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New faces bring renewal, political opportunity after B.C.'s Oct. 24 election – CKPGToday.ca

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Prof. Gerald Baier, a Canadian politics expert at the University of B.C., said he considered it strange the number of incumbent New Democrats who decided not to run this fall, especially with the party ahead in the polls.

“Usually, that attracts a lot of people who want to stick around,” he said in an interview. “I was actually surprised by the number of the people who had been in opposition and now that they are in government and they are tired of it that quickly.”

Among the NDP cabinet ministers not running are Judy Darcy, Doug Donaldson, Scott Fraser, Michelle Mungall, Scott Simpson and Claire Trevena.

The portfolios they held included: forests, energy, mental health and addictions, poverty reduction, transportation and Indigenous relations.

Finance Minister Carole James announced last March she would not be running in the 2020 election for health reasons.

The departure of seven Liberal MLA’s, including veterans Rich Coleman, Linda Reid and Ralph Sultan, gives Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson the opportunity to put a new face on his party, said Prof. Kimberly Speers, a Canadian politics expert at University of Victoria.

“Certainly, those who have served a political party as an elected member for a long time, sometimes they can also be seen as the old guard,” she said. “If they’ve been affiliated with a previous leader or thinking within a party, sometimes a new leader or new members might think it’s time to get rid of the old guard.”

Baier said the NDP turnover gives party Leader John Horgan the chance at renewal for his group while offering opportunities for his members.

The current NDP vacancies allow Horgan, if the NDP is re-elected, to promote from his backbench or reward newly elected members of the legislature, said Baier, adding members Sheila Malcolmson and Bowinn Ma are possible new ministers.

The candidacy of three former federal New Democrat members of Parliament: Fin Donnelly, Murray Rankin and Nathan Cullen, also provides Horgan with the possibility of having three experienced politicians who could be potential cabinet ministers, Baier said.

But the possible arrival of new NDP faces may also force Horgan to change his political style of leaving ministers on their own to handle their duties as he has done with James and Health Minister Adrian Dix during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It might mean he may be a little more hands-on, because certainly the feeling was with James and Dix he could just leave them in those jobs,” Baier said. “He’s had utter confidence in them because he’s known them since they were puppies.”

With the Liberals, the departures of Donna Barnett, Linda Larson, John Yap, Steve Thomson and Sultan, Reid and Coleman, gives Wilkinson the chance to renew the party, but he may not have much time, said Baier. 

“The question is, is Wilkinson making the party in his own image? I don’t know,” Baier said. “I think people still don’t have a good grip on who he is.”

Speers said the COVID-19 pandemic may have played a part in decisions made by the politicians not to run again.

“I think it’s given everybody a time to reflect and perhaps revamp their priorities in terms of what is really important,” she said.

 This report by The Canadian Press was first published October 4, 2020.

Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press

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North Carolina is the center of the political universe as the state's demographics shift dramatically – CNN

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The state the President won by more than 3 percentage points four years ago has continued its gradual political transformation, moving away from the red states to its south and toward its bluer neighbors to the north. The transformation has been propelled by a mix of factors: The state is growing more diverse with Hispanic and Asian immigrants, its cities and suburbs are booming with unbridled growth from northern transplants, older voters from the northeast who are fleeing Trump have retired to the state’s coast and the Tar Heel State’s once large rural population is shrinking.
This shift has been occurring for years, but it could present Trump and Republicans with a perfect storm of problems at the same time that the state has become the center of the political universe with close races for president, Senate and governor. And many of his diehard voters in rural Eastern North Carolina know it.
“We realize that we have been infiltrated by other people that have more liberal views… than we do,” Cheryl Miles, a Trump supporter, said as she stood in line in Williamston, North Carolina, with Greg, her husband of more than 50 years. “To me, it is important, as a Christian, that you need to go out and express yourself.”
Cheryl and Greg Miles voted in Williamston, North Carolina. They say Trump stands for Christian values.
Martin County, after twice voting for President Barack Obama, narrowly backed Trump in 2016, helping him cut into margins in the bigger metropolitan areas. Republicans in the area believe the same could happen this November, as Christian conservatives who were somewhat skeptical of Trump four years ago are now fully behind the Republican leader. But the county, like others around it, has been losing population over the last decade.
“He stands for Christian values,” Miles said. “I know that sometimes when he talks, he doesn’t talk the way I would like for him to talk. But I like the stands that he takes. And sometimes you have to look beyond what the person is saying and (to) what he is doing.”
Williamston is just 90 miles to the east of North Carolina State University in Raleigh. That short physical separation represents a vast political divide.
The greater area around Raleigh, including college towns like Chapel Hill and Durham, is known as the research triangle, because of the topflight universities that are crammed into a relatively small area. Those institutions have not only attracted hundreds of thousands of more liberal voters to North Carolina, but they have provided the intellectual capital to fuel a growing technology and health care industry that has led to thousands of new jobs just over the last few years.
It was one of those institutions that brought Glen Almond and his wife Judith McLaren to Raleigh from Canada more than 30 years ago. The couple had been on green cards for decades, unable to vote in any election. But then Trump won, and the couple said shortly thereafter they became citizens almost expressly to vote against the President.
Glen Almond and Judith McLairn are voting in their first US presidential election. They say they were inspired to become citizens in part to vote against Trump.Glen Almond and Judith McLairn are voting in their first US presidential election. They say they were inspired to become citizens in part to vote against Trump.
“I wanted to vote in the worst damn way,” Almond said, standing in line on the NC State campus as rain poured around him and he prepared to vote for Democratic nominee Joe Biden. “I’ll be honest with you: I really want to vote against Trump. That was the primary thing.”
These divergent views explain why, just two weeks before Election Day, North Carolina remains a toss-up, according to multiple recent polls that find Biden with the narrowest of margins. But the differences between people like Miles and Almond also show the dramatically divergent paths to victory Trump and Biden have in a key state.
Obama, the last Democrat to win the state in 2008, carried North Carolina because of overwhelming turnout from Black and young Americans. Biden’s path, while similar, has some notable differences: In order to carry North Carolina next month, Biden will lean on a coalition that is Whiter, more suburban and older than the one that delivered the state to Obama 12 years ago. It’s a shift that reflects the changing state.
Trump, on the other hand, can’t solely count on the same turnout from Eastern and Western North Carolina, the two areas that propelled him to victory four years ago. The President will need people like Cheryl and Greg Miles to come up in such force that it overwhelms the growing suburbs around Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh.
“He is going to (need to) boost his numbers in rural counties to make up for what looks like an even bigger defeat in Raleigh, Charlotte,” said Michael Bitzer, a professor at Catawba College and an expert on the state’s politics. “I am just not sure how much more he can squeeze out of those rural areas.”

‘He is just the President — he is not God’

For Keith Kidwell, it made more sense for him and his dog Biscuit to set up shop next to an early voting site in Washington, North Carolina, than attend a Trump rally 30 minutes down the road.
“I’ve got a pretty good fix that most of the ones going to the Trump rally are probably voting for me,” said Kidwell, whose signs tout him as the “most conservative” member of the North Carolina General Assembly.
Rep. Keith Kidwell greets voters near an early voting site in Washington, North Carolina.Rep. Keith Kidwell greets voters near an early voting site in Washington, North Carolina.
Kidwell has earned that reputation. He is staunchly against wearing masks to combat the coronavirus and did not wear one when greeting voters in Washington. He believes the right to life “covers you from conception until natural death” and his website states he will defend the right to bear arms “to my death.”
That conservatism is paying off for the first-term representative — scores of voters told him they had just voted for him as he stood outside the Beaufort County early voting site. Kidwell feels confident he will do fine in his district. With many new voters statewide, however, he has some concerns.
“It worries me more on the statewide and national elections. … But I think we are going to do well. North Carolina is, even if our metro areas are more liberal leaning, we still have a good number of people who are conservative.”
That confidence hinges on conservative voters like Brian and Joan Buck, who were both wearing Trump plastic wristbands and whose keys was affixed to a Trump keychain.
Brian Buck and Joan Buck voted for Trump in 2016 and say they're concerned about North Carolina becoming more liberal.Brian Buck and Joan Buck voted for Trump in 2016 and say they're concerned about North Carolina becoming more liberal.
Both voted for Trump in 2016, but their support for the President has deepened in the last four years. Brian Buck said it is “concerning” that liberals are “coming from up north down to North Carolina” and he feared it would eventually “change us from a toss-up state to a blue state.”
Both wore masks as they made their way into the voting booth, but gave Trump some leeway on his handling of the coronavirus, the issue that has dominated the general election.
“The damn Democrats don’t realize that he is just the President. He is not God,” Brian Buck said. “What was he supposed to do? Go into the basement and go hocus pocus and make a damn treatment for it? No. So they blame him for it, but he had no more control over it getting here than I did.”
That sentiment was echoed by Pamela Sawyer, who was so eager to vote for the President a second time that she said, “And I will vote for him in four more years.”
Pamela Sawyer says she believes Trump supports Christians more than Democrats do.Pamela Sawyer says she believes Trump supports Christians more than Democrats do.
“I believe he is more for the Christians than the Democrats,” said Sawyer. “And that is one of the most important things.”
Trump’s campaign is banking on voters like these in Eastern and Western North Carolina, believing that enough turnout in these areas could provide a counterbalance to the growing cities.
“In 2016, President Trump brought out a lot of voters in the Eastern part of the state that previously voted for Barack Obama, or didn’t vote, because he wasn’t a stereotypical Republican,” said Nick Trainer, Trump’s director of battleground strategy. These voters “saw Barack Obama as a change agent and saw Donald Trump as a change agent.”
But Trainer added that he believes that 20% to 25% of Black men voting in North Carolina this year could back the President, providing the Trump campaign with a firewall against a possible “progressive wave” in more urban areas. Trainer said that level of support would be “icing on the cake in North Carolina, rather than critical to success.”
Little on the ground in Beaufort County backed up that assertion. And voters like David Holmes, a Black Army and Air Force veteran, took issue with that Trump claim.
“I really don’t trust Donald Trump,” he said, wearing a Desert Storm veteran hat, US Army mask and white veteran T-shirt. “It has been awhile since there has been this kind of unrest in politics in this country. … It is best not to discuss politics because there is always going to be some friction involved.”
David Holmes, a Black Army and Air Force veteran, says he doesn't trust Trump.David Holmes, a Black Army and Air Force veteran, says he doesn't trust Trump.

‘Concentrated area of relocated Yankees’

If there is one city emblematic of the political changes happening in North Carolina, it is likely Cary, a leafy suburb to the west of Raleigh with so many new residents from the north that longtime North Carolinians like to joke that Cary stands for “Concentrated Area of Relocated Yankees.”
One of those so-called Yankees would be Bridgette Hodges, an African-American grandmother who moved to the state from New Jersey around a year ago to be closer to her family, like Sanaa, her grandchild. The duo waited for over two hours on a recent rainy Friday so Hodges could not only vote for Biden, but register as a North Carolina voter for the first time.
Biden supporter Bridgette Hodges and her 8-year-old grandchild Sanaa waited in an early voting line for over two hours.Biden supporter Bridgette Hodges and her 8-year-old grandchild Sanaa waited in an early voting line for over two hours.
“Things are changing dramatically for our country and there is so much racism and violence,” Hodges said. Looking at her grandchild, she added, “If she is a kid and she tells me what her opinion is looking at what is going on, it is really rough.”
Democrats in the state believe it is voters like Hodges who hold the key to a Biden victory.
“There are two groups we need to be focused on and that is turning out the African American vote and also suburban women,” said Meredith Cuomo, the executive director of the North Carolina Democratic Party. “We have seen just a real shift in our demographics since 2016.”
One of those key changes has been a growing Hispanic community. The state has seen dramatic increases in the number of registered Hispanic voters, growth that has tracked with the overall increase — the state now has roughly 1 million Hispanic residents, up from around 800,000 in 2010.
Lesly Puebla, who was born in Mexico, raised in Texas and later moved to North Carolina for her father’s job, has seen this growth and said that the way the President has talked about Hispanic immigrants encouraged her to vote for Biden this year. Puebla voted for a third-party candidate in 2016.
Lesly Puebla took her three children with her to vote in Durham, North Carolina.Lesly Puebla took her three children with her to vote in Durham, North Carolina.
“I have seen a lot of things said about Hispanics that are not true,” she said, standing in front of Southern High School with her three children, all of whom accompanied their mother while she voted. “(Those comments) encouraged me to go out and vote and especially show my kids about our heritage and that not all the things that are said are true, that we need to speak up as well.”
Turning out voters like Hodges and Puebla was the missing piece for Clinton in 2016, whose campaign went into Election Day believing she would win the state. But turnout was down among reliable Democratic voters and up with voters in Eastern and Western reaches of the state, delivering Trump the win.
To date, turnout seems high in North Carolina. As of this week, nearly 2 million ballots have been cast in the state early, a remarkable surge that represents 25% of registered voters.
For many, like Conrad Plyler, a registered Republican from Durham, that early ballot cast was a proud vote against Trump.
Plyler, who works as a real estate manager in the area, said he had been a Republican for “a long time” but soured on Trump during his 2016 campaign, saying it was clear the would-be President had a “very racist perceptive of life.”
While Plyler left his presidential vote blank in 2016, he has decided to vote for Biden four years later. It’s this voter — the disaffected Republican who lives around a major metropolitan area — that worries Republicans headed into Election Day.
“I don’t think of myself as an anomaly, I think that younger Republican voters are more progressive… and it has now become a generational thing inside the party,” said Plyler, his long red beard hanging out of his mask. “So, if Republicans are scared of these kinds of voters, then they are scared of Republicans. That’s the shame of it.”
Conrad Plyler, a registered Republican from Durham, says he is voting for Biden.Conrad Plyler, a registered Republican from Durham, says he is voting for Biden.

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Japan has so few women politicians that when even one is gaffe-prone, it's damaging – CNN

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“Women can tell as many lies as they want,” Sugita was reported to have said at a ruling party parliamentary meeting on 2021 budgets to promote gender equality. Sugita apologized for her remarks earlier this month, saying she hadn’t meant them for female sexual assault survivors or to imply that only women lie.
This wasn’t the first time the lawmaker and member of the ruling LDP party’s Women Activity Promotion Taskforce has alienated parts of the electorate with her conservative views.
Sugita has previously denied the existence of “comfort women” — a wartime euphemism for women and girls, some who volunteered and others who provided sexual services for Japanese soldiers before and during World War II.
In 2018, she came under fire for saying that the government should not support same-sex couples because they cannot bear offspring and therefore were not “productive,” in an article published in conservative magazine Shincho 45.
She has also victim-blamed Shiori Ito, a journalist and icon of Japan’s #MeToo movement, by stating her alleged rape was due to “clear errors on her part as a woman,” according to local media reports.
Experts say Sugita’s recent apology missed the mark, and her comments are damaging — especially in a country with so few female politicians.

Toeing the boy’s club line

Globally, politics remains one of the most male-dominated spheres in society. Only 25% of all national parliamentarians were women as of October 2020, according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union, a global organization of national parliaments.
In Japan, only 46 of 465 lower house lawmakers are women — that’s fewer than 10%, compared to a 25% global average and 20% average in Asia, as of October.
Tomomi Inada, a former defense minister who served in former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government before she resigned in 2017, said being part of a minority comes with its stereotypes.
“We are often judged to be emotional and are treated with skepticism when we voice our opinion strongly. That’s because we are such extreme minority in Japanese politics,” says Inada.
To survive, some women in Japanese politics feel the pressure to comply with their male counterparts’ views to fit in, according to Chizuko Ueno, a sociologist and the chief director of the Women’s Action Network. “They can become more hawkish than their male colleagues,” she adds.
Inada acknowledges feeling pressure to conform to the male majority’s viewpoint while in government, but says it is important for women not to give in to this.
Japan's member of the House of Representatives Mio Sugita attends at the opening of the extraordinary Diet session in Tokyo, Japan on October 24, 2018.
However, Sugita’s latest actions encourage the normalization of casually misogynistic views, says Kukhee Choo, a Japan-based media scholar.
“Countless feminists paved the way for Sugita, but she is using her position of power to dismantle the privilege they built for her. It’s like she turned against that very fight,” says Choo.
That view was echoed by the Flower Demo, a human rights group organizing a movement against sex crimes. It issued a statement in response to Sugita’s remarks, saying “parliamentarians who ought to address gender inequality must not be allowed to set the wrong example by issuing sexually discriminatory remarks and revealing their ignorance of the very real problem of sexual violence.”

Shifting attitudes

In the past, women in Japan who defied expectations and pushed the needle on gender equality have faced backlash.
For instance, in 2017, Yuka Ogata, a local Japanese politician, was confronted by lawmakers for trying to bring her baby to a council session. One councilman shouted at her while others told her that she couldn’t stay and had to leave the room immediately. Ogata had wanted to show how difficult it is for women to find a work-life balance.
However, in recent years, campaigns such as #MeToo and #KuToo — which saw women petition against wearing high heels to work — have put Japan’s gender inequality and human rights issues in the spotlight.
“All generations in Japan have access to the internet, and younger people, in particular, have mobilized on social media to express their opinions and force politicians to change their stance on topics,” says Choo.
Increasingly, people in Japan are no longer willing to turn a blind eye to discriminatory remarks made by politicians, adds Ueno, the sociologist.
“Society is changing and the media’s high attention on Sugita’s remark is proof of such change. Not long ago, remarks like hers were so commonplace they were overlooked but now it’s getting a headline,” says Ueno.

Toothless reforms

Inada says people in Japan think a strong woman will climb the political ladder alone, but that’s a myth. “We will never be able to change the system if we stick to the idea,” she says.
Today, for instance, 127 countries use electoral gender quotas to increase women’s representation in politics, according to the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA).
Inada has backed implementing enforced electoral quotas, arguing that increasing female participation raises responsiveness to policies concerning women, and is also beneficial to men.
“(Japan is) probably 20 to 30 years behind many other countries, but now is the time for female politicians to take action,” says Inada.
Some steps have been made towards change. In 2018, a law was passed to encourage political parties to set targets for gender parity.
However, as with an 1985 equal employment law which aimed to promote gender equality in private companies, there are no legal requirements or penalties for parties that fail to comply, according to Hiroko Goto, a gender equality expert at Chiba University.
As a result, Japan’s ruling LDP has a poor record of appointing women. In 2018, former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appointed just one woman, Satsuki Katayama, to his new cabinet — claiming she could do the work of “two or three” women.
The situation didn’t get much better in 2020.
When Yoshihide Suga took over office in September, he appointed only two women to his 21-strong team, to the chagrin of many, including the former defense minister Inada. She declared shortly afterward that Japan was a “democracy without women.”
Inada sought to join Japan’s LDP leadership race after Abe resigned in August due to poor health. However, neither she nor Seiko Noda, a former internal affairs minister, secured the 20 nominations needed from other LDP lawmakers to run as a candidate.
Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike was the LDP’s first and only female candidate — and that was in the 2008 presidential election.

Strength in numbers

Despite the barriers, more women are applying for political office than ever before.
Last year, of 370 candidates seeking one of the 124 seats being contested in the Upper House of Councilors, 104 — or almost 30% — were women, according to public broadcaster NHK.
Of those, 28 women were elected — matching a previous high from 2016, according to NHK.
Ueno, the sociologist, says while these women can serve as role models in Japan, many of them are members of smaller, left-wing parties such as the Constitutional Democratic Party (CDP), which have a less influential presence in the Japanese parliament. Also, Japan’s upper house is the less powerful of the parliament’s two houses — for instance, laws are generally passed by the lower house before being sent to the upper house for approval. The lower house can overrule the decisions of the upper house with a majority vote on significant national issues, such as the selection of the prime minister and budgets.
<!–
For members of the Flower Demo, who say Sugita’s remarks amounted to a “second rape” for sexual assault survivors, the fight continues. On October 13, the group brought a petition with over 136,000 signatures, demanding Sugita’s resignation, to the LDP’s headquarters in Tokyo. The LDP refused to accept it, according to Minori Kitahara, a Flower Demo member who launched the petition.
The LDP Secretary General’s office said they did not accept the petition of the Flower Demo as it is not usual practice for them to do so.
“(Sugita) has always made remarks like that and the ruling LDP party has forgiven her. But as the Japanese #MeToo is gaining momentum, the LDP can’t ignore this,” says Kitahara.
“Japan is such a male dominated society, we really want the few female politicians to be feminists. We also need (male politicians) to be better allies to women, and understand that the gender issue is important.”

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Snap election averted as Liberal government survives confidence vote in Commons – CBC.ca

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Canadians will not be heading to the polls for a snap fall election now that the Liberal government has survived a confidence vote on a Conservative motion to create a special committee to probe the government’s ethics and pandemic spending.

MPs voted 180-146 to defeat the opposition motion.

Earlier today, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said that his party would not give Prime Minister Justin Trudeau an “excuse” to send Canadians to the polls in the middle of a global pandemic — signalling that Trudeau’s government would survive today’s confidence vote.

In a news conference just two hours before a crucial confidence vote, Singh declined to say exactly how his MPs would vote or whether they might abstain.

“We are voting for Canadians. We are voting against an election,” he said.

Singh said the NDP will still work to get answers on the WE Charity scandal through the Commons ethics committee, and that his party will push the government for more pandemic support for Canadians.

“People need help right now. They need confidence in the future. They’re not looking for an election,” he said.

“So New Democrats will not give Prime Minister Trudeau the election he’s looking for. We’re not going to be used as an excuse or a cover. We’re going to continue to do the work that we need to do.”

The Bloc Québécois had already confirmed it will support the Conservative motion, while the Green Party indicated that its three MPs would vote against the motion.

The vote is expected to happen around 3:15 p.m. ET and CBCNews.ca is carrying it live.

The opposition day motion would have created a special committee to probe the Trudeau government’s ethics and spending in response to the pandemic — including the controversial WE Charity contract to administer a student volunteer grant program.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did not recuse himself from talks on the agreement, even though several of his family members had been paid for speaking engagements by the organization.

The Liberal government has declared the vote on the Conservative motion a matter of confidence that could trigger an election — a high-stakes move that NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh called a “farce.”

In a news conference before the vote, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole said if the motion doesn’t pass, he would continue to work with other parties to hold the government to account. He criticized the government and Trudeau for framing the vote as a confidence matter.

“His designation of this vote as a confidence vote shows that he’s willing to put the electoral fortunes of the Liberal Party ahead of the health, safety and well-being of Canadians,” he said.

“Most Canadians would think that’s unacceptable.”

WATCH / Erin O’Toole on confidence vote:

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole spoke with reporters just after NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh stated that the NDP would not bring down the government in the confidence vote. 0:56

Speaking to reporters after the Liberal caucus meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said the government needs the confidence of the House to do its job.

“I really believe at the end of the day common sense will prevail and we’re going to get through this,” she said.

Freeland also said that legislation for several new pandemic supports for Canadians and businesses needs to be passed and an election could jeopardize that.

WATCH / Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland on possible election:

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland says she’s focused on passing legislation to support Canadians during the pandemic as a confidence vote looms in Parliament today.  1:39

Heading into their weekly caucus meeting this morning, NDP MPs said they had not yet decided on a path forward and would talk about how to proceed behind closed doors.

“At the end of the day we have a lot of moving parts and we’re still in a pandemic and we’re still committed to fighting for Canadians and we’re going to continue to do that,” said Ontario NDP MP Matthew Green.

“We have to look at what all the variables are going in to this discussion and do what’s best for the country.”

Asked by reporters if the NDP had an obligation to support the Conservative motion, NDP ethics critic Charlie Angus said, “There’s many ways to skin a cat, my friends.”

WATCH / NDP MPs on today’s confidence vote:

NDP MPs arrived for their weekly caucus meeting in Ottawa on Wednesday. 1:26

Conservative House leader Gérard Deltell said the ethical questions surrounding the government require a special committee with a clear mandate. He said it’s the “duty” of opposition parties to hold the government to account.

“This is what the issue is all about with this motion, and what we see right now is a prime minister who will do whatever it takes to call an election,” he said.

“The only Canadian who would like to have an election today is the prime minister. The only Canadian who would like to freeze the government for a few months is the prime minister by calling an election.”

The Conservatives amended the original motion to state that voting to launch the committee should not be considered grounds to order an election.

It also dropped the “anti-corruption committee” label it initially proposed.

Bloc Québécois House leader Alain Therrien said the WE Charity issue is so complex that it requires a special committee to get answers.

He said the Liberals’ “scorched-earth” approach to politics is the product of a “club of cronyism” and renders compromise impossible.

He also criticized the NDP, suggesting the party’s MPs have obediently followed Liberal demands.

“The NDP have acted in the last little while a little like the Liberals’ lap dog,” he said.

‘Unwelcome drama’: Paul

Green Party Leader Annamie Paul issued a statement urging the parties to cool their jets, calling the brinkmanship “unwelcome drama.” 

“The Liberal and Conservative parties’ high-stakes, high-tech game of chicken can have no winner,” she said. 

“They should leave such games outside of Parliament, and focus on the urgent needs of people in Canada. I ask members of Parliament to dial down the rhetoric, which is not in keeping with the seriousness of this unprecedented moment, so that we can get back to working on the critical matters at hand.”

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