Twenty-Four hours after I first heard the news that Belinda Stronach crossed the floor not to sit as an independent, but as a full member of the Liberal cabinet, I'm still digesting the news. So are others ( see The Globe and Mail: MacKay ‘shocked' by Stronach defection.)
What I find curious is that Martin first said he didn't want to call the Budget vote on Tuesday because of the BC Election, but his press conference with Stronach pretty much overshaddowed Election Day, even here in the capital, until after the polls closed.
Even more interesting is the effect of handing Stronach the tainted Human Resources portfolio -- it means she will get to implement whatever is directed by the Gomery Inquiry -- so the Liberals won't feel betrayed by "one of their own" and she will be facing a foe across the floor that she knows very, very well.
Martin has played this very well, I think. Stronach will probably go down in flames much like other women who have been brought in to take political falls for their leaders (note especially: Kim Campbell and Rita Johnston).