hayz.ws/blog.
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