The Canadian opposition filled parliament with cheers on Monday as they celebrated toppling the minority Liberal government in a vote of no-confidence. Prime Minister Paul Martin has been in power for 17 months, and had been confident of ruling for a decade after being a popular finance minister. But he ran into a patronage scandal in February last year, and the government has been dogged by corruption allegations since then.
Martin lost his majority in June 2004, and the Conservative leader Stephen Harper has been driving hard to unseat him ever since; to the detriment of normal politics accuses Martin;
“Tonight the opposition decided that forcing an election was more important than establishing benchmarks to reduce wait times for health care, they decided that forcing an election was more important than giving middle-income Canadians the full benefit of our tax cuts”, he said after the defeat.
Martin inherited the top job from Jean Chretien and has continued the Liberals long run in power since 1993. An election may be held in the third week of January, which means Canada will have its first winter electoral campaign in more than a quarter of a century.