Vive Le Canada

Liberal government falls
Date: Monday, November 28 2005

Liberal government falls
Monday, November 28, 2005 Posted at 7:49 PM EST

Globe and Mail

The short-lived 38th Parliament met its demise on Monday night, setting the stage for one of the longest election campaigns in two decades, as the Liberal government was defeated in a no-confidence vote at the hands of all three opposition parties and the country was launched into official election mode.

The Liberals lost the vote in the House of Commons 133 to 171, beginning a series of events that will propel voters toward the ballot boxes, likely on Jan. 23.

Prime Minister Paul Martin will officially call a federal election on Tuesday.

But unlike the weeks leading up to this moment, the mood in the Commons was downright jovial prior to the vote, with MPs streaming into the House with the final bells ringing, laughing and joking as they took their seats. Speaker Peter Milliken joked that after the vote there would be a reception to allow members to "exchange Season's Greetings" -- referring to the fact that it would be the last day in the House of Commons until after the election.

During the vote itself, both Mr. Martin and Opposition Leader Stephen Harper received standing ovations as they voted on opposite sides of the confidence motion. As well, MPs on either side of the House who were ill but who rushed in for the vote, and MPs who are not planning to seek re-election, received standing ovations from their respective parties and hugs and handshakes during the vote, which took less than 15 minutes.

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[Proofreader's note: this article was edited for spelling and typos on December 3, 2005]


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