They dared not support it and look like weak hypocrites; they dared not oppose it and look like arrogant fools.
What an incredible act of cowardice:
The Conservative government's central piece of legislation -- the federal accountability act -- has passed through the House of Commons without a single record of which MPs support or oppose it.
Liberal Leader Bill Graham refused to say yesterday whether his party supports the bill and abruptly ended a scrum with reporters when he was pressed to state a position.
"We support increased accountability but there are certain elements in this bill which we clearly criticized in committee and we made our opposition to that clear," Mr. Graham said when asked to state the Liberal position.
He then said his MPs might have a position if the Liberal senators amend the bill.
"If it comes back to the House because of amendments, we will have an opportunity to rule on it then," he said.
Because of an agreement among the four parties, the accountability act received its final vote of approval last night "on division," which means MPs are not required to stand up and be counted. The process acknowledges that support for the bill is not unanimous.
The same process was used at second reading of the bill and report stage. That means the only standing votes were on amendments to the bill, rather than the bill itself.
The Conservatives are fortunate that the Liberals have still not mastered the arts of acting as an effective opposition. And it's not just because the party hasn't chosen a leader yet; this lot really doesn't know how to act when out of government.
They've already been snookered into passing the budget unaware, they've blinked at the NDP vote to depose Rona Ambrose, and now this.
If the Liberals keep shying from a fight, we might just get three years out of this minority.
Source: Globe and Mail