There are still a couple of issues that the Liberals could use to defeat the government but no doubt they will not. The Liberals are not worried about the prosperity gap, but the gap between them and the Conservatives in the Gallup pølls. This gap trumps not only the prosperity gap but the immigration changes they ostensibly oppose and the bill that prevents tax credits that violate the standards of the Conservative Ministry of Virtue and Vice.
NDP to move today to topple Tories TheStar.com - Canada - NDP to move today to topple Tories
But confidence vote destined to fail since it lacks Liberal support
May 12, 2008 Bruce Campion-SmithOttawa Bureau Chief
OTTAWA–Federal New Democrats will make a last-gasp bid today to topple the minority Conservatives, citing the country's growing "prosperity gap" as the reason Canadians should go to the polls.
But the political move is destined to fail, all but eliminating the chance of an election in the coming weeks and opening the door to a summer of campaigning by all political leaders in preparation for a possible federal campaign this fall.
"This could be certainly one of our last opportunities, if not our last opportunity, to say we think that the Harper government is wrong," NDP Leader Jack Layton said.
The New Democrats' motion calls on the Commons to acknowledge that the growing income gap is having a harmful effect on working and middle-income families.
And it says those woes have been "fostered by this government's unbalanced economic agenda, including its failure to reform employment insurance to ensure that people who lose their jobs during economic downturns are protected and trained."
"We think that it's important to show that ultimately you can't have confidence in a government that can't manage the economy for the average middle-class family and working-class individuals," Layton said last week.
But Layton's push for an election will have to wait because like the other confidence votes this parliamentary session, the Liberals aren't ready to bring down the government. That means they won't support the NDP's election manoeuvring.
"We'll not trigger an election through an NDP motion," Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion said last week.
Not that Dion's reluctance to go to the polls is a great disappointment to Layton. After all, the NDP's confidence motion is aimed at the Liberals too, a bid to once more embarrass Dion and highlight the refusal of Liberal MPs to defeat a Tory government they regularly condemn.
Still, a few tripwires remain ahead. The government's budget implementation bill, containing controversial reforms of the immigration system, is due to come back to the Commons for a third and final vote at the end of the month.
The opposition parties have denounced the bill's proposals to overhaul the immigration system, though it doesn't seem likely the Liberals would defeat the Tories to stop the measures, especially since it would mean an election in July.
As well, income tax legislation that would allow the heritage minister to revoke tax credits for film and television productions her department deems too racy could be amended by the Senate and sent back to the Commons.