Thursday, May 19, 2005

Just Puting Off The Inevitable

Liberals survive budget vote squeaker

Prime Minister Paul Martin put his 11-month-old Liberal minority government to the test, and passed.

In a dramatic culmination of weeks of pitched demands that the government resign, members of Parliament cast their ballots twice Thursday afternoon.

In the first round, on Bill C-43, the vote went as expected -- in the government's favour.

Liberal MPs paused briefly in their voting to give a standing ovation to Finance Minister Ralph Goodale, who first introduced the budget to the House of Commons.

The final count was 250 for, 54 against.

In the second round, on the new multibillion-dollar spending package negotiated with NDP Leader Jack Layton, the result went also went the government's way.

The combined block of Liberals, NDP and Carolyn Parrish carried 151 votes, the same number as the Conservatives and Bloc Quebecois.

That left Independent MPs David Kilgour and Chuck Cadman to swing the result.

Kilgour followed through on a pledge he made publicly just hours earlier, voting for the budget, but against the additional spending package. - CTV

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