OTTAWA — Intense blow back from opposition parties could persuade the Liberal government not to table legislation this afternoon that would give it sweeping powers over the next two years to tax, spend and pass policy at will and without any legislative oversight.
CTV’s Evan Solomon noted this morning:
“As I tweeted out earlier, govt is pulling back and backing away from their draft proposal to have no Parl oversight spending in the crisis. It was an over reach, not needed and the blow back from opposition was intense. Sources tell me govt knows this and wont table.”
Being a minority government, it might seem obvious to the Liberal Party to not table the extending of dictatorship-like powers to itself. But it’s more complicated than that. With 338 seats in Parliament, the government needs support from 170 MPs. The Liberals have 157 seats. If the party strikes a deal, as it has done in the past with other parties, it could possibly get its way. The Bloc Quebecois has 32 seats and the NDP has 24 seats. A deal with either opposition party could allow the Liberals to govern as a democratically-elected dictatorship for two years. That is, if they can get enough supporters from the opposition to show up.
Stacking the deck in the House of Commons is a tricky business these days when self-isolating and social distancing is the order of the day.
Farmers Forum editor Patrick Meagher