February 7, 2008 / 5:46 PM / in 10 years

Government renews early election pressure

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The Conservative government stoked up talk of an early election on Thursday, threatening a vote of confidence unless opposition members quickly passed a major crime bill.

<p>Prime Minister Stephen Harper stands to speak during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa February 6, 2008. REUTERS/Chris Wattie</p>

The government is angry over what it calls obstruction by Liberal members in the Senate, who are resisting pressure to approve the legislation. The Liberals hold a majority in the upper chamber.

If the government were to lose a confidence vote in the House of Commons, it would be defeated and an election called immediately.

Reporting by David Ljunggren and Randall Palmer; Editing by Rob Wilson

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