Opinion Column

Now's not the time for no confidence vote

 Ashli Barrett/Lacombe Globe

I can understand confidence in Justin Trudeau waning, but those begging their Conservative and NDP MPs to call for a vote of no confidence against him need to stop.

This train wreck is not a Star Wars prequel movie; while it might be a nice fantasy for some to see Trudeau overthrown for his incompetence, or have the Queen fire him from his job, the reality is it won’t happen until the next federal election.

For one, calling for a vote of no-confidence would likely blow up in the face of whatever party chose to do it.

Let’s remember the 2008-2009 parliamentary dispute where the Liberals, NDP and Bloc Quebecois formed a coalition to oust the then-Harper Conservative government. Many Canadians saw it as a move by the opposition parties to undermine democracy. The attempt to remove the Harper Conservatives from power not only resulted in a Conservative majority government in the following election, but the Bloc Quebecois nearly wiped out of parliament, and the Liberals losing over half their seats and falling to third place in the House of Commons for the first time ever.

Calling for a vote of no confidence this time around, however, wouldn’t get that far – the Trudeau Liberals were given a majority government to begin with, which means regardless of what party called for a vote, the Liberals would be able to stop it from happening on their own.

If all opposition party members voted for non-confidence in Trudeau, they’d still have to convince around 15 Liberal MPs to also vote against their leader. While backbench MPs have voted against the party, it’s unlikely they’d vote to bring the Liberal government – the very one they’re a part of – down.

Potentially, it could happen, but I highly doubt it’s even likely with how many of the Liberal MPs conduct themselves. Few of them seem able to think beyond the talking points given to them and many have an inability to answer a question, whether it’s asked by a member of the opposition, or a member of the media.

When one voices disagreement with a direction their party is moving in, like Saint John—Rothesay MP Wayne Long did on proposed small business tax reforms, they’re faced with consequences like being kicked off committees and thereby losing some of their voice and ability to represent their constituents. Regardless of what party they belong to, they were elected for a reason and their constituents deserve a voice as much as the rest of us do.

Sure, it’s frustrating to Melanie Joly mess up time after time on heritage files. I feel bad that Bardish Chagger has to act as Trudeau’s broken record player, repeating tired defences for his mess-ups - none of which actually answer the questions being asked. Finance Minister Bill Morneau hasn’t won too many people over with the budget, and Environment Minister Catherine Mckenna is charged with the difficult task of appeasing anti-pipeline activists while standing behind her government who say Kinder Morgan will get done. Still, voters made their bed and now we all have to lie in it for another year and change.

Rather than begging for a vote of no confidence or slamming MPs of opposition parties for not showing a “strong stance” against the current government, however, those frustrated could actually channel that energy elsewhere.

Upset about anti-pipeline activists? Become a pro-pipeline activist. Don’t like how small business is being treated? Get in touch with the local Chamber of Commerce to help advocate for entrepreneurs and business owners everywhere. Better yet, join a political party, even the Liberals, and work to make real change from within.

Be loud. Be relentless, and not just on social media.

An Ipsos poll shows that if an election were held tomorrow, Trudeau and the Liberals would not only lose their majority government, but power altogether. He won’t lose power through a vote of no confidence, but it’s a sign he very well could come the next election.

Change won’t happen overnight, but it can start now.

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Questions, comments, concerns? Email me at abarrett@postmedia.com

 



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