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Canada's government topples after no-confidence vote

Prime Minister Paul Martin turns towards a Liberal caucus member as Consevative leader Stephen Harper looks on during the vote on a non-confidence motion in the House of Commons. Photo: Tom Hanson/CP Photo

Expect Stephen Harper to rail on about gay marriage as a means to whip up his base of wingnuts, while capitalizing on the scandal-ridden, 17-month-old government of Paul Martin, which was toppled on a 171-133 no confidence vote last night, forcing a January election. (365gay):

Passage of Canada’s national gay marriage law was one of the few successes the Martin government has had. The legislation became law in July despite fierce opposition in Parliament by Conservatives. Conservative leader Stephen Harper has vowed to bring in legislation to repeal the marriage act if his party forms the next government.

Although he has said he would not use a rider in the Canadian Constitution allowing a government to opt out of any single provision in the Charter of Rights most legal experts say that would be the only way to overturn the law. The procedure has never been used by a federal government.

Short of an absolute majority government it is unlikely that any attempt to overturn the law would succeed. Both smaller opposition parties, the New Democrats and the Bloc Quebecois, support the law, along with most Liberals.

Maybe Canadian Blenders can chime in on the mood there…

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding