Some commentators, such as Andrew Coyne in a recent opinion piece in The Globe and Mail, suggest that what constitutes a vote of confidence in the government should be a matter for Parliament; in essence the opposition, not the prime minister, to determine. His column followed the Trudeau government’s declaration that the vote on an opposition motion to create a House of Commons committee to inquire into the alleged WE scandal would be a confidence vote. The premise for Coyne’s argument was that the motion, being procedural in nature could not be a matter of confidence, and that the government was using the threat of an election to avoid parliamentary scrutiny and accountability. While both reasons raise a legitimate concern, making what constitutes confidence a matter for the opposition to decide would provide a cure that is worse than the disease.
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