[Kilgour & Cadman]
Just got back from the 5x30-40 minute show stint at Halifax West High School -- c. 175 students in the audience in toto today. I would be absolutely shattered, but for better or for worse I'm glued to the TV (Cpac and Newsworld). Dave just stepped in the door with rootbeer, beernuts, and 5 Alive: this could be a long haul.
My foreign readers will need some explanation. Basically, the minority government of the Liberals is being challenged on its budget. Budget votes are "confidence votes," which a government must win or else resign (go to an election immediately). The governing Liberals have forged a shaky alliance with the socialist party (NDP), at the price of a budget amendment which sends more money in the direction of social spending. Opposed to them are the official opposition, the Tories, supported by the separatist Bloc Quebecois; both are keen to bring down the government because the Liberals are suffering heavily under the scrutiny of the Gomery Inquiry into Liberal corruption in Quebec. As of Monday, the Liberals and NDP together had 150 votes; the Tories and Bloc had 153 votes; there were three independents.
Sensationally, however, on Tuesday the fair Belinda Stronach, political newcomer but apparently fearless political virago, "crossed the floor" from the Tories to the Liberals (she received a mid-level Cabinet seat), ditching not only her party but also her boyfriend, the Tory Deputy Leader. This means it's all tied up, because the Liberals have one of the independents (who had been kicked out of their caucus for being anti-American):152 pro-budget, 152 against, with only two independents -- David Kilgour of Alberta (a former Liberal) and Chuck Cadman of BC (a former Tory) between them deciding whether the budget will stand or fall, and whether we will get an election pronto (or not). Of course, there are a number of wildcards, including whether various MP's will show up to vote, be hauled to hospital (as happened yesterday), etc. etc.
Update: David Kilgour has just announced he will vote against the NDP budget amendment (though apparently in favour of the Liberal budget itself). Chuck Cadman . . . I very much doubt he will back the government after l'affaire Stronach. I would be amazed, myself.
The Tory MP's from Newfoundland. It's all about the Tory MP's from Newfoundland. You read it here eighth.
Actual epic note: I tried the experiment of using the "song tones" / quasi-chanting manner of delivery with some audiences and not others; and the palm certainly goes to the song tones, which undoubtedly enhance audience focus and concentration for the whole poem. I had suspected this was the case, but it's reassuring to have made this empirical comparison. I should blog more on this, but I simply must get back to Cpac. (How many times have you heard that in your life, I wonder?)