Canadian lawmakers vote to dissolve government, call elections
March 25th, 2011
02:45 PM ET

Canadian lawmakers vote to dissolve government, call elections

Canada's House of Commons has approved a no-confidence resolution in the Conservative government by a 156-145 vote. The move will trigger the dissolution of Parliament and national elections to select a new government.

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Filed under: Canada • Politics
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. David

    WOW! What started all that?

    March 25, 2011 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Microbial


      March 26, 2011 at 3:58 am | Report abuse |
  2. Ernie

    Hey!Maybe we should do that.

    March 25, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Whiplash

      As far as I know, we have no process for that. Besides, what's the difference between one group of power-mad self-important criminals and the next? Government made all the trouble we have. I'd say it's time to abandon the concept of government entirely. Let the chips fall as they may.

      March 25, 2011 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      I would second that motion. I finnally believe our government has lost it's ability to readjust itself. It has become the single reason that nothing gets done. We are strangling ourselves just to get someone in that is in for there own self importance. Untill regular people get into office and send the others packing (including lobbyist) we are doomed to follow the rich white boys laws.

      March 27, 2011 at 7:29 am | Report abuse |
  3. 1608

    When I'm here ppl say how good things are in Canada.

    Now can anyone answer David?

    March 25, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Tony

    To answer David:

    Im a canadian so obviously this is all weve been hearing about recently,

    In the canadian parlimentry system, there is the ruling party and the opposition. When the Budget is released the opposition can call a vote of non confidence in the ruling party (the conservatives in this case). The vote was passed because the ruling party does not hold a majority government and the opposition was able to forge alliance with 2 smaller parties in order to get more votes then the conservatives.

    There were many problems that the opposition had with the budget, but it is usually a tactic used to force an election. this will be election number 4 in 7 years.

    The problem for the ruling party is that they do not hold a majority, if so this vote may not have happen as the opposition would have had to rely on conservatives turning on their own party.

    The problem is calling an election now may look like a slick idea for the opposition but it could result in the ruling party stealing a majority government, not likely but certainly a possiblity.

    This is suppose to be used as a last resort a failsafe for the people, but lately its only been happening because no one has be able to gain a majority.\\Hope this helps.

    March 25, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
  5. sharon

    In Canada we have a parliamentary system of government (simiilar to the UK).

    Because the government did not have a majority of the 308 seats in Parliament (it had 156) and 3 other parties had the rest of the seats, the government fell because the other 3 parties passed a non confidence motion in the government because it was in contempt of parliament for not sharing financial information about plans it was making to buy fighter jets and build prisons, amongst other things i.e. the government did not have enough votes to stay in power.

    As long as the government made an attempt to get along with the other parties, it would have stayed in power. The governing party did not do that. Hence, an election.

    March 25, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      well put

      March 25, 2011 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Oliver Dingwell

      Actually, the Conservatives have 143 seats – not 156. 156 is the number of MP's that voted to agree with the findings of the parliamentary committee saying that the Conservatives were in contempt of Parliament, and that they have lost the confidence in the government.

      Just for everyone's information purposes the current makeup of the Canadian House of Commons is:

      Conservatives: 143
      Liberals: 77
      Bloc Quebecois: 49
      New Democratic Party: 36
      Independent: 1
      Independent Conservative: 1

      The house also has 3 seats that are vacant.

      The vote today was 156-145. So that would be 156 (Liberals + Bloc + NDP) and 145 (Conservatives + Independent + Independent Conservative)

      March 25, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Dwayne Alizondo Herbert Mountain Dew Comacho

    Hmmm. Soo when the minority party wants a majority they make back room deals to force another election in order to make an attempt at getting the majority? 4 elections in 7 years you say? Isn't that costly and/or inefficient? You could take any issue and raise a stink about it publicly while behind closed doors you're scheming to gain more seats and thus more influence/power. Sounds kinda stupid and I'm one of the people in America whom like Canada.

    March 25, 2011 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Microbial

      That can only happen in cases where there is a minority government. This is traditionally very rare. If you look back on the history of Canadian governments there have only been 13 minority governments and some have lasted less than a year (i.e. an election was called and a majority government was voted in).

      There are actually some interesting positives to minority governments. First, since there is no clear majority, the leading party must be far more diplomatic when interacting with the minority (i.e. you have to please everyone). The irony is that at times some of the best legislation has been passed during minority governments, because if the leading party leans to far right from the minorities, they run the risk of a vote of no confidence. They are in a sense forced to be moderates.

      The negative side is that governments could be toppled in cases where either the majority or minority fail to compromise. BUT, there is a dangerous side to this for the parties forming a coalition. The Canadian people typically have only so much patience for multiple elections. It can be tremendously unpopular to topple a government without a good justification for doing so, and the minorities could end up losing the balance of power in the next election.

      In the end I like having the option of the occasional minority government. It clearly indicates to them that the people are not suitably impressed with parties on either side to form a majority, so they better get their act together. Obviously, it wouldn't be efficient to have them all the time though.

      March 26, 2011 at 4:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Mr. MacDonald

      What is really positive about being able to topple the government at anytime is that although it is costly it means that if the government is not fullfilling its mandate, or if it is abusing its power, you can dissolve government. The Alternative is being stuck with a government regardless of if it is doing its job or not. It really makes the government responsible to its people. Very little cost for government accountability.

      March 26, 2011 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^I'M BATMAN^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    March 26, 2011 at 12:22 am | Report abuse |

    They're spending the poor canadians fortune on war in libya, fired em! Any govt engaged in war anywhere should be fired. Washing's next, only if we had bigger balls here in the states! Millionaires and politricians steals billions and congress sent em on private jet vacation while at the sametime the fed build prisons more then schools to send our children in jail for taking a donut. Sad democracy!

    March 26, 2011 at 1:18 am | Report abuse |
    • termlimits


      March 28, 2011 at 6:15 am | Report abuse |
  9. Dwayne Alizondo Herbert Mountain Dew Comacho

    @Microbial: They have been having them all the time there (4 in 7 years). That would happen every few weeks here in the states, although I like the idea of forcing people to meet in the center on issues. Here in America they just buy votes with the promise of federal dollars going to someone's home state.

    March 26, 2011 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  10. Robb

    I love the minority situation. Here in Canada a lot of power rests in the PM's office, and our parties tend to keep a 'big book of what we didn't tell you we were going to do" hidden until they get a majority.

    Some very big issues that would have swayed voters "usually negatively" are not discussed during election time, and then SURPRISE about midterm they hit us with a new tax, a wonky social engineering law, or other item to please there grassroots.

    When it's a minority they cannot usually go radical in any direction, when they do have a majority, they really can do pretty much anything they want.

    Unlike in the u.s the parties almost never vote against eachother, and the vote is always whipped.

    In a majority, the only pressure on the p.m is from his party. They can still remove a sitting pm and elect another leader, and that person would becomes the new pm. Don't think it has ever happened, but this pressure makes them often come up with half baked ideas that have percolated up from the loonies at the grassroots.

    March 26, 2011 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  11. leeintulsa

    Tunisia, egypt, now canada. I'm glad the canadians are finally free 🙂

    March 26, 2011 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  12. Grey Phanthom

    I dance with Jesus in the moonlight all the birds come out and I sing the helm I sing the helm We are one in the spirit we are one in the lord and they'll know we are christians by our love. Pray for your wicked ways.

    March 26, 2011 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • termlimits

      WOW! You moved me, I think i'll give .50 cents to a homeless person today.

      March 28, 2011 at 6:19 am | Report abuse |
  13. Allah akmin

    Egypt, I can understand, BUT Canada

    March 27, 2011 at 1:00 am | Report abuse |
  14. Jason

    I guess so.

    March 27, 2011 at 3:19 am | Report abuse |